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Excavator hydraulic thumbs

Discussion in 'General Industry Questions' started by jjhdozing, Sep 6, 2017.

  1. jjhdozing

    jjhdozing Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2015
    Messages:
    32
    Location:
    Nebraska
    Hi all I'm looking at buying at Deere 290G excavator and want to add a pro link Hyd thumb. There is so many aftermarket brands out there just not sure which ones are best. I basically use it for picking up trees and grabbing concrete so I want it as thick and durable as possible. I have a 270c with a fleco hyd thumb now and like it but willing to see what else is out there. Any input would be very helpful. Thanks
     
  2. Mjrdude1

    Mjrdude1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2012
    Messages:
    168
    Location:
    Wichita, Ks
    Stay away from "Tag", we have several Tag buckets and thumbs and have had horrible luck with both. We use ours for mainly demo work so it is tough work. We have Deere and Esco thumbs and both have held up well.
     
  3. farmerlund

    farmerlund Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2014
    Messages:
    605
    Occupation:
    Farmer/ excavator
    Location:
    North Dakota
    I have a solesbee on my 210 Volvo, and do a lot of demo and trees. I have put over 3,000hrs on it and no problems. plus it has a nice shape to it. Good unit.
     
  4. xr4ticlone

    xr4ticlone Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2013
    Messages:
    113
    Occupation:
    Trusted Adviser to the Construction World
    Location:
    TEXAS
    Agree with TAG being cheap.
    Also had issues with Strickland as well.
    Werk Brau makes good stuff.

    You buying a new 290G? FTR...the G won't be what your C was...they're made in North Carolina now and quality has dropped substantially. Rule of thumb on excavators...buy machines made in Japan. I've yet to see a bad one. Everyone that tries to make them here sees a drop in quality.
     
    Pete F likes this.
  5. clintm

    clintm Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    Messages:
    974
    Occupation:
    trucking,concrete recycling,grading, demolition
    Location:
    charlotte nc
    craig attachments out if canada is the best aftermarket company that I have ever dealt with
     
  6. Pete F

    Pete F Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2017
    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Without dragging the thread off topic too much, what do you do on a machine like that where there's no provision for a thumb on it as standard? Do you weld ears to the dipper?

    I agree with the sentiments about Japanese machinery. I'm a very newcomer to this field and don't know much about it, but do have a pretty good understanding of general engineering. I have a Bobcat mini and have to say that the general engineering in it is pretty crap from what I've seen. I surprise and great shame as I expected better but was indeed warned before buying it.
     
  7. xr4ticlone

    xr4ticlone Well-Known Member

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    Occupation:
    Trusted Adviser to the Construction World
    Location:
    TEXAS
    Weld to the dipper...if you buy a thumb for that tractor then it should have measurements.

    I recommend a 'Main Pin Thumb' where the bottom part pins with the same pin as the bucket to the stick. That will be machine specific. It will also give you mounting measurements when you get the thumb for where to weld on to the stick. Keep in mind that you can jack up the stick or thumb if you're not careful...lots of force on both of the bucket and thumb.
     
    RangerJake72 and Pete F like this.
  8. stars&bars44

    stars&bars44 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Messages:
    124
    Occupation:
    Earthmoving
    Location:
    Trinity NC
    Go with a progressive link thumb. Its a night and day difference.
     
    Mother Deuce and xr4ticlone like this.
  9. Mother Deuce

    Mother Deuce Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
    Messages:
    1,280
    Location:
    New England
    Goes along way to protecting the cylinder from side load. The best thumbs I have ever used were progressive link. I like PSM out of Maltby WA... I know it's along way but worth the click
     
    Pete F likes this.
  10. Pete F

    Pete F Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2017
    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Thanks guys. I didn't know of progressive link thumbs so that information was very useful.

    I'll fabricate this thumb up myself (when I have time, groan, very busy right now) and will model up a progressive link version in CAD to see how it fits. I think it will likely be unnecessarily complicated for my current little machine and the work it does, but I will definitely file the concept away. The 324 is my first excavator so I'm still very much a noob, but it's been the gateway to a whole new world, and I think it will be difficult for me to be without at least a small excavator like this. The plan is to buy a much larger machine in a few years, and I'll certainly look at a progressive link thumb for that, as the work it will do will be quite different.
     
    Mother Deuce likes this.