To your kids, the above image may look like a character out of Monsters Inc. But, to you, it’s one of the most valuable attachments you can get for your excavator.
Whether you’re demolishing buildings, crushing concrete, cleaning up after storms, shifting logs, or all of the above (and more), it’s a safe bet your rock grab is going to have a rip-roaring life. While this versatility is awesome, it also presents you with a couple of complications:
- As with most useful things, there’s a huge range of rock grabs available, all at different price and quality points;
- It can be hard to distinguish one from the next and have any certainty the rock grab you choose will be able to stand up to the rugged work you’ve got in store for it.
To help unravel the situation, we spoke to Tian Zhang from Tiger Buckets & Attachments. Just as animals evolve to suit their changing environment, so has Tiger evolved to meet the changes in the manufacturing industry. Once known as ECH Sydney, the father-son team downsized—reducing their overheads in the process—and re-branded themselves as Tiger.
Based in Minto, southwest of Sydney, the family business designs, manufactures and sells all their buckets and attachments themselves, here in Australia.
“My old man used to work as an engineer for the biggest attachment manufacturer in New South Wales. So he got to study the best designs and then make them even better.”
Above all else, Tian says they value design quality and workmanship. With their shared engineering and manufacturing knowledge, the two work together to bring super heavy-duty attachments to the market.
The Tiger team designs and manufactures from their facility in Minto and can custom build grabs to suit any job. For customers, the most valuable element of the business is the fact that you get to deal directly with the owner. Tiger doesn’t bother with salesman which means you get to meet and question the owner, designer and manufacturer of the attachment you’re thinking of buying.
“We believe in our products. And we know everything there is to know about them as we’ve designed and built them ourselves.”
Having access to the designer, manufacturer and seller all-in-one is a rare experience. We took the opportunity to get their answers on the most important questions to ask when buying a rock grab.
What material is the rock grab made from?
A lot of the material you’ll be shifting with your rock grab will be heavy, rough and awkwardly shaped. All elements that can result in twisting, warping and general damage; if you don’t get an attachment robust enough for the job that is.
According to Tian, Tiger plans for their grabs to be used in extreme demolition. And they choose materials to suit. This means:
- hardened pivot pins;
- finger tines made from high-tensile steel with recessed brace plates;
- abrasion-resistant, Bisalloy performance steel wear-plates welded into the grab’s finger tines;
- easily replaceable finger tine tips.
Is there wear resistance on the fingers?
A robust grab attachment will always include hard steel wear-protection on the fingers. Tiger’s rock grabs feature Bisalloy steel wear-strips, both inside and outside of the grab. This provides premium wear resistance, meaning you get a lot more life out of your attachment.
Does the design add to strength and balance?
No matter how tough the materials, poor design, or a lack of geometrical balance, will severely affect the rock grab’s ability to grip objects and stand up to a rugged working environment.
Tian reckons design is where Tiger rock grabs shine most. Their unique, high-tensile, boxed construction adds to the robustness created by their material choice. Tian says their grabs are designed for the toughest demolition work. Each tine is able to take uneven distribution of weight and twisting forces, adding to the grab’s overall strength and ability to withstand full breakout forces.