Hillhead to provide the launch platform for Hill Engineering’s new 2-tonne TEFRA quick-coupler
Hill Engineering have been designing and manufacturing pioneering excavator attachments since 1994. Until now, the company’s award-winning TEFRA quick-couplers were designed to fit midi to heavy-line excavators ranging from 3 tonnes up to 120 tonnes. The company has recently introduced the new 2-tonne TEFRA coupler designed for excavators ranging from 1.4 tonnes up to 2.5 tonnes, depending on the dimensions of the excavator.
The new, fully automatic hydraulic 2-tonne mini-coupler is aimed at the ever-increasing mini-excavator market and is based on the original TEFRA, which, since its introduction in 2012, has transformed health and safety on construction sites around the world.
TEFRA’s dual safety features are said to be unique within the industry, and with only three moving parts, the device has been proven to reduce downtime extensively and make customers more productive in their operations.
The safety systems in the TEFRA eliminate one of the most dangerous aspects of handling attachments, which is the risk of attachments coming away completely. Hill Engineering solved this by using a positive locking system rather than a gravity locking system, making the crucial safety feature ‘active’ and not ‘passive’ in the way it works.
Hill Engineering’s engineering manager, Neal Loughran, explained the design process behind the new mini-coupler: ‘We decided to introduce this new coupler because of the number of requests we were receiving from customers – so its introduction was led by demand from the mini market.
‘Basically, the 2-tonne coupler has the same components as the larger couplers. We designed the 2-tonne coupler frame to work around the already proven 3-tonne cylinder. We now have a fully functional and working product that has been rigorously tested and is well accepted.
‘We have already sold a number of these hitches to machinery dealers in the UK, including D.A Forgie, the Kubota dealers based in Limavady and Lisburn, who bought the first one. JCB, Kubota, Takeuchi and Caterpillar have also ordered a number of the new TEFRA units for their mini-excavators, and we will have our 2-tonne coupler ready for the mass market by mid-summer.’
The dimensions of the new 2-tone coupler are: pin diameter: 30–35mm; pick-up centre range: 118–143mm; and bottom frame width: 99+2mm.
Hill Engineering’s sales and marketing manager, Oliver Phelan, commented: ‘We developed the new mini TEFRA as our customers were asking for a coupler that used the technology and quality of the larger couplers we manufacture, but would fit a mini-excavator – so its introduction really was based around market demand.’
‘We are extremely pleased with the design of the new 2-tonne TEFRA and customer feedback to date has been very positive. We are currently making variants of the coupler for Takeuchi, Kubota, JCB, Hitachi and Cat machines, and we plan to expand to other brands in the future.’
Other Hill Engineering products on display on stand W18 will include: the TEFRA Tilt, which is designed for customers who need the full functionality of a Tilt bucket but with the versatility of having the 180° tilt function on all of their attachments with a standard pin-grabbing system; the new ‘Thumb’; and the company’s bucket range, which includes the Titan HD (standard) and HDX (rock) buckets from 13 tonnes upwards.