When shopping for a tilting quick coupler for your current or future machine, nothing is more debated than which type to purchase: a Hydraulic Actuator tilting quick coupler (also known as a Motor) or a Hydraulic Cylinder tilting hitch (also known as a Ram).
Actuator style hitches are used for civil and road construction, while Cylinder style hitches are used for agriculture and forestry, according to tradition. However, as more operators and businesses use each design across a broader range of applications, these beliefs are being called into question. We'll go over the advantages and disadvantages of each tilt hitch type, as well as the factors to consider when purchasing a tilting quick coupler.
The most noticeable difference between a Cylinder tilt hitch and an Actuator tilt hitch is the maximum tilt ranges available. Because of their inherent design, cylinder tilt hitches can only tilt a total of 90 degrees or 45 degrees each way.
The Cylinder pushes the hitch base in a straight line, with a fixed pivot point in the center of the unit. To tilt the hitch base more than 45 degrees, the Cylinder would have to push the hitch base further than the hitch base could travel from a fixed pivot point. Tilting hitch designers all over the world have experimented with a variety of novel solutions to increase the tilt of a Cylinder style hitch without much success. This is largely due to the additional complexity that each of these systems required in order to achieve the desired additional motion.
In an Actuator tilting quick coupler, the Hydraulic Actuator serves as the pivot point and propelling force for the tilt motion; this allows the hitch to be tilted as far as the motor will allow or until something gets in the way. As most people are aware, the larger the excavator, the less tilt range is available; this is because larger excavators require as much drive and hold torque as possible; in order to achieve the required torque and more tilt, a longer Actuator would be required. The Actuators piston is responsible for the tilt motion and power output; length = tilt capability; piston area and tooth angle = torque power.
Price is a consideration.
Cylinder tilting hitches have a lower upfront cost by approximately 30 - 40% compared to their Actuator counterparts, which is what drives their popularity as a low upfront cost hitch with reduced tilt and increased width.
Actuator tilt hitches have proven to be a worthwhile investment for most earthmoving businesses, especially for multi-role contractors, due to their increased tilt and significantly reduced width. Over a period of 5-6 thousand hours, the additional cost of an Actuator powered tilt coupler is offset by the increased productivity gained as a result of the tilt coupler.