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Versatile tools to attach to standard loaders and excavators.

For many years, excavators and backhoe loaders have been the workhorse of the construction industry. But in recent years they have become increasingly versatile tools, thanks to the development of new attachments that open up new duties for them. A growing number of these attachments are designed for foundations and ground engineering applications.

Munich's Bauma Fair, in April, will see the launch by Sandvik of a new range of Rammer hydraulic hammers speci cally designed to be used as an attachment for backhoe loaders.

Based on the S23 and S25 hammers, the new four-model BL range comprises two standard and two 'super-silenced' City models.

The S23 N BL and S23 N BL City have operating weights of 268kg and 322kg respectively and are suitable for carriers in the 3t to 6.5t operating class, says the Finnish manufacturer.

The larger S25 N BL and S25 N BL City weigh 390kg and 420kg respectively and are designed for 5t to 8.5t backhoes. Impact rates range from 400bpm to 2000bpm for the S23 series and from 600bpm to 1800bpm for the S25 models.

nother Finnish company, ExcaDrill, is using Bauma to launch a new range of drilling attachments for excavators as an alternative to traditional drilling rigs, primarily for quarrying and rock breaking.

'In addition to savings in investment, the method provides higher use rate and also improves the work cycle, since the boom of the excavator offers a wider drilling radius than a drilling rig, ' ExcaDrill says. An AutoDrill automatic control device means the excavator operator does not need any particular training for drilling, it adds.

There are four models in the ExcaDrill range - 22A, 32A, 38A and 45A. The smallest unit, the 22A, is designed for compact drilling operations on conned sites.

The hole diameter range is from 27mm to 38mm and can be mounted on excavators of 7t or larger.

The largest unit, the 45A, is designed for mounting on a 30t or larger excavator and can be used for production drilling, quarrying, anchoring, pile drilling and underground applications such as bolting.

Hole diameter ranges from 51mm to 127mm and with a rod changer it can drill to 29m.

Finland is at the front of the pack here because a third Finnish company offers an excavator attachment for soil mixing.

The ALLU PM Power Mix, made by Ideachip, couples with a mobile silo to convert a standard excavator into a mobile mixer unit. The mixing effectiveness is based on the horizontal positioning of the attachment's drums and the construction of the mixing elements. The drums move and mix material in three directions simultaneously.

First seen at the last Bauma in 2004, this year's fair premiers the new Mark II version, redesigned and upgraded. The Power Mix (PM) is available in three different sizes, depending on base machine and required reach. The ALLU PM 200 can be mounted on a 25t to 30t excavator and can process wet materials to a 1.8m depth. The PM 300 is for 27t to 40t excavators and can work to 3m while the PM 500 is for 29t to 40t excavators and is designed to reach 5m. However, Bauma 2007 will see a fourth model, the PM 600, for depths of 6m.

The PM attachment is accompanied by a feeding silo that delivers powders used for ground improvement. The Pressure Feeder (PF) uses compressed air to feed the binder beneath the ground, through mixing drums on the PM.

The unit is mounted on a tracked chassis and is remote-controlled allowing the unit to follow behind the lead excavator on to the site.

There are two models available: PF7 with one 7m 3 tank; and PF 7+7 with two 7m 3 tanks. The PF is controlled by the ALLU DAC Data Acquisition System, which also acts as a data logger. A built-in modem allows data to be accessed off site.

From Germany, ThyssenKrupp GfT Tiefbautechnik, which manufactures Müller hydraulic vibrators, now offers the MS-4/6/7 HFBS swivelling excavator mounted vibrator series.

A swivelling spring yoke allows piles to be handled from a variety of positions, minimizing machine movement. The vibrators quick mount on to all common excavator models with three hydraulic hose connections - two to the stick tilt section and one to the leakage oil line.

Manual rotation of the exciter block, mounted at the centre of gravity, allows the clamp to be placed directly on the pile, which can then be vibration-driven as soon as it is in an upright position. Centrifugal force is 380kN to 600kN, according to the specications. A locking device between the spring yoke and the exciter block is activated automatically while the vibrator is starting up. This is designed to give continued simple and comfortable operation with one lever function, says the manufacturer.

Also from Germany comes ABI's new GeoDrill, a low headroom kelly drilling attachment for excavators.

It has been designed to be compact and relatively light and manoeuvrable for sites with restricted space or access. The low working height together with the long reach of the attachment allows working within or beneath existing structures or power lines.

A four sections friction kelly bar with a usable 15m length is provided as standard. Auger drive torque options are 3500daNm, 4200daNm and 6000daNm.

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