"The quick-tach has become so popular for rental stores and independent dealers because you can have different sized buckets for each machine," Aldridge says. "With a quick coupler, you can use a variety of buckets on each machine."
Aldridge notes that quick couplers can also be fitted with adapter plates to allow the use of an even greater variety of attachments.
It's a matter of time
Changing an attachment on a compact excavator can take time and often, it's time a rental business does not have. If a customer comes in to rent a compact excavator with a hydraulic hammer, he or she does not want to wait a half hour or more while you take off the bucket and install the hammer.
"Rental houses can quickly adapt their compact excavators and attachment needs for the customer," says Connor at Bobcat. "With the X-Change mounting system, the rental house can change a bucket in a few minutes to accommodate the customer's needs. Without X-Change, a customer could wait as long as 30 minutes for the attachment switch.
According to Connor, the X-Change system allows attachments to be changed in as little as 10 minutes. This also bodes well for customers who rent a machine with one or more attachments to go.
"With the dramatic reduction in time to change attachments, it encourages the operator to use the correct attachment for a specific operation," says Connor. "It makes the decision much easier — to change the bucket in a matter of minutes and do the right job instead of trying to use a wrong-sized bucket for a specific application."
Bridging the gap
Unlike skid steers, which use a universal attachment mounting system, there is no such standardization with compact excavators. Aldridge at IHI predicts this might change, however.
"When Bobcat introduced skid steers and then its quick-tach system, they had a patent," he explains. "Everyone had to use a different quick coupler, but then the patent ran out and now everyone has [the same coupler]. It's only a matter of time in the excavator market. At some point in the future, we'll likely see a universal system for compact excavators."