Miller UK launch their new and exciting range of GT Quick Couplers for excavators from one tonne right up to 50-tonne.

Miller UK invited HUB-4 along to their production facility in Northumberland to take a more detailed look at the new range of GTS & GTX Couplers. As the inventors of the world’s first ever fully automatic coupler, twin-lock and fully casted PowerLatch Miller UK has been setting the standard globally. With current annual sales of 13,000 couplers and 6,000 buckets Miller are set to take the market by storm with this new range of GT Quick Couplers offering for the first time a fully hydraulic quick coupler for excavators from one tonne right up to 50 tonne.

We caught up with Barry Robison, Marketing Manager and Stephen Brown, Operations Director who gave us a product demo and tour. Stephen started by explaining about the new GT range “This new GT range features our brand new GroundTouch system, an additional safety feature meaning that an operator can only initiate the attachment change process when the attachment is safely placed on the ground. This innovative GroundTouch pressure system prevents operators from misuse or accidentally releasing attachments, going above and beyond legislative requirements for ground worker safety.

We have had a lot of customer feedback of how happy they have been with this GroundTouch system as with current systems there tends to be a lot of complacency that can occur when changing the attachments and our new system standardises the procedure and ensures that the operator to go through a set series of procedures to change the attachment keeping things completely safe. ” The GT range feature the lightest, lowest profile, innovative fully cast body shell capable of withstanding all working environments and our simple effective design encompasses significantly fewer components than before, reducing service intervals and keeping repair and maintenance costs down. This in turn delivers increased productivity and working uptime for clients.

The GTS range is designed for excavators from 1-5 tonne operates via a sliding ram and has an ISO 13031 compliant plunger to the rear which gives you full ISO control. So even with a hydraulic failure the coupler is still fully locked on, making this an extremely safe system for operatives. The GTX is designed for machines from 6 tonne up to 50 tonne and has a clever pendulum based ISO locking system featuring a nitrogen filled pressurised cylinder – the same technology that is relied upon for aircraft landing gear, which again even with a hydraulic failure the coupler is still fully locked on.

The GT product line features heat-treated high-grade steel designed to guarantee its strength and help eliminate weak points to enhance durability in high stress operations. Its low-profile design delivers a shorter pin to point measurement which in turn delivers maximum breakout force for greater productivity and efficiency and offers the lowest pin to point offset in the market with up to 23% reduction in pin to point offset against existing ranges. Barry commented “Both the GTS and GTX have been through extensive and rigorous design testing at our new R&D facility.

We have designed multi-cycle testing on our own rigs for all the elements that make up the coupler, including the frame, the internals, cylinders, latches, and control switch. The frames are FEA and strain gauge tested, the cylinders are tested to the equivalent of 10 years use, with 15 changes per day, 365 days per year. The coupler is fatigue tested over a course of extreme digging loads for over 100,000 cycles before being signed off.

We have also been field testing the new products with clients for over 6mths and we are extremely happy with how they have performed.” Stephen told us about recent investments in their impressive bucket production facility “As you know we also manufacture and repair buckets here in the North East of England and we have invested substantially in the facility here adding a brand new machine shop, new LED lighting throughout, five robotic welding machines, a CNC rolling machine, CNC Press Break and additional plasma cutting machine. Manipulators have also been fitted to some workstations to give more capacity to the operators and free up crane use for less downtime.

Three of our new robots each have a 2 tonne capacity table and can weld anything up to a 20 tonne shell, our forth is a tandem fed robot allowing it to weld two items at the same time. We’ve invested around GBP1m in robots alone and in the first year using the robots we were able to produce 4,500 buckets. With the demand for our new couplers we also expect bucket production to rise.

With this in mind we carry a huge amount of stock in buckets and couplers and our aim for the UK market is for next day delivery for clients who order before 2pm. We also offer products painted to client’s specifications. Off-Highway Truck Body Repair
Whilst walking around the Miller HQ we couldn’t help but notice a CAT 785 dump truck body in for refurbishment.  Special Products & Repairs Manager Conor Thompson who heads up this division told us more “We are happy to offer all our UK clients this unique service of repair and have a dedicated team who implement this.

On the body you see here we are fitting a new tail, two new extended side boards for extra capacity, a full internal reline, half a canopy, canopy deflectors, main body deflectors, line bore, underside tail bolster and a full repaint. We are taking around 10 tonne of scrap steel off this one and replacing it with about 12 tonne of new steel to produce a fully upgraded and enhanced product, the process taking around 8 weeks in total. We have found this to be a very popular service for our client base and will extend this further over time.

For more information please visit www.millergroundbreaking.com

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