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Adding a thumb to your excavator and bucket or rake can boost your productivity and the versatility of your machine. Thumbs can help your excavator safely and securely grab and hold more material. And Caterpillar makes it easy to find the thumb that’s right for you.
Estimated read time: 2 minutes
Let’s take a look at the variety of Cat® thumbs for your excavator that may suit the needs of your worksite. There are two styles of thumbs: manual and hydraulic.
And whether manual or hydraulic, your thumbs are compatible with Cat Grade Control 2D/3D, Assist, Payload, E-fence, Lift Assist and Cat Payload Management. Cat Payload works with your thumb and bucket combination to give you on-the-go load weighing for achieving precise loads every time. 2D E-Fence prevents the excavator from moving outside of operator-defined set points. And that system works with your thumb and bucket combo.
Manual thumbs are static during use. The bucket curls into the thumb to handle material, and the thumb must be manually adjusted by the operator by moving a rigid, stiff link between the thumb and bracket. These do not require hydraulics, which make them a good choice for excavators with no auxiliary hydraulics systems.
Cat Stiff Link thumbs are manual thumbs, designed with two static working positions at 90 degrees and 105 degrees. Stiff Link thumbs have a closed face design to better hold fine materials, provide better retention of loose material, and prevent material from packing in the frame. The Stiff Link thumb is universally applicable to a cross range of buckets, making them easier to pair to buckets in a mixed fleet, with three tine configurations for multiple applications. They’re designed for ease of installation with a weld-on bracket and can be easily stored during travel by folding against the machine boom.
Hydraulic thumbs are controllable from the cab and move independently of the bucket. They require an auxiliary hydraulics system to function — a control group, boom lines and stick lines to connect to the thumb attachment. Caterpillar offers three durable types of hydraulic thumb: the Pro Plus, Pro and Utility options.
Available thumbs may vary based on your region. Contact your Cat dealer to see which thumb is right for your excavator. For more technical specifications, download the Cat thumb technical specifications.
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