Another advantage is that a severe-duty bucket adds flexibility to the operator since it’s more of a multitasker than general-duty and heavy-duty buckets. A severe-duty bucket’s capacity may not be optimized to work in softer materials, but the overall versatility for all kinds of abrasive materials often makes it a cost-effective choice.
Wimmer International established its North American presence more than 20 years ago at its operations strategically located in Maine. From there, the company provides buckets and other attachments to the US and Canada through a dealer network.
Wimmer NA has been producing buckets with Hardox® wear plate for more than 10 years, mainly using Hardox® 450, which gives approximately 50% longer service life than a 400 HB AR material of the same thickness.
“Customers who watch their cost choose our excavator buckets and attachments. They understand the concept of buying quality. A product that performs better and lasts longer is less expensive in the long run. They will experience fewer breakdowns and get a product worth maintaining and rebuilding. It’s just a question of doing the math,” says Eric Clark, General Manager at Wimmer NA.
Wimmer NA is both a Hardox Wearparts center and a certified Hardox® In My Body member. This means that Wimmer NA is dedicated to using Hardox® in its products, and for good reason. As members of the Hardox® In My Body program, Wimmer’s customers are assured that their products with the sign of quality meet the highest standards. The quality program ensures that the product is optimized for long service life and high payload. The sign is a guarantee that it is a premium product made with Hardox® wear plate and manufactured according to SSAB’s design and material specifications. All approved applications have a unique ID number which is traceable and assures its origin.
Hardox® wear plate is an abrasion-resistant steel that can be welded to any type of weldable steel. It can be cut with oxy-fuel, plasma and laser. When heating is not desired, it can be cut cold by water jet, shearing, sawing or grinding. The uniform properties, close thickness tolerances and smooth surface ensure repeatable performance in free bending and roll-forming.
“The difference between Hardox® 450 and a traditional AR steel is not only the longer service life. Another important advantage is that Hardox® is workable. We can build a complete bucket out of Hardox®, and it doesn’t give us any production problems,” says Eric Clark.
Buckets are working hard on a wide range of machines – track excavators, wheel excavators, track loaders, wheel loaders, backhoe loaders and in dragline operations.
Naturally, all buckets are subjected to wear. Even if general-duty or heavy-duty buckets work with less abrasive materials, for example soil and clay, they will benefit from a harder abrasion-resistant steel. Service life will go up and maintenance costs go down. Compared to using a mild steel, the positive effects can be dramatic.
“In the US, we see a steadily growing number of customers asking for high-performing buckets and other attachments made with premium abrasion-resistant steel.” says Andreas Wimmer, CEO of Wimmer International. “They know that the harder the abrasive material, the greater the benefit. If they don’t move up in steel grades they will be left behind.
In Europe, Hardox® has been the steel of choice for quality manufacturers for at least 20 years. Customers know the difference and there is no market for buckets made of mild steel,” says Andreas Wimmer, CEO of Wimmer International.
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