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3-Armed Gripper Grabs Wheels, Big Bales
That new-style wheel gripper we spotted at a show in Denmark last year (Vol. 36, No. 6) is now on the market in North America.
  The system uses 3 squeeze arms to grab and securely hold large wheels and then rotates them up to 50 degrees to match holes to bolts. A camera and remote monitor make mounting easy and quick.
  “You can pick a wheel up laying flat on the ground and lift it into vertical position,” says Flemming Lauridsen, Flema Products Ltd., the North American distributor. “The camera is mounted to show the entire wheel as you approach and then focuses through the hole in the center once you have picked it up. The operator’s field of view isn’t blocked by the large tire even if using a skid steer. As you approach the hub, the camera makes it easy to match up holes and bolts.”
  The Easy Gripper is available in standard and compact models, with the standard designed to work with extremely large mining and specialty equipment. The compact unit is farm friendly and can be mounted on front-end loaders, skid steers and telehandlers. It has standard quick attach brackets with a lift capacity of 2,200 lbs. and a gripping capacity of twice that. It can grab objects up to 85 in. in diameter and as small as 47 in. The 3 hydraulic arms are pressure sensitive, ensuring they can’t overload their preset squeezing pressure.
  “Each arm is operated by individual hydraulic cylinders, but they are linked mechanically, so if one cylinder fails, the other 2 will hold the failed one in place,” explains Lauridsen.
  The arms are steel pipes coated with a granite surface. If the surface gets worn away over time, individual pipes can be loosened. They can then be rotated 1/3 turn to provide a new gripping face.
  “The granite face gives excellent friction, gripping even when wet, icy or oily,” says Lauridsen.
  Tilting the compact unit to pick up a wheel or other object requires tilt capability on the loader mount. The Easy Gripper requires an auxiliary hydraulic circuit. Moving from gripping to rotating the arms in place for position requires a remote switch on the single circuit or a second circuit entirely.
  While the camera is fixed, the wireless monitor screen can be placed wherever needed for easy viewing.
  Different gripping arms are also available. They include telescoping ones as well as flat ones for limited space between wheels and fenders.
  The Easy Gripper has other applications beyond wheels. Lauridsen reports it can be used for any round object such as big round bales.
  The compact Easy Gripper has a list price of $20,600. Check out the video of the Easy Gripper at www.farmshow.com.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Flema Products Ltd., 324 Tilley Rd., Kelowna, B.C., Canada V4V 2K5 (ph 250 766-1080; www.flemaproducts.com).  

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2014 - Volume #38, Issue #1