ROSPA GOLD MEDAL AWARD WINNERS

Benefits Of A Quick Hitch On Small Excavators?

Quick hitches on small excavators have become increasingly popular throughout the construction industry. Why? Well, this is exactly what we are going to reveal throughout this resource. As you already know, excavators have several types of attachments to help the operator complete their specific task. Switching between these different attachments involves time, manual labour and additional onsite risks that be overcome with an excavator fitted with a quick hitch.

As there is an increasing number of construction projects built up throughout the UK due to the pandemic, businesses are looking at the smallest of ways to improve their workforce’s efficiency. Choosing a quick hitch on small excavators is just one way of speeding up the rate of production.

To some, a quick hitch on small excavators will seem completely alien, especially if you have been working in the industry for many years. Nevertheless, as we will share with you the benefits of a quick hitch, you will see the productivity levels starting to unfold before your eyes.

What is a quick hitch?

A quick hitch is a piece of equipment that is attached to the arm of an excavator, specifically designed to increase an operator’s productivity. This attachment allows users to switch between different equipment quickly and effortlessly. Using a quick hitch comes into its element when multiple different tasks are required of an excavator. This saves on the use of additional machinery and manual labour required to change the attachment.

In addition, there are several benefits of the use of a quick hitch on small excavators, which we will have a closer look into now.

Benefits of a quick hitch on small excavators

Cost to hire

First, some great news for those of you who hire your excavating equipment. These must-have attachments are ever more present in our industry at no additional cost. (Supplier dependant) Therefore, if you are not already hiring an excavator that is equipped with a quick hitch, it could be time to reevaluate your supplier’s equipment. If you can be more productive with the equipment you hire, you can also save money on your hire cost. Less time on hire equals less overall cost. If your project involves the use of multiple attachments, make it a priority to use an excavator fitted with a quick hitch.

Multipurpose

There are more benefits of a quick hitch, such as providing the missing link between small excavators and their attachments. Whether that is a breaker, land rake, wackers, forks or buckets, a quick hitch can attach them all quickly, safely, and correctly every time. Resulting in multiple financial benefits for your project, whether you hire your machinery or not.

Reduce the risk of injury

One of the biggest benefits that come with using a quick hitch on small excavators is the reduction of manual handling. Manual handling in the construction industry is one of the most strenuous tasks, which can lead to injury if not conducted correctly. Using a quick hitch allows you to remove the manual handling of changing attachments. Gone are the days of lifting or using two people to fit a different bucket. All attachments, besides the connection of their hydraulic hoses, can be completed from inside the excavator’s cabin. We will even show you how later in this resource. The reduction of the chance of injury results in more efficient completion times.

Improve performance

The effectiveness of your performance is what counts when it comes to projects. The faster and more accurate, whilst remaining safe at all times, will positively affect your performance. Using a quick hitch on small excavators improves your performance as an operator. Faster coupling and uncoupling times make for fast job completion. The way that you and your business perform has a direct impact on your reputation, leading to more or fewer referrals. The quick hitch is just one way you can guarantee a speed increase during one aspect of your project.  

Easy to use

Whether you are an experienced or novice operator, a quick hitch is very simple to use. If you are hiring a small excavator, be sure to be shown the correct and safe procedure to change attachments. Be that between buckets or breakers etc… Attachments can be completely secured without leaving the driving seat. Below is a tutorial on how to use a hydraulic quick hitch that is installed on our fleet of Kubota KX19-4’s.

How to use a quick hitch?

Use this process to help you use a quick hitch on most excavators that you can hire nationwide. Some excavator and hitch manufacturers may slightly differ; however, the process should be the same. Remember, if you are hiring a small excavator, then be sure to have your supplier run through the quick hitch system on that particular machine.

  1. To start, the machine must be running.
  2. Lower the left-hand armrest and engage the machine’s hydraulics to operate the boom and arm.
  3. Pick up the boom using the control levers.
  4. Crown the bucket right in upon itself using the right-hand joystick.
  5. Press the unlock switch of the quick hitch (see video)
  6. Emergency warning noise will come on and LED will change from green to orange.
  7. Once unlocked, pull the right-hand joystick to 9 o’clock, and hold it to release the latches. By doing so the warning light will then turn from orange to red.
  8. Uncrown the bucket and place it on the floor where you would like it to detach.  
  9. Pick up your next attachment and crown the bucket back on itself until the hitch levers lock.
  10. Then lock the quick hitch with the button in the cabin.
  11. Rotate the attachment outward and test the lock by wiggling the bucket back and forth.

With a successful connection, you can continue with your work. Failed test (attachment falls off, or an issue arises), unlock the hitch and start the process again.

Types of quick hitch you might find on hired excavators

The three types of hitches you will come across on hired excavators are as follows:

  • Manual Hitch
  • Semi-Automatic Systems
  • Automatic Systems

Let’s have a closer look at these hitches in more detail so we can understand what is required when wishing to change an attachment.

Manual Hitch

Manual Hitch

Manual hitches require the operator to change the attachment. This could require the hitch screw to be unwound to open or close the latch, or the use of a bar to open the spring-actuated latch. (Manufacturer dependant) This process can take a huge amount of time and requires the operator to enter and exit the cabin of the excavator many times to unhitch and relock the hitch. Manual hitches have come a long way since their first design, however, they do require still a large amount of manual labour to operate.

Semi-Automatic System

Like manual hitches, semi-automatic systems require operators still to exit the machine to release and fix the safety pin which secures the attachment. The retaining pin acts as another safety feature to the hitch to ensure safe security. The “safety bar” and it is not a load bearing part of the hitch, however, cannot be inserted unless the latch is in its fully closed position. Semi-automatic systems are quite popular and can reduce the amount of manual handling the operator may do over time.

Automatic Systems

Automatic hitchs

Automatic quick hitch systems can be completely controlled from the cabin of the excavator. No manual handling is required to change attachments. Operators may need to leave the cabin, only to attach hydraulic hoses if required for the use of the attachment. Automatic systems will provide operators with a warning to indicate that the latch is open. This could be a warning light and an audible alarm from inside the cabin. This system is by far the most efficient and productive of all available hitches on the market.

Where to hire a small excavator fitted with a quick hitch

WHC Hire Services offers a large fleet of excavators ranging from 1.5T-28T fitted with automatic quick hitches. Or specially tailored fleet brings together efficiency and productivity along with state-of-the-art technology to our entire excavator range. With millions of pounds of investment every year, we can supply our customers with the latest equipment fitted with the most productive attachments. For more information, see our full catalogue of excavators here. Or call 01684377977 to discuss your excavator requirements.