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Goodbye SSL & Excavator, Hello Mecalac

materthegreater

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2012
Messages
796
Location
VT
I did a culvert replacement with mine yesterday. Did all the work from one lane of the road. I was pleased with how much better it worked out than using my Bobcat would have been. It is very convenient to be able to pull the boom back in tight for swinging in close quarters. Travel speed is also awesome. It also has some other nice features that my 15 year old Bobcat doesn't have (but other newer machines probably do): auto idle down when you lift the safety lever, idle down/up button on left joystick. Rubber tracks are nice for street work, we'll see how I like them for other things. I really need to get a tilting ditching bucket for it.
 

Welder Dave

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2014
Messages
13,225
Location
Canada
If you could drill a couple holes in the ripper shank you could make a bolt on serrated edge for roots. Welding could work too but might be in the way for other ripping jobs.
 

StumpyWally

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2011
Messages
530
Location
Liv'in the Dream ---------------> in Ballston, NY
Occupation
PE Civil Eng'r, Computer Sys. Mgr., Retired
I've had my Mecalac 9MWR for about 3 wks now & I've put 20+ hrs on it. My son & I have done some work with it that we simply could NOT have done with my previous conventional tracked excavator...not the least of which is some trench & pier digging with the bucket inverted in some rock-hard clay!!

Our initial impression was "there are a lot of switches!!" But at this point we've used & understand all of them, & thank God for most of them!! For me, the biggest change was travelling & stability. A tracked ex is much more stable, both fore & aft & to the side, without doing anything special, other than putting the blade down. In this machine, there is a blade, & rear outriggers, & an oscillating front axle that should be locked for all work, especially to the side. Locking oscillation is easy (via a joystick button or by locking the foot brake), but you have to remember to do it!!

Then there is the left-right invert switch, which corrects for left & right when driving backwards. And of course a steering wheel instead of levers for left & right, & a button on the joystick which selects the motion of forward or back (like on a loader). But when you're used to just 2 levers, that's a lot of motions!!

The hydraulics are extremely smooth & precise compared to my previous conventional excavator, & that was in excellent shape & considered very tight. But now I realize that was sloppy compared to this machine.

Two features we have not used yet are the offset boom, & the Mecalac boom mode. The offset boom is easy to understand, & is operated by a proportional control on the left joystick. The boom mode is controlled by a switch. In excavator boom mode (which we have used exclusively), the adjustable boom cylinder & the dipperstick cylinder are linked via some algorithm that lets them operate together but at different rates depending on the instantaneous boom geometry to be effective. They operate via the crowd joystick.

In Mecalac boom mode, the 2 cylinders are unlinked & are operated separately. One via the crowd joystick, the other via foot peddle. There is a button on the left joystick which selects which cylinder is operated by the foot peddle, The other one reverts to the joystick. I believe there is a colored indication on the control screen of the cylinder operated by foot peddle. You can appreciate that such control allows some weird...& maybe some effective boom geometry, but we need to try it and practice it....a lot!!

I got my Mecalac with a Werk-Brau 24-in wide PowerGrip bucket, to help make up for not having a thumb. I've found that you can't pick up as much with the bucket as you can with a thumb (no surprise there), but you can be fairly precise. We reduced the aux flow rate to the bucket (selectable thru the Mecalac on-screen tool menu) to slow the opening & closing of the bucket. We've found the bucket is very useful in opening to provide a smooth edge for ditch cleanout. It's also handy for controlled backfilling by opening the bucket.

When you invert the bucket (& we have) the aux hydraulic lines hook to the opposite side supply (so the hoses are not crossed), but the flow is reversed to match via a setting in the Mecalac on-screen tool menu when you activate the invert bucket switch. The only problem we've had is residual pressure in the bucket hydraulics makes connecting the hydraulic lines hard. Releasing the pressure in the Mecalac aux hydraulics is easy, & the other trick was to open the bucket just a bit before unhooking the lines. But it can still be tough to connect them. So, we've resorted to assembling a slide-clamp connector tool like the one advertised on the XBOOM website.

The only other issue with the PowerGrip bucket is that it is heavy....about 800 pounds, or at least 200 pounds more than a normal bucket. But probably still less than a thumb, & I'm not sorry I got it.

I'm trying to post some photos of the work, but they all fail!!! What's going on?? Whoops...just got it to work.
 

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materthegreater

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2012
Messages
796
Location
VT
When they updated the security of the site, I couldn't upload pictures that I had taken with my phone camera. Now I have to "edit" them (I don't actually change anything, just use the edit function of the photos app to resave the pictures) before it will allow me to upload.
 

materthegreater

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2012
Messages
796
Location
VT
Congrats on the new machine by the way! Sounds like you are enjoying the additional capabilities. Does it have loader mode? I've only been in a MWR once and it was 5 years ago so I don't remember. I really like having the loader bucket option. Really saves a lot of time for me.
 

StumpyWally

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2011
Messages
530
Location
Liv'in the Dream ---------------> in Ballston, NY
Occupation
PE Civil Eng'r, Computer Sys. Mgr., Retired
Congrats on the new machine by the way! Sounds like you are enjoying the additional capabilities. Does it have loader mode? I've only been in a MWR once and it was 5 years ago so I don't remember. I really like having the loader bucket option. Really saves a lot of time for me.
No, no loader mode, just Parking Mode, Working Mode, & Road Mode. Use Working Mode almost all the time...just connect the 90" wide skid bucket, normal or inverted, & use it. It is not designed to contact the blade, & doesn't have the blade bumpers on the back like your MCR, but it pushes & loads by either driving forward or just use the boom functions. I don't know why no blade bumpers, but I think it's because the wheeled MWR doesn't have the tractive force that your MCR has. But that wide bucket works great for backfilling & cleanup.
 

StumpyWally

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2011
Messages
530
Location
Liv'in the Dream ---------------> in Ballston, NY
Occupation
PE Civil Eng'r, Computer Sys. Mgr., Retired
When they updated the security of the site, I couldn't upload pictures that I had taken with my phone camera. Now I have to "edit" them (I don't actually change anything, just use the edit function of the photos app to resave the pictures) before it will allow me to upload.
I just tried your suggestion, of opening each photo, then saving it with a slightly different name, & they all uploaded fine!! But it makes NO sense!! I hope Steve or someone can fix this anomaly soon....
 
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