View Full Version : Mini Excavator Thumb

11-04-2007, 07:40 AM
Who builds the best hydraulic thumb for a mini excavator. I have a customer wanting one to fit a 50D and wondering what better options are available than the Deere thumb. I was looking at CP, but it looks like a Deere thumb. They may build them for Deere.

RockSet N' Grade
11-04-2007, 09:01 AM
JD, what kind of thumb does he want? Two or three pronged or a solid thumb with a thumb nail? Does he want standard linkage or a progressive link set up? I have looked at thumbs and manufacturers for the last 1 1/2 years and I think the way I am going to go when I replace mine is Peck Weld in Washington State. I think I found out about them from MiniMax.......and I think he has one of their set ups.

11-04-2007, 09:18 AM
JD, what kind of thumb does he want? Two or three pronged or a solid thumb with a thumb nail? Does he want standard linkage or a progressive link set up? I have looked at thumbs and manufacturers for the last 1 1/2 years and I think the way I am going to go when I replace mine is Peck Weld in Washington State. I think I found out about them from MiniMax.......and I think he has one of their set ups.
He just asked for a thumb. Deere's is a 2 prong, but is not very heavy built. I would like to explore options and make a recommendation to what I feel will best fit his needs. We kicked the snot out of a Kubota U45 hands down, with the exception of the back fill blade and price we were superior in all other categories with a 36" bucket. We had to put side by side and show them the price difference. Like I always say, demo, demo, demo. 50D really performed better than I even thought it would. Spec sheets were close demo was not. I do not want to go cheesy on the thumb.

11-04-2007, 09:53 AM
i would suggest werk brau[not sure of spelling]if they want a true thumb not a cover plate,Ive found these to be the best especially for rock work.

11-04-2007, 10:28 AM
Good question? What type of work is he going to be doing? Like Crab said if he's going to be working in conrete,rocks,or with brush, trees and etc.

More info please !:usflag:

RockSet N' Grade
11-04-2007, 10:38 AM
I have a werk-brau thumb on my machine and have liked it alot. It folds flat against the stick. It is about time to replace it. KSSS, I believe has the same set up. Mine is an older version with only 90 degree rotation. New standard thumbs are 123 degree. I like werk-brau's E-Z Grip thumb design for what I do. Werk-brau progressive link will give you 131 degree rotation. PSM series 2 Magnum progressive link will give you 162 degree rotation. CWS progressive link claims 180 degree rotation. HPF pro-link will give you 172 Degree rotation. Amulet makes a nice set up also. There is still Dymax and Central Fabricators to look at. I have looked at all of these and more, talked to their sales reps/engineers, have spec sheets and drawings in front of me as I speak and will still choose Peck Weld in Tacoma Washington. I have talked with Steve Peck (owner), his left hand man, Don, their engineer and these guys can give you what you need/want and then some for a better $$ than what I have seen from the others.

RockSet N' Grade
11-04-2007, 10:44 AM
As far as stock Deere thumbs go........they are notorious for being crap and bending. Almost everyone I have spoke to prefers to not get a Deere thumb and get something else.......anything else.....but their stock product. I set rock and for me werk brau's e-z grip thumb with thumb nail design
allows me more versitility in what I do, so I will stick with that design instead of the "prongers" that are coming out on thumbs.

11-04-2007, 03:12 PM
I like the Werk Brau easy grip thumb. The one I just put on my TK has 128 degrees of rotation in a direct link thumb. The best thing is it folds flat and does not extend beyond the width of the stick and it costs less than half what a progressive link does. I wanted a Prog link but I could not justify the money. JD if your looking at the WB line perhaps you may also want to look at their mech. coupler. It is an excellent coupler. The JD coupler is anything but quick. I wont argue that it is secure but who has time to unscrew the wedge coupler?

11-04-2007, 05:41 PM
He will mostly be working with brush and general lifting. No rocks.

11-04-2007, 06:11 PM
CWS hands down, we've got a bunch of excavators here with anything CWS on it and their thumbs are top notch.

11-04-2007, 10:18 PM
I have a HPF pro link thumb on my deere 35d and love it.I like HPF' thumb the best, but HPF can be a pain to work with but there thumbs hold up well.
Weldco-Beales makes deere's thumbs,buckets and QC,but they also make a extra heavy duty thumb that uses the same hyd.cylinder that the deere thumb has,and they make a really nice pro link thumb for the deere 50 size minis.Peck weld in Tacoma WA makes nice thumbs to in pro link and non link types.Here are some pics of a HPF pro link thumb on a 35d deere and a pro link Weldco-Beales thumb on a deere 50c.CWS make good thumbs too but they are not a good on the mini thumbs.


11-04-2007, 10:24 PM
WBM is another one up here that is highly recommended. WBM, Destec, Accurate, CWS are all within 30 minutes of my 'hood and they are all within 15 minutes of each other.

11-05-2007, 01:32 AM
PSM is also very reputable, around here all "Cat" branded thumbs are actually HPF thumbs with a Cat logo plate welded to them, at least all the machines they have on the lot are that way. Obviously you can order a machine without anything attached to the stick, but PSM thumbs are super good, most guys run the series II link thumbs around Here. I had no complaints, the thumb we had on our 312 would rotate all the way out to meet the bucket on a full roll out, fairly impressive.

I don't believe PSM makes a link thumb for minis though, but as you can see, HPF does. HPF and PSM are both wtihin 20 minutes of from where I'm at now. I actually had a lawn customer back home in Chelan who had a place right next door to the summer home of the guy who owns PSM, small world.

Gravel Rat
11-05-2007, 04:04 AM
Usually the best way is buy from a manufacturer that will build you the quick connect the thumb and the buckets. It is the way 90% of the excavators are done around my area. Not many people buy OEM buckets and the dealers don't sell OEM buckets they send the machine off to CWS or Accurate etc have the QC mounted and the thumb mounted.

Thumbs for mini excavators are a sort of new item now that mini excavators are getting more popular. I think your only choice for a thumb on a mini will be a direct mount. I never tried a link thumb they are not very common to not used a direct mount is the most common.

What ever you do is don't buy a cheap thumb its not worth it. I hate running excavators without a thumb. Once you get used to having it running a excavator without is frustrating.

11-06-2007, 01:57 PM
Wow HPF looks good but very expensive.

Gravel Rat
11-06-2007, 02:43 PM
I would probably go with the Weldco Beales set up its a better design but when you look at HPF website they show the better set up quick connect and thumb combination. Either one will probably do what ever you need to do. As for cost you think of it this way a excavator without a thumb is usless. The thumb saves time it also allows you to do other jobs. A mechanical thumb is better than nothing thats the cheapest thumb you can get.

11-06-2007, 05:26 PM
A good hydraulic thumb will cost $8-10,000 or so for a 120. The thumb and cylinder itself is probably around $5-6K and the installation is right around $3-4K with all included hardware, joystick(s), etc.. Around here, if you don't have a hydraulic thumb, progressive link or not, you're not getting the most out of your excavator in the 8 to 30 ton weight classes. It doesn't take long for that $10K investment to pay for itself 10 times over. Even for a mini, a thumb is a few thousand. We paid $2K for the thumb on our 303CR, but we spent another $2K getting the the auxiliary hydraulic control moved from the floor pedal to the right hand joystick, where it should be. The C series minis have this standard now.

RockSet N' Grade
11-06-2007, 10:03 PM
JD......for me, a thumb is probably the most versatile "attachment" I could add to an excavator. Having a good thumb is and has been indispensable and opens so many doors. I would encourage you to at least talk to www.peckweld.com. They specialize in mini's and I think you could narrow the field down after talking to them.........they are awesome when it comes to sharing information. Not a sales pitch, but it has been hard for me to find people who openly share info.

11-06-2007, 10:05 PM
The most important part of the thumb is the "saw toothing", that helps grip the slippery stuff better.

RockSet N' Grade
11-06-2007, 10:23 PM
I currently have a werk-brau thumb and I weld hard-facing beads on the smooth surface to help with the grip.