What To Ask, Buying A Tiltrotator

Nov 17, 2022 | A&D News, Equipment Pro Tips, Home 2

Great! You have decided to add a Tiltrotator to your budget. You are about to realize the incredible savings and the reduced time spent on your projects. A&D Equipment encourages you to do your research! Regardless of the manufacturer you choose for your purchase, the most important thing is to ensure you buy the right product for your specific jobs.

10 Things To Consider
Before You Purchase

If you have lots of old buckets or tools that you want to switch between different excavators, it can be an advantage to use the same standard you previously used. It is important to analyse how often this is actually done. It may be less than you think.  Note, some standards affect rotor option.

Steelwrist Recommendation: If you can, choose a modern symmetrical quick coupler with a compact design. Remember, some old work tools can be fitted with a fairly inexpensive adapter.


On small excavators the weight of the tiltrotator is very important as it relates to the stability of the excavator and driver comfort. Choosing direct fit has an advantage of lower weight. Although the building height of a direct fit is somewhat higher than a standard top, the difference is relatively small.

Another consideration is if you have a job, or many jobs, that require the use of a hydraulic breaker. In this case, it is better to opt for the quick coupler – referred to as a sandwich solution. The quick coupler allows you to easily remove the tiltrotator when required.

Steelwrist Recommendation: A good rule of thumb, unless you are going to use a hydraulic breaker a lot, is to choose Direct Fit for machines under 13,200 lbs, and Quick Couplers with Tiltrotators for machines over 30,800 lbs.

Quick Coupler System

Direct Fit

A gripper can be an invaluable tool. It’s always with you, allowing you to quickly move things that are hard to move with a bucket. Different gripper brands may be better for certain types of work. For example, manhole covers and pipes. It’s important that the gripper you choose has a design that will suit your various jobs.

Steelwrist Recommendation: Choose the gripper for all machines over 30,000lbs, and especially on wheeled machines. If you want a gripper on a small excavator, choose a direct fit tiltrotator in order to save weight.

Many times, in an effort to get more oil flow and increase speed, the driver or service technician has set parameters at too high a pressure. The engine works in vain and only generates heat. Lower the oil flow and calibrate the start and finish motion, then both the driving experience and fuel consumption become more pleasant. Or, better yet, choose a system that can auto-calibrate itself!

Steelwrist Recommendation: Choose a control system that can auto-calibrate and is easy to use. Ideally, service and support should be easily given over the phone without a computer. If you have the need to run rotation/tilt and the grip function simultaneously, select a control system and joysticks that allow this.

Analysis shows that the most common cause of accidents is when the drive thinks the tool is locked and starts work. If you buy a new excavator, it is wise to choose a safe coupler . Different safety solutions function in different ways and perform differently on different excavators. Safety solutions based on sensors and control technology require certain types of control systems and often do not work on all types of equipment.

Steelwrist Recommendation: Simplest is best. Select the same safety solution for both the quick coupler and the tiltrotator.

Thefts of excavators have increased. Not only tools, diesel and power tools, but also of tiltrotators. While no system can prevent all theft, some can make it considerably more difficult and easier to retrieve stolen items. DATATAG is the world’s largest marking system for this type of equipment. Their method for DNA marking of equipment reduces the risk of theft by 80%, internationally. DATATAG has more than 4 million registered items and is searchable in 197 countries.

Steelwrist Recommendation: Mark both the excavator and tiltrotator with DATATAG to reduce the risk of theft. Check with your insurance company to see if they have benefits for anti-theft systems.

Wheel and track steering allow you to operate and move the machine without letting go of the joystick. There are several regulations that are defined in ISO standards, the most important regulation is ISO510. There are minimum requirements for both wheel and track steering, for example: a special activation key must exist for the activation of the alternative steering function.

Steelwrist Recommendation: Select wheel steering on your wheeled excavator – it’s an investment that pays for itself quickly. If you have a track machine, the choose track steering if you have the kind of jobs where you have to make many small moves.

Regular lubrication reduces wear and extends the life of equipment, including the tiltrotator. Sometimes the argument is that to not have central lubrication which forces the driver to leave the cab and inspect the work tools. Many drivers do this very well, but there are also many cases when it is not done properly and unnecessary wear and repairs are needed. With central lubrication, the tiltrotator is greased continuously during the work cycles.

Steelwrist Recommendation: If you have lubrication on your excavator, add it for the tiltroator. Choose a coupling that system that ensures you connect hydraulics, gear, and electronics at the same time.

When you buy a new tiltrotator in connection with the purchase of a new excavator, there are often package deals containing buckets, quick couplers, forks, connections, etc. Beside the savings you may realize, a package deals means you are buying from less suppliers and therefore all your support will be from one supplier.

Steelwrist Recommendation: Analyse your needs and ask the dealer if you can get a package deal.

It is important to compare the building height, tilt angle, weight and durability alongside the after sales support you might need.

• The building height of the tiltrotator and quick coupler vary between manufacturers. A lower building height means that you retain more of the breaking out force from the bucket cylinder.
• A higher tilt angel makes you more flexible to perform more operations without moving the excavator. A higher tilt angle also gets you better angles when using the gripper.
• Excess weight increases fuel consumption.

Steelwrist Recommendation: Choose a tiltrotator with a compact robust design and high tilt angle.

A&D Equipment, Inc. provides our articles as a general informational service only and on an ‘as is’ basis. We make no warranties, expressed or implied, concerning the accuracy or reliability of the materials provided.

A&D Equipment, Inc.


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