Agricultural farm and wheel loaders are mobile work machines where attachments are usually changed from the operator’s seat via a hydraulic lock between the coupling frame and the attachment. Attachments that have a hydraulic additional function require a hydraulic oil supply via the 3rd control circuit. For this purpose, the machine operator must leave his work station and manually or semi-automatically perform the coupling process. Fully automatic systems where the driver does not have to exit the vehicle already exist on the market. However, these usually have a complex design and are not of interest to end users on account of the price.
In light of this, Weidemann has decided to develop the fully automatic changing device for the third control circuit, called the ecs (Easy Coupler System). According to the manufacturer’s research, up to 75% of all attachments with an additional function are operated with just one third control circuit. That is why the development of the ecs deliberately focused on a simple, sturdy and cost-optimised design with the aim of allowing farmers extensive access to this application and of improving comfort and the level of safety while working.
According to statistics, most accidents are caused by entering and exiting farm and wheel loaders. With the ecs from Weidemann, this process is reduced by up to 10 times or more per day, thereby significantly reducing the risk of an accident. In freezing temperatures in particular, this development also avoids other accidents during the manual coupling process. The efficiency of the machine used in the daily workflow can also be increased with the ecs.
The technical implementation is simple and reliable: The hydraulic oil runs directly to the tool mount via an additional hydraulic branch in the area of the hydraulic couplings, which is positioned on the drawbar. The oil flows into the locking pin and automatically connects to the attachment via the “flat face hydraulic coupling”. The hydraulic oil is thus brought directly into one of the two locking bolts and fed to the unit via an axial bore. The connection to the oil circuits thus is made automatically, cleanly, in an environmentally friendly way and securely - even under pressure. The return occurs accordingly via the second locking bolt. The original hydraulic couplings on the drawbar of the machine remain in their place, so you always have the option of alternatively operating an attachment that does not yet have ecs.
When depositing the attachment, the locking bolts are retracted normally and the hydraulic connection is automatically disconnected. This offers another advantage regarding safety: an accidental breakaway of hydraulic hoses that it was forgotten to disconnect before depositing the attachment is ruled out, because no hoses are guided from the machine to the device. Clamping or kinking hoses when moving the attachment is also a thing of the past with the ecs.
Another advantage of the system is that the device can be changed out without losing almost any time. The loader downtime is reduced, productivity is increased and the driver can completely concentrate on his work, because changing between hydraulically-operated attachments now only takes as long as changing conventional attachments, such as earth buckets or pallet forks. The operating philosophy of the Easy Coupler System is also very simple and self-explanatory: no additional button or lever must be actuated to connect the hydraulic control circuit. The hydraulic system of the work machine automatically connects to the attachment when extending the locking bolt and is immediately ready for use. This is a very convenient and safe application, which makes it possible to carry out daily tool changes en passant and with pleasure. The laborious and ‘annoying’ coupling process of plug connections is eliminated, as is wiping off your oily hands.
The Easy Coupler System is optionally available in the Weidemann Hoftrac series 1140, 1160, 1160 eHoftrac, 1260, 1280 and 1380, as well as the best-selling telehandler T4512. In the first step, the following frequently used attachments are offered: Fork and grab, grab bucket and 4-in-1 bucket.