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Goodbye SSL & Excavator, Hello Mecalac

StumpyWally

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Oct 21, 2011
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530
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Liv'in the Dream ---------------> in Ballston, NY
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PE Civil Eng'r, Computer Sys. Mgr., Retired
A few months ago I finally decided that I'm getting too old for the hassle of climbing in & out of my NH L220 SSL. So, I looked seriously at changing to an 860 Avant compact wheel loader, or a Volvo L20 compact wheel loader. Then, I discovered that my local Anderson Equipment dealer had taken on Mecalac, & they had 2 machnes in stock to look at, a 6 MCR & a 8 MCR (that's Mecalac Crawler Radial best I can figure). These were the combo excavator/crawler skid steer units that others have mentioned.

So, I spent some hrs looking at & operating both units. Unbelievable outstanding design & build!! I did more research, & zeroed in on a 9 MWR (Mecalac Wheeled Radial). I had to travel 2.5 hrs to another Anderson Equipment location to demo one, & I was sold. I'm convinced that I can do everything in terms of dirt work & snow removal with a 9 MWR that I do now with my SSL & NH EH-80 CS excavator, & do it faster & with less mess, & with just one machine to maintain. As a one-man operation, that's a huge advantage to me. See the typical sales brochure photo below.

The only down side is price...!!! But selling my SSL & excavator will help (see Selling my SSL & Excavator). I'm currently awaiting delivery of my own 9 MCR with the following features/options: wide flotation tires, one set of tire chains, block heater, auto-central lube system, Mecalac 90" skid steer bucket, Werk-Brau 24" Powergrip trench bucket w/ side cutters & Esco UltraLok P20P teeth, & Werk-Brau ripper. The unit comes std with the Mecalac CONNECT hydraulic quick coupler (which allows reverse bucket mounting!), & a 2nd aux hydraulic circuit to operate the Powergrip bucket.

Some other notable std features are: lock valves on ALL hydraulic circuits (5 boom/stick/bucket cylinders, blade cylinder, 2 rear stabilizer cylinders) that allow for unit to be lift/crane safe, side camera (in addition to opt. rear camera), switch that reverses steering for reverse travel, switch that reverses excavator controls for reverse bucket mounting, color coded screen for camera view & all control systems, & on & on....

So, stay tuned as I become the guinea-pig for Mecalac in my area...
 

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Tones

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Mar 15, 2009
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Ubique
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Ex land clearing contractor, part-time retired
Saw 1 of these just the other day on a truck all rigged up for railway work .
 

crane operator

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Mar 27, 2009
Messages
8,553
Location
sw missouri
How does this replace a skid loader for pushing snow? Are you pushing for other properties, or just your place? Will it road fast enough and spin around and turn tight enough, when clearing like a skid does?

The only places I've seen wheeled excavators used much, is the county road dept's, for going around and cleaning out ditches.

But I'm interested to see how it works for you.

What is your current business that uses the excavator and skid steer that you are replacing? Or were these machines just hobby use on your own property?

I could see if you were doing landscape work in tight areas (residential) the advantages of a single machine for everything.

Can you get forks for it also?
 
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materthegreater

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2012
Messages
796
Location
VT
A few months ago I finally decided that I'm getting too old for the hassle of climbing in & out of my NH L220 SSL. So, I looked seriously at changing to an 860 Avant compact wheel loader, or a Volvo L20 compact wheel loader. Then, I discovered that my local Anderson Equipment dealer had taken on Mecalac, & they had 2 machnes in stock to look at, a 6 MCR & a 8 MCR (that's Mecalac Crawler Radial best I can figure). These were the combo excavator/crawler skid steer units that others have mentioned.

So, I spent some hrs looking at & operating both units. Unbelievable outstanding design & build!! I did more research, & zeroed in on a 9 MWR (Mecalac Wheeled Radial). I had to travel 2.5 hrs to another Anderson Equipment location to demo one, & I was sold. I'm convinced that I can do everything in terms of dirt work & snow removal with a 9 MWR that I do now with my SSL & NH EH-80 CS excavator, & do it faster & with less mess, & with just one machine to maintain. As a one-man operation, that's a huge advantage to me. See the typical sales brochure photo below.

The only down side is price...!!! But selling my SSL & excavator will help (see Selling my SSL & Excavator). I'm currently awaiting delivery of my own 9 MCR with the following features/options: wide flotation tires, one set of tire chains, block heater, auto-central lube system, Mecalac 90" skid steer bucket, Werk-Brau 24" Powergrip trench bucket w/ side cutters & Esco UltraLok P20P teeth, & Werk-Brau ripper. The unit comes std with the Mecalac CONNECT hydraulic quick coupler (which allows reverse bucket mounting!), & a 2nd aux hydraulic circuit to operate the Powergrip bucket.

Some other notable std features are: lock valves on ALL hydraulic circuits (5 boom/stick/bucket cylinders, blade cylinder, 2 rear stabilizer cylinders) that allow for unit to be lift/crane safe, side camera (in addition to opt. rear camera), switch that reverses steering for reverse travel, switch that reverses excavator controls for reverse bucket mounting, color coded screen for camera view & all control systems, & on & on....

So, stay tuned as I become the guinea-pig for Mecalac in my area...

Did Anderson have a selection of attachments or did you have to order them? Post up some pics of your setup when it arrives.
 

skyking1

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2020
Messages
8,012
Location
washington
How does this replace a skid loader for pushing snow? Are you pushing for other properties, or just your place? Will it road fast enough and spin around and turn tight enough, when clearing like a skid does?

The only places I've seen wheeled excavators used much, is the county road dept's, for going around and cleaning out ditches.

But I'm interested to see how it works for you.

What is your current business that uses the excavator and skid steer that you are replacing? Or were these machines just hobby use on your own property?

I could see if you were doing landscape work in tight areas (residential) the advantages of a single machine for everything.

Can you get forks for it also?
The specs and video are pretty slick.Travel speeds to 20 Kmh.
The 9 ton he is getting will lift 6000 plus all over. It will out-do the 12 ton 120 I operate in many cases.


 
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StumpyWally

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Liv'in the Dream ---------------> in Ballston, NY
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PE Civil Eng'r, Computer Sys. Mgr., Retired
To answer your questions, I don't do a lot of work for hire....mainly a lot for myself & for my son.

Re snow plowing, it has a 90" wide skid steer bucket, so you slew a little to mimic an angled plow, adjust the bucket just above the ground, & drive. The bucket can be tilted up, & the bucket can be mounted in reverse-skid steer mode (with the back, flat bottom facing forward). No, it's not a perfect plow, but close enough. Also, with the ability to slew 360 degrees, & the machines std 4-wheel drive & 3 steering modes (2-wheel, 4-wheel, & crab), I don't see a problem with maneuverability. Even plowing with my SSL, in order to clean in front of garages, I have to back blade the snow far enough away so that I can turn around & get behind it to continue pushing away. That will actually be easier with the Mecalac. No, it can't spin turn like a SSL, but the inside turn radius is a surprising small 6 feet.

The one feature it doesn't have that might have been useful for plowing is a float function on the boom. But on unpaved driveways (like mine), I use that less & less as the winters get warmer & the ground doesn't freeze as much. Otherwise, I make a god-awful mess & have to rake half my driveway out of my yard in the Spring. So, I probably won't miss it. I might experiment with mounting wheels on the skid bucket to help with keeping it clear of unfrozen ground.

Also, speed is no problem. The unit is designed for road travel, & will go up to 24 mph. Try that with a SSL!!

Finally, Anderson did not have any attachments for it to look at, so I ordered the std 90" skid bucket from Mecalac. In order to replace the hydraulic thumb function on my existing excavator (which I just sold), I opted for a Powergrip bucket from Werk-Brau. Mecalac did offer a thumb, but the Powergrip bucket will be more useful: it hydraulically opens & clamps like a thumb, when open it has a BOCE like a grading bucket, weighs only 200 pounds more than a std non-opening trenching bucket (which is less than a thumb), & doesn't get in the way when I don't need a thumb (which is most of the time). The other similar bucket on the market is the Jawbone from AMI. But the AMI Jawbone is almost $17k vs the W-B Powergrip at about $14k. The price difference is mainly due to the material used...T-1 steel for W-B vs Hardox alloy for AMI. I've been very happy with my W-B attachments for my existing excavator, so I stuck with them & saved some $$.

But here is a question: Originally I intended to keep my existing W-B ripper & 4-ft ditching-grading bucket, cut the Klac attach plate off them, & weld on new Mecalac CONNECT attachment ears. Turns out I'm selling the ripper & grading bucket with my existing excavator. I will hold off on replacing the grading bucket, since I may not need it given the new Mecalac's skid bucket, but I will definitely need to replace the ripper for stump removal. The only minor complaint I've had with my W-B ripper for such work is that the about 2"-wide shank is just square cut & not sharpened to any edge or not serrated to aid in root cutting. Does anyone have any recommendations on better, sharper rippers for stump removal?? This is my last chance to do it right!!
 

materthegreater

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Messages
796
Location
VT
So did the base price of the MWR not include any attachments? When I've looked at new MCRs the price included a digging bucket and a loader bucket.

Was your grading bucket tilt style? While I find the skid/loader bucket to be very handy, tilt is a feature I really need for a lot of work that I do, so I will be looking for a tilt grading bucket for mine.

My MCR (used) came with a ripper, but also no serrations. I may try cutting some out of plate steel and welding them onto the shank.

The previous owner of my machine used it with a snowblower. The reach and maneuverability must have been impressive compared to a normal skid steer.
 
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StumpyWally

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Liv'in the Dream ---------------> in Ballston, NY
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No, the base price of the 9 MRW includes no attachments.

No, my grading bucket did not tilt. The Mecalac has a 4-piece boom, with the adjustable boom also being able to rotate about 15 degrees or so left or right. So, with this setup you can create a boom geometry that actually tilts the bucket to mimic a tilting bucket, just not as much. That's much better than no tilt, & I'm looking forward to trying it.

Before you even ask, the ultimate tilting bucket is a tilt-roter setup. Even if I could afford/justify one for my Mecalac, I don't like the current Mecalac implementation. They parterned with Rototilt, but they mount the unit by removing the hydraulic Mecalac CONNECT, then pin-on the Rototilt, then re-mount the CONNECT below the Rototilt. Fine, you say, but I think this is monumentally stupid on 2 counts: one, it encourages some idiot from trying to mount the 90" skid bucket below the tiltroter because he can, which will destroy the tiltroter, & two, it makes quickly removing the tiltroter to mount, say a ripper, a lengthy & messy process, instead of easy. They should leave the CONNECT where it is, use it to quickly mount the tiltroter, then provide a std S-style mounting for the tiltroter attachments.
 

StumpyWally

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Almost forgot...Re pallet forks. I have a great set of Bradco signature pallet forks that I've used on my tractor & SSL. And I designed & had made a SS quick attach for my existing excavator (SS quick attach on excavator).

So, I'm going to cut the Klac attach plate off my SS quick attach setup, & weld on a pair of Mecalac CONNECT ears. Then I can use my pallet forks on my Mecalac.

Mecalac does make a SS quick attach setup, but it is expensive & I have my own.
 

CM1995

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Alabama
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Running what I brung and taking what I win
Congrats on the purchase!

Ever since I saw the demo at Conex a few shows ago I was intrigued. Love to have one for backfilling curbs and final grading in a perfect world.

Our jobs are to far apart to road it and it’s a CDL load to haul it. So it doesn’t make sense for us.

It would be handier than a shirt pocket with a jib and set of forks.
 

Steve Frazier

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LaGrangeville, N.Y.
Interesting machine!!

Seems like it could be more efficient though if they put a push blade on both ends rather than the stabilizer. I've been in situations with the mini excavator where that would be handy. The hydraulics and mechanism are already there.

Please keep us posted once you start working with it. I'm interested to see how versatile it is!
 

materthegreater

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Jul 25, 2012
Messages
796
Location
VT
No, the base price of the 9 MRW includes no attachments.

No, my grading bucket did not tilt. The Mecalac has a 4-piece boom, with the adjustable boom also being able to rotate about 15 degrees or so left or right. So, with this setup you can create a boom geometry that actually tilts the bucket to mimic a tilting bucket, just not as much. That's much better than no tilt, & I'm looking forward to trying it.

Before you even ask, the ultimate tilting bucket is a tilt-roter setup. Even if I could afford/justify one for my Mecalac, I don't like the current Mecalac implementation. They parterned with Rototilt, but they mount the unit by removing the hydraulic Mecalac CONNECT, then pin-on the Rototilt, then re-mount the CONNECT below the Rototilt. Fine, you say, but I think this is monumentally stupid on 2 counts: one, it encourages some idiot from trying to mount the 90" skid bucket below the tiltroter because he can, which will destroy the tiltroter, & two, it makes quickly removing the tiltroter to mount, say a ripper, a lengthy & messy process, instead of easy. They should leave the CONNECT where it is, use it to quickly mount the tiltroter, then provide a std S-style mounting for the tiltroter attachments.

Seems a little ridiculous to sell a machine with no attachments! It would be like selling you a pickup truck with no tires.

I haven't had much luck getting any significant tilting action from the boom articulation. What little it does provide doesn't stay consistent as you move the boom through the motions (basically as the articulated section moves in relation to the turret, the bucket tilt changes also). So if you're just setting the angle and traveling it would probably work fine, but to sit in one place and try to grade, it isn't going to be practical.

You're actually not quite correct about the Mecalac tiltrotator. The Connect on the machine stays in place, and is used to pick up the tiltrotator just like any other attachment. The tiltrotator has another Connect which then can pick up attachments and provide tilt and rotation. Anytime you don't want the tiltrotator, it can simply be dropped and an attachment used normally with the machine's Connect.
This article shows it in a some detail, but not in much depth: https://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/the-digger-blog/view/mecalac-adds-tiltrotators

What's even more cool is the Connect Energy Link that integrates hydraulics and control circuits into the coupler. So theoretically the tiltrotator and/or any attachments with or without hydraulics could be connected and disconnected as needed all without the operator leaving the cab. Doesn't get any easier than that. Don't ask what the price tag is though!
 

StumpyWally

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MatherTheGreater....I stand corrected on the tiltrotator...I found that same link/video this am. Leaving the CONNECT in place & adding another one below the tiltrotator makes much more sense.

What I learned originally came from talking with Mecalac folks, & was even confirmed by the northeast regional sales rep!! They & he were clearly wrong...makes me wonder about lack of communication or understanding in the sales team at Mecalac. But that's certainly not unique to Mecalac....I find that confusion is all sales teams. If you can reach them, talk to the engineers or the service people if you really want to find out the facts.

And I share your excitement about the CONNECT Energy Link...I bet that whole setup is north of $40k!!!
 

materthegreater

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Jul 25, 2012
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796
Location
VT
I would be surprised if there have been any of the Mecalac tiltrotators shipped to North America. The dealer near me doesn't use them, instead they use Steelwrist rotators. I haven't seen one installed so I can't say anything about them.
 

digger doug

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Flying down the road, all steering & brakes controlled by a swizel stick, thru a rotary
coupling on the slewing ring.....Yup !
 

crane operator

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Mar 27, 2009
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sw missouri
Flying down the road, all steering & brakes controlled by a swizel stick, thru a rotary
coupling on the slewing ring.....Yup !
max speed is 12mph. Which would be awful slow if you were trying to push snow commercially.

And we road around a crane that's 80,000lbs, controlled through a swivel. It does make you wonder about your options when the shifter doesn't work right.

My plan has always been to put the outriggers down if it starts to run away, but you have to have a pretty cool head when things go wrong.

 

StumpyWally

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Liv'in the Dream ---------------> in Ballston, NY
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Correction again...I talked with the Mecalac Regional Sales Manager today, who further clarified some things with the tilt rotator:
- The Energy Link is NOT available, & the web content should have been deleted. It was something they were trying to perfect about 5 years ago. They gave up after deciding that they could not adequately keep dirt from fouling it up!! I'm not surprised!!

Also, the tilt rotator having a CONNECT above it & one below it only is available with Mecalac tilt rotator, where they have partnered with Rototilt. If you want any other tilt rotator (Engcon, Steelwrist, Lehnhoff, etc.), then the tilt rotator has to be pinned on the stick, unless you add Mecalac attachment ears or an attachment plate to the tilt rotator.
 
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