A mechanical excavator thumb is a tool that is mounted on the end of the stick of an excavator, or a backhoe and rotates in the opposite the direction of the bucket and is used for grabbing objects.
Having a thumb on an machine allows it to perform a larger variety of jobs by making the machine able to pick up larger rocks, logs, stumps, brush, construction debris, or even other tools such as a rake or a grade beam. Mechanical Excavator thumbs or clamps come in several different styles.
Types of thumbs
Prices for mechanical excavator thumbs vary a lot depending on type of thumb and machine. We have specs for almost all machines! Call for prices for your excavator!
* Manual thumbs:
The most basic design is a manual thumb that welds directly onto the face of the stick, above the bucket. This thumb is operated manually into fixed positions either by the operator getting off of the machine or by a helper on the ground.
* Mechanical Excavator Thumbs:
The next step up from the mechanical thumb is a stick mounted hydraulic thumb. These thumbs are a little more expensive and can be operated from the cab.
The installation of these mechanical excavator thumbs is a bit more involved but they are superior in their performance to the stick mounted thumbs and are well worth a little extra time to install them. Because these thumbs mount and rotate on the same pin as the bucket, the bucket and thumb rotate all the way through the range of motion together quite easily. This makes manipulating anything the machine is holding much easier.
For even more flexibility, a progressive link thumb may be be the best value. The progressive link thumb is also a pin mounted thumb but instead of the cylinder mounting directly to the thumb , the cylinder connects to a set of linkage that affords the progressive link more power, a greater range of motion (20 to 40 degrees more than a non-link), but also moves through its range of motion faster.
Progressive link thumbs cost about 15% to 25% more than the standard non-link mechanical excavator thumbs. For most applications a well engineered non-link thumb will work for very well for most operators, without spending the extra money for the link style thumb. However, if you really need to get the absolute most flexibility out of your excavator, a progressive link mechanical thumb is a great investment.