The Proquick Hydraulic Quick Coupler System, imported into this country by BPH attachments, makes fast work of changing excavator tools. Construction Plant News Editor, Lee Jones visits a Dorton Group demolition site to see it in action.
Pressure on build schedules is an occupational hazard for contractors and there are few sectors of our economy where time really does equal money to such an extent.
In the past one of the unfortunate consequences of the inevitable demands to get the job done quickly has been operators using a particular attachment for entirely the wrong application.
If it will take twenty minutes to change between a selector grab and a hammer, for instance, there might well be the temptation to cut corners, but with hydraulic coupler systems there’s quite simply no need.
The PRODEM Proquick hydraulic quick coupler, available exclusively through BPH Attachments, will allow operators to make those changes in as little as 15 seconds, and all from the safety of the cab.
In addition to the obvious time savings, the latter consideration has important safety considerations – the less time an operator spends away from the protection of his seat the better, whilst eliminating the need for human intervention in the changeover also removes the possibility of human error in their fitting.
This, of course, is the guiding principle of the hydraulic quick coupler concept, and a feature of all of the systems that you will presently find on the market, but this German designed and built product departs from some of its peers in a number of crucial regards.
Perhaps most significantly, this particular system offers the ability to pick up buckets without any adapters required to the attachment, as the operator on the Bridport demolition site where we witnessed the Proquick in action was ably demonstrating.
West Sussex-based Dorton Group is a regular customer of BPH and had already made light work of tearing down two buildings in Beckenham using the attachments, together with the same manufacturer’s quick coupler.
It was now the turn of a former Magistrates’ Court in Bridport, Dorset to feel the force and efficiency of these demolition tools, and it is perhaps a testament to the Proquick’s simplicity that the operator on the day was wholly unacquainted with the system prior to that morning.
The coupler can be fitted onto any existing quick hitch, so it doesn’t change the geometry of the machine, and end users can then pick up all existing attachments. Once attached, the makers claim that no other device can match the Proquick for performance.
Because the oil flow in the connecting elements of the system is optimised in the flow channel, a maximum of up to 830 litres per minute is achievable, which means the device works with excavators up to a mammoth 240 tons in size.
In addition, the integrity and cleanliness of any hydraulic system is vital to its operation. Only a relatively small amount of debris is enough to wear components, and ultimately impact on performance, but PRODEM has addressed the issue with its own patented solution.
Not only is the Proquick as fast as its name would suggest it is also secure, because a fully automatic protective cap on the carrier and on the attachment provides 100 per cent protection against dirt.
The covers open and close automatically and are only open at the moment of the attachment and quick coupler on the excavator opening. Moreover, the system requires no regulation and will couple under full working pressure.
The PRODEM range is, of course, about much more than just a hydraulic quick coupler. The PRB Series of hydraulic hammers, of which the PRB200 in evidence on the Dorset site is a part, are fully silenced for jobs where noise is an issue.
In addition, there are a number of features designed to increase power and durability. The Prodem Anti Blank Firing System prevents the tool from firing against itself, and the unnecessary wear to components this incurs, whilst a Pro-Speed Dual Speed Control allows blow frequency to be adjusted according to the material.
Vital routine maintenance is also facilitated by an Auto Greasing Kit which automatically dispenses lubricating paste.
The PRB 200 that was making light work of breaking through the concrete slab of this former public building is also fitted with a high pressure accumulator, as are all the hammers in the PRB series from 200 upwards.
This system eliminates pressure fluctuation, increasing the impact power available to the heat treated and high grade steel working tool.
The PSG1002-D heavy duty selector grab also pictured on these pages has a working weight of 1,170kg, whilst across the entire range of demolition sorting tools those weights range from 75kg right up to the 13,000kg PSG13000-D.
The perforated shells make for a lower operating weight, whilst a wide opening and what the manufacturer describes as phenomenal closing forces should enhance on site efficiency in material handling.
Equally, continuous 360° hydraulic rotation will assist with operator accuracy and, with all hoses positioned internally, there’s less chance of the driver snagging a hose, with the downtime this would inevitably entail.
BPH Attachments now has a nationwide dealer network for the PRODEM range, both for hire or sale, which also includes compactors, pulverisers, and shears.
The recent opening of a new depot in Coalville, Leicestershire increases the company’s coverage across the midlands and the north and the whole PRODEM range can be installed on-site by experienced field engineers.