What is an Excavator Thumb?
An excavator thumb is an attachment that welds onto the dipper of your excavator arm. The thumb is then used in conjunction with your bucket to grip and hold loads in place while you operate your excavator.
For example, if you are moving logs with your excavator bucket, you can slip the bucket under the log and curl it in until the log presses against the thumb. This holds the log in place while you lift and and move it.
To drop the log, you uncurl the bucket so that the log is no longer resting against the thumb.
Disadvantages to Adding an Excavator Thumb
Thumbs can sometimes not provide any extra benefit when using your excavator bucket.
For example, when you are digging a trench with your excavator, the thumb is likely to be more or less just in the way and not adding any value. This problem may be worse when working in tight quarters.
For this reason, a quality excavator thumb will be built to be easily removable from its mounts.
Types of Excavator Thumb kits
When you are shopping for excavator thumbs, you will find that there are hydraulic and mechanical version available on the market.
Hydraulic excavator thumbs will include a hydraulic cylinder that attaches to the thumb and dipper arm through the thumb’s frame. The thumb can then be repositioned to different angles hydraulically.
A mechanical excavator thumb will be bolted or pinned into position through the thumbs frame. A high quality mechanical thumb will offer several different positions to mount the thumb on the frame.
The key disadvantage over the hydraulic thumb is that there are less position options, and the thumb must be manually moved.
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