Customer case

Wimmer builds stronger, lighter excavator buckets and attachments with Hardox® 450

August 03, 2021 6 min read

Case details

Product Hardox® 450
Country Austria
Company Wimmer International
Industry Raw material handling
Brand program Hardox® In My Body

Discover why 90% of this Austrian manufacturer’s products contain Hardox® 450, and get digging for higher load capacity and productivity.

Wimmer International develops and produces high-quality excavator buckets and other attachments for hydraulic excavators. The Austrian company has branches in the Czech Republic as well as in the USA and is specialized in earth moving, tunnelling, quarrying, demolition and recycling. Wimmer has been using Hardox® wear plate and SSAB steel for almost 30 years. The company today makes attachments for demolition and recycling, earthmoving, tunneling, and drilling technology.

Hardox® 450 the industry standard for quality in Austria

Wimmer International is always looking for ways to improve its operations and increase the quality of its excavator buckets and other attachments. SSAB’s high-strength steel has been a key part of this.

“We use Hardox® and SSAB steel in everything we do,” says Andreas Wimmer, CEO of Wimmer International. “Up to 90 percent of our products are made with Hardox® 450. There are other parts where we need more elasticity or other properties, and in these cases we use SSAB’s Strenx® or Hardox® HiTuf. In Austria, Hardox® 450 is becoming the industry standard. If you don’t use it, customers won’t consider it to be a quality product.”


Wimmer’s excavator buckets pumped up with Hardox® 450 can reduce the bucket weight by 10–15 percent.

“In Austria...if you don’t use Hardox® customers won’t consider it to be a quality product.”

Andreas Wimmer, CEO of Wimmer International


Pumping up excavator buckets with Hardox® boosts strength, cuts weight and increases capacity

Wimmer International uses Hardox® 450 both as a wear plate and a structural material. With its excavator digging buckets, for example, the company also uses Hardox® 450 to make the bottom plate.

“We pump up our products with as much Hardox® 450 as possible because this makes them lighter and last longer,” Andreas says. “If you use the material in a smart way, you can reduce the weight of a bucket between 10 and 15 percent. This helps our customers, because this means they can increase the bucket’s capacity.”


Excavator bucket in Hardox 450 from Wimmer International

Hardox® In My Body program gives Wimmer more muscle

The company has different products certified as Hardox® In My Body and uses Hardox® steel not only in buckets but anywhere it can provide an advantage. This includes system adapters, buckets, tongs, milling cutters, hydraulic hammers, grippers, and more.

A Hardox in My Body® logo on equipment or attachments verifies that the product was manufactured using Hardox® wear plate and not an imitation. It means that the company’s excavator buckets and other attachments have passed strict quality inspections and are approved by SSAB in terms of welding, design and manufacturing processes.


The birth of Hardox® 450 and a decades-long partnership

Wimmer was, in fact, one of the companies that first worked with SSAB to create Hardox® 450 in the early 1990s.

“When my father founded the company in 1984, he started by repairing excavator buckets,” Andreas says. “He wanted to find a stronger material for excavator buckets, to extend their lifetime, and that is when he came into contact with SSAB. He was one of the first to use Hardox® 400 for digging buckets, but even that was not enough for him.”

Around 1990, Alois Wimmer flew to Oxelösund, Sweden, to meet with SSAB and discuss how to create an even stronger steel. Working together, Wimmer and SSAB developed what would become Hardox® 450.

“At that time, it was called WHD450S,” Andreas says. “We had exclusive use of the steel for ten years, and now it is widely used in construction and excavator equipment. The funny thing is, if you buy Hardox® now it comes with the 450 signs on them, but ours still say WHD450S. Even though SSAB is a big company, they are very traditional in certain ways. They keep these traditions alive not because they need to, but because they remember these kinds of things.”


Leveraging SSAB’s expertise to produce innovative solutions – Wimmer’s new compact excavator

Wimmer’s Blue Badger, a compact excavator for the tunneling industry, uses hard and tough Hardox® 450 in its buckets to really pack a punch for its diminutive size. Despite a total weight of approximately 14 t, the Blue Badger compact excavator has high breakaway forces for driving.

And thanks to Hardox® wear plate, it delivers a high load capacity while providing maximum safety, precision, and wide-ranging uses in tunnel construction.

Wimmer International continues to share information and experiences with SSAB about its steel, and the company regularly sends engineers and welders to Sweden for training.

“We try to find good partners who are willing to listen and solve problems,” Andreas says. “SSAB is definitely such a partner for us. If our customers come to us with a problem, we try to find an innovative solution. SSAB helps us find a solution together. That’s how we are able to be successful.”


Level up with Hardox® In My Body

The Hardox® In My Body sign on equipment means that it is made in Hardox® wear steel and certified to the highest quality

Hardox® In My Body - the sign of quality

A sign of quality and trust for the best products in the market.

A digger loading into a truck body made in strong and tough Hardox® 450 steel

Hardox® 450

The most popular abrasion-resistant steel which also can perform as a structural steel.

The Hardox® Wear Calc tool, which calculates the right wear plate to use in heavy equipment and attachments

Hardox® WearCalc

WearCalc makes tough decisions about choosing the right wear plate easy.