Excavator attachments come in a wide variety and some of the more popular attachments apart from augers and buckets include the hammer, flail mover, grading blade, the grapple and the ripper. These hydraulic attachments are often used in sequence within the scope of a construction project as from start to finish an excavator is usually required to perform a range of tasks that use different attachments at different stages of the project timeline. In this installment, we will examine the five attachments mentioned above that are commonly used by both mini and standard excavator hire machinery on various construction projects.
The Hammer Attachment
This particular attachment is critical towards breaking things up rocks and other swath of materials including concrete slabs or stones. Sometimes referred to as a breaker this attachment in essence function like an oversized jackhammer that uses intense impact to weaken and break up targeted material. Hammers come in a range of different shapes and sizes just like most other attachments, hammer shapes in particular are essential towards managing targeted material that requires breaking. Hence, choosing the right type of hammer is critical with regards to job efficiency. For instance, the Moil often utilized for trenching jobs and demolishing re-barred concrete and trenching, on the other hand the ‘Chisel’ as the term indicates is also used for demolition work and as well as concrete excavation which require angled strike. There is also the blunt hammer that is good for crushing objects that have a large surface area.
The Flail Mower
The flail mower is perfect for landscaping projects which are generally too testy for regular mowers to manage which is the primary reason as to why the flail mower was developed as the excavator operator is not only able to mow more, but he or she will also be able to angle it in such a way that it behaves like a hedge trimmer and are perfect for cutting tall grass and shrubs that would be otherwise too hard to reach. The fact that flails have unique “bounce off” objects such as rocks is in fact an advantage over conventional mowers which often fling rocks and other hard objects that they encounter whilst mowing. This makes the conventional mower a safety hazard at project sites and structures surrounding the site. Flail mowers are also easier to maintain as replacement of cutters is much easier than replacing blades. The flail mower is also attachable to mini excavators which are often referred to as brush cutter attachments making even mini excavator rentals more versatile and valuable.
The Grading Blade
Having an excavator and a dedicated grader for a single project is not a very cost-effective strategy and neither is it efficient as it would involve a higher level of logistics (2 machines, two operators, separate job sheets, scheduling issues, etc.). As an option a grading attachment could be attached to the excavator to level the ground. The entire process of using the grading blade or even a mini excavator grading bucket preps the surface intended for other projects by flattening it. Operators generally adjust the blade angles from inside the cab with regards to the grading blade’s height or angle to achieve the right level of surface. As with other attachments, grading blades come in an array of sizes and shapes to cope with different terrains and machines. This attachment tool is also referred to as a grading bucket is compatible for specific mini excavators and standard excavators.
The grapple is a much more common excavator attachment that is often applied for forestry work apart from regularly used for demolition, waste handling and assorted construction work. The attachment sports two large extended curved clamps that allow them to clamp materials that are oddly shaped. There are two main types of grapples, the first being grapples that move either way whilst the other type only moves in a singular direction. The common grapple is managed by hydraulics that allows operators to angle and rotate the tool based on the targeted material’s size, shape and position. Companies such as Caterpillar have a range of grapples such as ‘Contractor Grapples’, ‘Demolition and Sorting Grapples’, ‘Forest Machine Grapples’, ‘Orange Peel Grapples’ and even ‘Trash Grapples’. Each one is unique in its own way and are designed specifically for the materials that they are intended to manage.
Rippers are critical to basically any type of project from the get-go. This attachment tool once fitted to an excavator will allow operators to break through had ground, frozen ground, rocky surfaces that standard excavator buckets will not be able to manage. The standard ripper is a forward -shaped pointed tool that enables the ‘ripping factor’ as the shape of this attachment coupled by the hydraulic force that it is driven by allows nothing to stand in its way. The ripper is also used for specific phases of demolition work and forestry work as the attachment is perfect for removing embedded stones, tree stumps and even deep root systems.
The next installment of this series will examine exclusive attachments that are specific to standard excavators followed by unique attachments intended for mini/ compact excavators which are gradually becoming more popular. Among the items that will be examined includes the Kubota KX040 Hydraulic 6 in 1 Blade, The Blue Diamond Plate Compactor and the Okada’s TOP 60B