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What are Mix and Match Quick Hitches?
If you work, or dabble, in the construction industry, you may have heard of the term 'mix and match quick hitch'. If you know anything about excavators and quick hitches then you may know that the pin dimensions of your excavator and quick hitch must be the same so that the hitch can securely attach to your dipper end. This is the same as your bucket pins having to be the correct pin dimensions for your dipper end to directly mount your buckets and attachments. Want to know more about quick hitches, click here.
On a standard quick hitch, the hook and latch on the bottom of your hitch will only pick up bucket and attachments with the same pin dimensions as your excavator dipper end. But 'mix and match' quick hitches have mount to your specific excavator with one set of pin dimensions and pick up pin dimensions of a different machine make and model. For example a Kubota KX027-4 fitted with a mix and match hitch could pick up the buckets and attachments of a Bobcat E35.
Disclaimer - Rhinox DO NOT sell mix and match quick hitches. This post is for educational purposes only.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a Mix and Match Quick Hitch?
The main advantage of using a mix and match hitch over a standard quick hitch style, like a manual quick hitch or hydraulic quick hitch, is the ability to use a wider range of buckets and attachments from different manufacturers. For example, your Takeuchi machine would also be able to pick up buckets and attachments made for Bobcat, Kubota, JCB etc. as long as they were made for the same size of machine. This is especially useful for operators who work on a site with multiple different machine brands who want to interchange between attachments, or for somebody who owns their own machine and wants to buy a variety of buckets and attachments, perhaps at an auction or something similar.
Pictured above: The Rhinox manual quick hitch
Time Saving -
Another advantage is applicable to all types of hitch, but a mix and match quick hitch dramatically speeds up the time it takes for you to change your buckets and attachments. Instead of having to manually drive pins in and out, you can simple use a lever or press a switch to hook and unhook your excavator attachments. This increases efficiency and decreases downtime so you can get your jobs completed faster!
Although the mix and match quick hitch is designed to pick up buckets and attachments for multiple different machine makes and model, not all attachments will be compatible with the hitch itself due to the different pick up systems. This means that it could potentially make finding suitable attachments for your machine more difficult and more expensive as not all bucket and attachment manufacturers make products suitable for a mix and match quick hitch.
A mix and match quick hitch can be considerably more expensive than other types of hitch, like a manual, autolock or hydraulic, as they are designed and manufactured with standardised interfaces so that they can be used with multiple machine make and model attachments. This may be a disadvantage to operators who have a tight budget or who only use a limited amount of buckets and attachments and wouldn't gain the full benefit of using a mix and match hitch.
If you want to know more about whether you should fit a quick hitch to your excavator, watch the video above.