Quick hitch mounts enable most mini excivators to use Valby grapple attachments. Grapple attachments allow compact excavators to be used for loading and material handling functions. This greatly expands the capabilities of the mini hydraulic excavator. The grapple will enable the user to move objects such as logs, rocks and refuse that do not fit well in a bucket attachment. The Valby grapples also enable the mini excavator to be used for such uses as demolition, feeding woodchippers and tub grinders. If your model is not listed, you can purchase a Valby Grapple and Rotator and equip your machine.
Retrofitting an Existing Mini Excavator
The grapple can be hooked to the bucket curl cylinder hydraulic outlets for opening and closing the grapple and to the thumb cylinder outlets for the rotation. Choose quick-hitch coupler that has a "heel" which rests on the boom. To make switches easier, the operator might choose to equip the excavator and the hoses to the grapple with hydraulic quick hitch couplers. To facilitate the hydraulic quick couplers, the hoses are equipped with ends that have 1/2" NPT thread.
Many compact excavators have an auxilary oil flow circuit for the thumb function.
One can divide the oil flow for the thumb circuit into two by installing a flow divider. That means that one can both rotate the grapple and open and close it from the same circuit. The bucket curl is left intact so the switch to and from the grapple is easier.
In this case, the operator has a switch in the cab which can send the oil either to the grapple or the rotator. The oil flow is then started by moving the hydraulic lever that engages the circuit. The control box in the cab is hooked to 12V DC and a electric wire runs to the flow divider which is mounted to the quick coupler frame. The wire has a detach socket and the oil hoses are ready to have hydraulic quick couplers installed.