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Can your excavator move like this? RagnarTech Tilt Rotator

Tags :  bucket  |  excavator  |  kubota  |  quick-attach  | 


What is a Tilt Rotor

Tilt rotors are really popular over in Europe. 80 to 90% of the excavators sold across the pond have some kind of tilt rotor on the front of them. They're just starting to gain popularity here in the US, and many of those companies have been flooding over here trying to get a hold in this market. Now, we've sold several of them here to this point, but there's a couple of things that we like here on this model that we're going to point out to you here today and tell you a little bit about why tilt rotors can be such a useful implement on the end of your excavator.

What makes tilt rotors so interesting is that they fundamentally change the way that you can use your excavator. Rather than having your bucket tied to the one fixed digging position, this allows you to either tilt and rotate your bucket, unsurprisingly. There's different reasons for wanting to do that. If you go here and you tilt from left to right, the tilt rotor here has these two hydraulic cylinders that tilt this thing back and forth. This is going to allow you to cut a swale or shape, a grade or a mound in a way that you would struggle to do otherwise.

It's hard to move your excavator into some of the positions that you can manipulate this bucket into. Now, as we're seeing such greater needs for things like stormwater management, this allows you to get an excavator in and cut those very precise grades in a way that you might struggle to do with a regular excavator. That tilt function is cool. The rotate here also allows you to take that bucket and spin it in circles. Now, many times you can reverse a bucket on your machine. That's going to allow you to dig backwards if you need to say, reach back underneath of a concrete sidewalk or say, dig a grave or something. Things that are going to take a little bit different bucket geometry and an approach than what you're normally going to have on your excavator by being able to have that rotate function. Again, same goes for cutting that swale. If I wanted to, say, take this bucket and work it into a unique position here, you could do it.


Excavator Operation

Now, I'll tell you, while I look like a fool, this is one of those attachments that separates the men from the boys. I'm a boy when it comes to this kind of stuff. I'm a salesman. When it comes to basic digging on an excavator, I'm very competent, but my brain does not work in the way that incorporates all of these added functions.

It's amazing to watch experienced operators with this kind of thing. I once sat and watched a guy build a rock wall with one of these and scoop up large rocks and place them into the wall exactly where he wanted them. I'm a novice when it comes to this kind of thing, but you can see here the range of motion that we're able to add to this bucket here with the rotate and tilt functions.


Easy Installation

Now, what impressed us so much about this particular tilt rotor was the ease at which it can be installed on the machine. Some of the other lines of these that we have looked at or sold in the past were so complicated to install on the piece of equipment that they required special joysticks to be installed by the cab or for the company literally to send a technician out to our store to install the tilt rotor in the machine, because it required that much modification of the excavator itself. If you look at Kubota's product line now, machines like the KX040, about the nine-ton machine and above, can be ordered in with two service ports out on the boom. Normally, these service ports are going to be used for the thumb. Oftentimes, the second one is left empty or it's used when a hammer is installed on the machine, allowing you to keep your thumb hoses in place.

On any of these machines from the 40 on up, I think the KX040, the 57, the 80, all can come through from the factory with two service ports. Those two service ports can be used here on your tilt rotor. One is going to rotate the tilt and one is going to do the rotate function. Those are both done with the rocker switches on the joysticks that are already in the cab. Our shop unboxed this thing, hooked up all the hoses, installed it on the machine in four to five hours. Rather than that complicated, costly installation or the technicians flying in from abroad in order to install it, just a couple hours to put it on.


Kubota Quick Coupler

The hydraulics made that really easy, but what doubled the installation ease and what is the most exciting to me is that both the top and the bottom side of this tilt rotor are equipped with Kubota's quick coupler. Now, you have a different quick coupler on many of these model excavators, but because you have the same quick coupler that's used on all of your quick coupler buckets, you very easily can remove your existing bucket, stick the tilt rotor onto your quick coupler, use the same quick coupler now on the other side to put your lot of buckets back onto the other side or in this case, this is a special shaping bucket, but it's still going to use that same Kubota quick coupler. This maintains compatibility with all of the existing buckets and thumbs that may already be in your fleet, and because it pins right in place, it couldn't be easier to install.



On the boom itself, these are what your two service ports look like. The top and the bottom hose here are going to be a different function coming from the joysticks up in the cab. Now, you'll see here we have a thumb on this machine. This thumb doesn't really work with the tilt rotor and the bucket, but you can see here from a convenience standpoint, you very easily can retract the thumb and then shut its hydraulics off of these two ball valves.

That will disable it and keep it out of the way while you can continue to use everything down here on your tilt rotor bucket setup. Now, when you went to remove the tilt rotor, again, we're going to pull pins, we're going to roll out of it with the quick coupler just like we would any other bucket, roll right back into a traditional bucket, turn our thumbs back on and we can go right back to a traditional bucket and thumb type work. That is exciting to me, right? Normally, with these tilt rotors, you almost see people set these up where that machine is dedicated to that use, but this now becomes so easy to change back and forth.

It just seems like such a more versatile setup than what we're used to seeing. That's a little bit on the RagnarTech tilt rotor. There's a lot of things that we like here. There's a lot of other companies that we still deal with, but this one, I think, is going to find a special place here in that it is so easy to put on the machine and plumbs up so naturally to a lot of the equipment that we sell anymore. I think it's really going to start to drive adoption, and really open up what our customers are able to do with a tilt rotor.

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