Should I Fit A Quick Hitch To My Mini Digger?
- 04 Dec, 2017
Should I fit a Quick Hitch to my Mini Digger?
There are many reasons for and against using a Quick Hitch on your Mini Digger or Excavator. This article sums up some of the most prominent reasons why you may or may not want to.
Don't want to read? Watch the video below instead.
Injuries due to Heavy Lifting
Usually, people seem to think that there is no real need to fit a quick hitch to a mini digger or a mini excavator. This is simply because the buckets are generally not very big or heavy, and it is possible for the buckets to be man handled in to place. This however, is not advised! The 36” grading bucket for example is around 45kg! While that is a manageable, the HSE say that 30% of all injuries during manual handling happen at not much over 25kg!
Injury due to Pin Removal
A mini digger hitch is typically easier to attach a bucket, as it is usually on a hook and latch mechanism. This works by the front bucket pin being picked up by the machine using the hook, then the latch is levered open for the back bucket pin to drop into place. ( For more information, please see our user guide video located at the bottom of this page!). The other method of fitting a bucket or attachment to a mini excavator is by fitting the bucket directly to the dipper arm and bucket link. This is fine if you do not need to change your bucket regularly, however as things wear, the pins get harder and harder to slide in and out of the dipper arm – meaning the favourite assistance is of course, the hammer! Now the problem with this is, the first few times will be fine, however the more times you strike the bucket pin, the more likely the pin is to distort, meaning you have to hit the pin even harder – A vicious circle really! Not to mention that by this time the grease point is now damaged, so it can be no longer greased creating further wear issues along the way.
Another big advantage of having a quick hitch is that the dipper end of the machine is protected. By having a quick hitch fitted permanently on a machine, it means the bucket link and tipping links are kept secure and firm together. The pins that attach the quick hitch are kept in place all the time, there is no need to remove them, unless to service or replace the hitch. What can happen with direct mounted buckets is the pins work loose, this can go unnoticed till eventually it comes out one side, then the force of the bucket makes it twist on the dipper, bending the links and also damaging the bucket. This can be expensive, causing machine down time and in some cases, creating unnecessary aggravation over who is responsible to pay for the damage. In short the cost of a quick hitch will save time and money.
Bucket Change Speed
The other problem with using the direct mount method is of course the amount of time it takes to change a bucket! And operator can switch between buckets and attachments several times a day! From land rakes, to digging buckets and then over to a riddle bucket! This can be very time consuming if the operator has to pull his hammer out to knock 2 pins out, and then back in again to the next attachment! This is where the quick hitch really comes into its own! A bucket change can literally be reduced from minutes to seconds with the aid of the hitch! And you won’t have aching wrists from swinging a hammer about!
Reduction in Breakout Force
Now, of course with all of these pros, there are bound to be cons, right? Well, the only real cons we can think of regarding the quick hitch on a mini digger is that the breakout force is slightly reduced due to the extra length, the reach of the arm is extended, meaning the operator has to be more careful not to strike his machine while operating, and of course the price of the hitch!
Well, Rhinox have taken these cons as a challenge and have done their best to make these cons as minimal as possible! The Rhinox Quick Hitch is a low profile design, meaning that the breakout force is only reduced very slightly, and also, unless you have a very large attachment on the machine, you are less likely to catch the machine with the attachment.
Also, the hitches start at just £395, they are not going to break the bank either! – That includes pins to attach the hitch to the machine, the lever bar, spacer shims, and a user guide, safety instructions and CE declaration certificate, all together in a handy crate! We keep in stock the quick for most common machines up to 3t, and we have good after service back up with spares available from stock, should something happen to your quick hitch.
If you are still unsure what is best for your machine or project, please contact one of the knowledgeable sales team on 01430 259259 who will be happy to discuss the options with you and come up with the most cost effective solution for you.