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by Nick Drew  |  Sun 24 Mar 2013

G.A. Carlyon discover the joys of tiltrotator ownership

Just before Christmas last year, Stuart Carlyon treated himself to an early present when he bought himself an Engcon EC05B tiltrotator. The Digger Man Blog travelled down to St Ives, Cornwall to see how he is getting on with his latest acquisition.

G.A. Carlyon discover the joys of tiltrotator ownership
Having read on the old blog about my exploits with the tiltorator during my evaluation period of an EC15B model with the MJL Group last year, Stuart decided he wanted one for his Hitachi Zaxis 52U mini excavator, having clearly seen the benefits, and the edge it gives a business, over those who don’t yet run one. Stuart became the latest in a growing number of tiltrotator converts here in the UK, who have bitten the bullet and never looked back, despite some negativity from “old school” people who still see the units as nothing more than expensive toys. 003 Stuart opted for an EC05B model, with a full microprop 2 proportional control system for high precision control, and a Geith fully automatic quick hitch below. In an interesting move, Stuart also opted to retain his original hydraulic hitch on the machine, as he wanted to have the flexibility to remove the tiltrotator quickly and easily to facilitate the fitment of other attachments he runs. This arrangement does make the set up look unusually tall, but Stuart reports no problems in terms of digging power and weight issues. 017   Having opted for a unit without an Engcon integral finger grab, Stuart has just invested in a very useful selector grab unit, which he was using on the day of my visit, to separate traditional Cornish granite stone from a pile of assorted hardcore. Talking about his tiltrotator experience so far, Stuart said, “When I first started using the machine with the Engcon fitted, it must have looked like I was a beginner, and it took much head scratching to work out what  to do, and to make it do what I actually wanted it to!” Stuart had a play about with settings menu and eventually achieved the layout of controls that felt natural to him. 014 Stuart continued, “I have now done over 300 hours on the machine with the Engcon fitted, and have got a good flow going now but I’m no master at it yet”. Like so many of us who have actually spent time with a tiltrotator, Stuart has found many new ways to tackle jobs and finds this new found flexibility invaluable, talking about his new approach to work Stuart said, “I have found that rather than struggling to place type 1 stone to the edges of roads, I can now simply rotate the bucket and place the material right where I want it to be for the final trim, I can also use the tilt facility for forming the camber in the road whilst just sitting in one position. I can also get into tight corners far more easily without moving the base machine around and subsequently churning up the ground to gain a better position to work”. 011 On a conventional mini excavator, the operator would be constantly using the dozer blade to attain the correct angles for grading and trimming, or even when trenching on uneven ground, but with the tiltrotator fitted, Stuart says he hardly ever uses the dozer blade. Concluding his thoughts about the Engcon unit Stuart said, “ I love it and it certainly makes my life easier, also our customers are impressed by the things we can now do with the machine. My only regret is that we didn’t buy one earlier!” a fitting endorsement about tiltrotators in my opinion.

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