It’s no secret that I am a massive fan of the tiltrotator systems, as far as I am concerned anything that makes my life easier and speeds up the job is a good idea. Those that describe these useful pieces of kit as “toys & gimmicks” have really got their heads buried in the sand. These systems have been in regular use in Sweden for around 20 years now and if you haven’t got one attached to your excavator over there you simply don’t get any work!
As a nation we are terrible at accepting new ideas and technology, but slowly contractors are beginning to see the light with a good number of tiltrotator users embracing the idea, and following in the footsteps of pioneers like owner operator Calvin Fuller and Moorlands Specialist Excavations Ltd, whom have been tiltrotator users for many years.
MJL Contractors Doosan DX140 has been fitted with the Engcon EC15B, which in reality has been on the market for around 2 years now, but the system is fitted with the latest Microprop DC2 joystick technology. Through these new control levers the operator can have the option to control virtually all functions of the excavator, including tracking or drive and steering on wheeled excavators, making all operations available at the operator’s fingertips.
I have only been using the system for the last 4 days but am already starting to enjoy the extra scope the system offers me in the way I approach jobs. Initially I was aware of the extra weight at the end of the dipper, but one soon becomes accustomed to it and you just compensate in the way you operate the machine.
I was already familiar with the feel of these items of kit having had a competitor’s model on my own mini excavator for a while, so I soon got back in the swing of things with the Engcon version. From the moment you start working a machine fitted with a tiltrotator, it soon becomes apparent you have so many more options at your disposal. For instance, when performing internal drainage operation inside an oversite, you can position the bucket to dig alongside a wall even if you cannot position the machine square on to the dig itself.
Backfilling is a whole lot easier too with no need to be changing buckets when you encounter a stair well, one just simply rotates the bucket to suit whichever section you are filling in. Working around manholes is easy too, in fact the possibilities are endless for anyone with a good imagination on creative ways to tackle a job.
As my time with this system continues, I will report further on how it improves my work and the benefits it is offering both me and the company. In the meantime here is a video from my early time with the Engcon unit.