View Full Version : New thumb

10-14-2008, 02:41 AM
Well my old man is going to bite the bullet and get a new thumb for the 303. The Cat thumb is average at best, it's practically worn out and absolutely needs extensions welded to the tines as they no longer touch the bucket lip due to lots of use in rock. I also think having 3 tines vs. 2 would assist in rock setting, it's nice to have a tine right in the middle of the bucket. I'm also not a fan of the open faced design, I'd prefer the closed top thumb like those on larger hoes.

He doesn't absolutely need progressive link, but I think if he's going to replace it, might as well do it right. I've run a fair amount of minis with direct link thumbs and most of them I can deal with when it comes to thumb travel. The thumb on the 303 now is below average in the rotation department.

He wants to keep the coupler, it's fine, but I'll get him a quote on a new 24" bucket to go with the thumb as the 24" he has right now is absolutely trashed. Cat makes horrible buckets, period. However, the buckets that don't get used the most, the 40" cleanup and 12" trench buckets are still in average shape relative to their use compared to the 24".

There's a little slop in the main bucket pin and the linkage pin on the stick, he wants that fixed while it's in the shop. Only makes sense to take care of that issue while installation of the thumb is taking place.

I will be getting quotes from HPF and Peck Weld here in WA as they are the only manufacturers that I've seen who build a progressive link thumb for minis. Probably won't consider Werk Brau or anyone we'd have to pay to ship to WA, I think HPF can provide what we need. However, given the discussion about Peck Weld, I will get a quote from them to see where they're at, but we'll most likely go with HPF. Minimax, would you please PM me the price you paid for the HPF link on your 35D? Just so I have something to go by when they give me a quote.

Will keep posted on the status of this project, old man wants this thumb installed within a month.

10-14-2008, 04:51 AM
Hey Scag, do you have pics of the mini?

Also, I am pretty sure I saw an PSM thumb on a volvo mini. But I could be mistaken. It was black with white lettering, like what CWS and PSM paint their larger thumbs. That's the only way that I could tell. It was from a distance and so I thought of PSM. I know for sure CWS doesn't make thumbs for minis. But I could be wrong and it could have been someone else's thumb.

Gravel Rat
10-14-2008, 07:14 PM
Deal locally in your state its easier and you can haul the machine to them and they can install everything that way you will get full warranty. They can probably custom build or modify parts for your dads needs.

10-14-2008, 09:15 PM
Scag48,So they is one more thumb maker the makes pro link thumbs for minis is weldco beals in Tacoma,WA.I like my HPF thumb on my mini-x but it was a pain in the ASS to work with HPF to built that thumb,I hauled a 35D down to them so they could measure for the thumb so no problem but they still did not get the thumb built right the thumb was 2" to long on the tip radius and too narrow on the teeth spacing.They also will not sell there thumbs with a geaseable bucket pin so they want you to drill your stick and coupler to put grease zerks in both to grease them and than you have 3 zerks in a bad spot to break off.I like the tines on the HPF thumb better then the peck weld thumb,but I think you could get peck weld to put a set of custom tine on a thumb.I know peck weld has built pro link thumbs for cat minis.PSM builds pro link thumbs for minis too.IF i had to buy a new thumb it would be a peck weld thumb.


10-15-2008, 01:22 AM
Coopers, I've seen CWS and PSM thumbs on minis, I know they exist. However, never seen a progressive link and that's what we're looking for.

Minimax, thanks for the info. I called HPF today and the guy was very informative. Quoted me $2900 for the the thumb, which includes absolutely everything to install, including the cylinder. I told the guy we had a Cat thumb on the machine already, not sure if the same cylinder could be used or not. Installation is $500.

Will be calling Peck Weld tomorrow to get a quote from them as well. Dad told me money wasn't an issue, then I told him the price HPF quoted and it sounds like he might back out. He had a pretty stellar year, he can afford to throw this thumb on there, but is having second thoughts about spending the money. I may end up completely rebuilding the Cat thumb from the ground up as I'm home for at least another month. I would like to add a tine and throw on some extenders for the 2 worn out tines.

10-15-2008, 04:31 AM
Scag, you're right. I don't know why I said CWS doesn't have thumbs for the mini. I am pretty sure PSM has pro link thumbs for minis. I'd give them a call just for last and check. $2900 isn't that bad IMO for a very useful piece of steel. Especially for pro link. I hold on to my money pretty good and I'd put $2900 down in a hurry for a pro link on a mini.

RockSet N' Grade
10-15-2008, 08:08 AM
Get which ever one fits your shoes, but be sure to get a progressive link. It is worth every bit of the money spent and you will wonder how you ever got along without it. Please post as to your conversation with Steve and the guys at Peck Weld. Even with "tight money" a pro-link is the one implement that will want to have.

10-15-2008, 11:05 AM
PSM had a pro link thumb for a mini at the con/agg show in las vegas.


Gravel Rat
10-15-2008, 06:47 PM
Tell your old man quit squeeling and buy the thumb. If the machine makes money fix it. Rebuilding or trying to fix the old thumb isn't worth it if its been cheaply constructed to start with.