Nearly every equipment operator has found themselves operating in muddy, mucky conditions whether working on ditches, drainage fields, ponds, or other waterlogged environments. Experienced operators know how these harsh conditions can cause wear and tear on their excavator's attachments, shortening the life of their equipment and resulting in costly downtime. For the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (Wisconsin DNR), PowerGrip is just the tool to overcome these job site obstacles. PowerGrip, a versatile, durable multi-purpose bucket with enclosed rotary actuator hinge technology, consistently delivers outstanding performance without suffering the downtime and maintenance issues experienced with cylinder-style buckets.
Bill Ryan, the operations team supervisor at the Wisconsin DNR, has witnessed the durability and reliability of PowerGrip in the field. His skilled team restores miles of fragile trout stream habitat in Wisconsin, which involves bringing back the natural features of the stream that is critical to trout viability such as riffles, pools, meanders, and woody debris. The habitat around the stream also must be restored often requiring difficult bank sloping and vegetation removal and replacement. Over a year ago, Wisconsin DNR replaced a cylinder-style jaw bucket on their CAT 320C with a PowerGrip to alleviate the service and maintenance issues they were previously having with the cylinder-style jaw bucket. They also found PowerGrip to be a safer solution as there are fewer external moving parts that they need to contend with, resulting in greater productivity.
"We replaced our cylinder-style jaw bucket with a PowerGrip and couldn’t be happier. Due to the enclosed actuator hinge mechanism, we haven’t had to do anything with it, except complete the tasks on hand. PowerGrip has proved to be safer, more reliable, and is extremely durable,”
Bill Ryan, operations team supervisor
The harsh conditions in and around the stream often wreak havoc on heavy equipment and attachments. PowerGrip is equipped with a durable, enclosed rotary actuator hinge that’s ideally suited for working in muddy, mucky conditions. With the rotary actuator hinge technology offering 120 degrees of jaw movement, there are no exposed cylinders and rods in the bucket shell or clam that can become polluted with debris, leading to attachment malfunctions. The rotating movement is generated by the massive rotating pivot point between the jaw and back of the bucket with Parker’s 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. In over a year, Wisconsin DNR hasn’t had to do any maintenance to PowerGrip, allowing them to get more work done in less time.
When dealing with the various obstacles inherent in restoring a trout stream, sloping a ditch, or building a retention pond, it is imperative to have an adaptable multi-purpose tool that can change jobs on the fly. PowerGrip has been engineered with the flexibility to function as a trenching, grading, or clamshell bucket and for gripping and loading. The inherent flexibility of our actuators allows the Wisconsin DNR to keep PowerGrip on their machine 80 to 85 percent of the time, year-round. PowerGrip’s versatility allows operators to accomplish a wide variety of tasks without having to change machines or attachments. When selecting the PowerGrip, the Wisconsin DNR went with the PG-08 product model that’s available for 20-ton machines. PowerGrip buckets are available in three sizes with bucket width ranges from 24 to 48 inches in the trenching profiles and 48 or 60 inches in ditching profiles.
Whether you are doing demolition work, road construction, pond building, site preparation, or restoring miles of trout stream; every second counts. Maximizing productivity can prove to be much more than an organizational objective towards profitability, in the case of restoring a frayed trout stream ecosystem - it can prove to be the difference between survival and extinction. PowerGrip increases the tasks a single machine can perform, reducing the number of dedicated-task machines needed on a job site. PowerGrip can do everything a thumb can do, and more. And it’s a ready-to-use, pin-on attachment that’s easier to install and operate. There’s no welding, fabrication, or in-field measurement needed to install or remove the attachment, saving you valuable time and money.
Learn more about PowerGrip and the wide range of models for excavators and backhoes up to 45,000 pounds by visiting www.parker.com/cylinder
This article was contributed by Jessica Howisey, marketing communications manager and Daniel Morgado, applications engineer, Helac Business Unit, Cylinder Division.