A new invention from a Quebec-based entrepreneur is allowing compact excavators to increase their material handling capacity.
Blade Buddy, created by Danny Karch, is a new attachment that mounts on a 5 to 6.5 ft. levelling blade of an excavator, without the use of auxiliary hydraulics.
“It’s going to allow the industry to do a lot more with a single machine,” Karch said.
“While operators were limited to the volume their bucket would carry in the hydraulic arm, now they can manipulate a lot more material. They don’t have to bring two machines to many of the jobsites.”
A “bucket on steriods”
Called a “skid steer bucket on steroids” by the company, the Blade Buddy has a centre-mounted cradle system that allows it to be lifted and displaced with a full load of material.
Equipped with twin position pins, the unit may transform from discharge to carry in a few seconds. This allows the contents to be scooped, dumped, spread or loaded.
“If they need to load material and put it in a truck, they would shift the pins to a carry position. Then, they lift the whole unit full of material and dump it where it’s needed,” Karch said.
The attachment is also equipped with load support brackets, which are removable mounted extensions positioned on both sides of the front of the unit.
The brackets allow the excavator to carry long objects, like logs or beams, according to Karch.
Easy to mount
Karsh notes an additional feature of the attachment is how easily it is mounted or dismounted from the machine.
“You use it when you need it. When you don’t need it, you simply lower your lever and back away, nobody has to get out of the machine,” he said.
“The only time the operator leaves the machine is to go from dump to carry position.”
The Blade Buddy is the first attachment created by Karch, who previously worked as a forestry environmental specialist.
The attachment was developed to reduce the number of required trips excavator operators made while moving material.
“They were going back and forth 20 times. I thought there must be a better way to do that,” Karch said.
He began working on the prototype a year ago and finished field testing in the spring. The product was launched in the North American market in August.
New uses for Blade Buddy
Initial field testing also discovered new uses for the Blade Buddy. With a 40-in. depth, the attachment allowed landscapers to move full pallets.
“A lot of landscapers were able to pick up pallets of stone or sod. They thought that was very practical,” Karch said. “Since it’s a new product on the market, the operators are getting used to how to manipulate it.”
The Blade Buddy, which is patent pending, is currently available in 60 in. and 72 in. lengths. A 38-in. model for micro excavators will be available in early 2018.