With six decades of experience and hard-earned know-how, Bob Brooks is an expert in residential and commercial site preparation. He began operating equipment at just 14 years old and for the past 40 years he has owned his own business. He has customers throughout the Puget Sound and keeps his calendar full through strictly word-of-mouth promotions. Over the course of his 60-year career, he has utilized a wide variety of attachments — and nothing he has used compares to Parker’s Helac PowerGrip® Multi-Purpose Jaw Bucket in regards to productivity.
At current fuel prices, saving 1/2 gallon per hour adds up to more than $2,000 saved every 1,000 machine hours. Their transportation costs of moving machines between job sites have also decreased by shaving 12,000 pounds off of B and B Excavating’s payload.
Brooks is admittedly tough on his PowerGrip. The sites he clears in the lush Pacific Northwest climate are full of fast-growing evergreen trees, glacial till and more. B and B Excavating previously used cylinder-style jaw buckets and found that they were frequently damaging cylinder-rods and plates when working in rocky soil or digging out concrete foundations. Brooks also disliked the cylinder-style jaw bucket's wasted space in the bucket — with the mounting cross tube on the jaw frequently in his way. With PowerGrip, all the moving parts are fully-enclosed and there are no obstructions in the bucket shell.
While using a thumb combination he grew frustrated by the weight penalty at the end of the boom. B and B Excavating also suffered from inefficiencies like having to take the time to get the bucket under a stump and then pinning the stump with the thumb before working it out of the ground. When grabbing material with PowerGrip, Brooks could just drop down on the object with an open jaw, close the jaw and remove the object. ‘‘PowerGrip offers more control over picking and placing material than anything I have used," said Brooks.
Brooks also values PowerGrip’s ability to seamlessly switch between tasks on the job site. "The PowerGrip really impressed me with its versatility. One minute I am moving heavy boulders or taking down a tree — the very next minute I am grabbing and loading old brittle concrete without breaking it,” explained Brooks.
PowerGrip is equipped with a durable, enclosed rotary actuator hinge that's ideally suited for the toughest conditions. Parker’s Helac rotary actuator hinge technology offers 120 degrees of smooth jaw movement and constant clamping force. The jaw rotation is generated by the massive rotating pivot point between the jaw and back of bucket that’s designed with the Helac sliding-spline operating technology, which converts linear piston motion into powerful shaft rotation. The end caps, seals and bearings work in unison to keep debris and contaminants out of the inner workings of the actuator, prolonging life and reducing required maintenance. High strength, abrasion resistant steel is used throughout for added durability.
PowerGrip buckets are available for equipment between the 4-20 tons class, with bucket width ranges from 24 inches to 48 inches in the trenching and excavating profiles and 48 inches or 60 inches in ditching and grading profiles.
The PowerGrip really impressed me with its versatility. One minute I am moving heavy boulders or taking down a tree — the very next minute I am grabbing and loading old brittle concrete without breaking it,” according to Brooks. “I’ve used a lot of different hydraulic thumbs and cylinder-style jaw buckets in the past, but to me, nothing on the market compares to the versatility and productivity of the PowerGripl/Multi-Purpose Jaw Bucket.
-Bob Brooks, owner, B & B Excavating
Download the brochure for more information on PowerGrip.
This article was contributed by Jessica Howisey, marketing communications manager, Helac Business Unit, Cylinder Division