The move by the tiltrotator manufacturer means the company will no longer offer the older, industry-standard S-type quick hitches in the sizes S45-S80, which date all the way back to the 1980s. The new QS quick hitches, which are backward-compatible with the Scandinavian ‘S’ geometry will still pick up attachments using this standard but crucially will connect hydraulic and electrical power automatically from an excavator to its tools and attachments using EC-Oil and, because of the intelligent nature of the hitch and control system, are counted among the world’s safest hitches.
“We’re constantly hearing tragic news about people injured or even killed due to unsafe quick hitches and incorrect operation. I think this is unacceptable, so I’ve taken the decision to switch entirely to our own safety hitch and locking system,” says Stig Engström, Engcon’s founder.
Engcon’s QS quick hitches and QSC locking system eliminates the potential of human error that can occur when attaching or detaching buckets and other tools and attachments. Because the bucket’s axles are independently detected by electronic sensors, swinging or half-connected buckets are not possible. Ground-pressure sensing further eliminates the possibility of operator error by requiring the attachment to be grounded before the hitch can be opened and it is also possible to disable the digger’s boom and slew functions when the hitch is in an unsafe state. As well as preventing operator error or misuse, the system also has boom-mounted audible and visible alarm to warn nearby operatives when attachments are being changed or the hitch is in an unsafe state.
“This is part of our safety initiative and zero-tolerance for swinging or dropped buckets. Q-Safe is one of the safest hitches in the world, and using it to replace the old, much less safe S-type hitches is a natural step for us,” says Stig Engström.
The growth in the use of hydraulic attachments on job sites has led the company to make its market-leading EC-Oil automatic hydraulic connection system a standard fitting on installations using the DC2 control system. This means that operators using the company’s tiltrotators on diggers from 6 tonnes upwards can change hydraulic tools without ever having to leave the cab again – making the jobsite even safer.
“Automatic quick hitches are now our standard, and thanks to their safety functions I can confidently declare we have the market’s safest, smartest quick hitch system,” says Stig Engström.
Engcon’s decision means nothing less than better safety and convenience. No modifications are necessary as the Q-Safe is suitable for all tools that use the ‘S-type’ system over 6 tonnes.