Q&A on Mini-Excavator Attachments with Daniele Paciotti, Europe, Middle East and Africa Product Line Director Attachments at Bobcat.
1. As the attachment revolution continues apace, what are some of the new innovations that have come to market in recent years in the excavator attachment space?
In recent years, Mini-Excavators (MEX) have developed into real Tool Carriers. This is thanks to the application of new technology and improved machine stability due to new designs and a better centre of gravity.
At Bobcat attachments, we are always working on new solutions to meet the needs of MEX customers. For example, we have recently put more focus on developing our Depth Check and laser system to support the operator in completing trenching works and to make jobs more efficient. As a result, Bobcat is proud to announce the addition of the updated Depth Check System to our portfolio. This system is a solution that uses three sensors placed strategically on the machine to accurately achieve or sustain the desired grade depth, working from the cab. The Depth Check system is fully integrated with the Bobcat panels and display, which offers simple operation and eliminates the need for an add-on Monitor inside the Cab. This simple, durable kit is wired in, so job conditions or the lack of a wireless signal never interfere with digging accuracy, and also remove the inconvenience of lag time with no batteries to replace. The Bobcat Depth Check System is also compatible with the laser receiver, so the operator can ‘bench’ on a laser signal to create slope, or to sustain a grade in multiple locations on a jobsite, which increases flexibility.
Bobcat is also offering new Flail Mower and Plate Compactor attachments for MEX.
The flail mower has a number of unique features on the market such as the 12 second drum stop after the power is switched off, no need to drain lines as this is integrated in the attachments, a self-levelling system for following the ground surface as a standard feature and the best balanced motor design in order to cut the grass while travelling.
The compaction plate attachment is a great tool to maximize compaction, even where workers cannot go with classic compaction plates, thanks to the great reach of the mini-excavator in all these conditions.
Bobcat will continue to bring to the market more attachment solutions to make the Mini-Excavator even more of a real Tool Carrier.
What are some of the market needs addressed by these attachments?
Compact Excavator customers want to work efficiently, with the same solutions as those on the bigger excavators and with easy to use solutions.
There have also been major advances in coupling technology. What are some of the developments you have seen in this space?
The coupling technology is not moving as fast as machine or attachment technology but is concentrated more and more on safety features, to make the jobsite safer and to avoid any kind of potential accident.
One development I see expanding in this area is in hydraulic quick solutions, to reduce spending time in connecting hoses every time you change the attachments and to avoid wasting time getting in and out of the cab.
Which attachments are seeing increased demand in the market at this stage and why?
The commodity attachments are always the most requested like buckets and couplers or Breakers, probably because the construction and demolition industry is growing thanks to government subsidies but we also see growth in Hydraulic Clamps, flail mowers and augers due to growth in cleaning and landscaping work.
What are some of the innovations we are likely to see in this area in the next few years?
Our Attachments team will follow the Market trends and will create solutions to meet these requirements. I’m sure the biggest innovations will come because of three fundamental things: automation, digitalization and recognition. At Bobcat we are working hard on our Long-Range plan to bring the easiest to use and more integrated solutions to the market. Our aim is to make life for the customer as easy and efficient as possible.