Most manufacturers offer in-cab, powered quick-attach mounting systems that allow you to switch attachments from the operator seat. “If you have to hook up hoses, you still have to get out of the machine. But for buckets, bale spears, pallet forks, landscape rakes and several other attachments, you can connect to your attachments from the seat by simply pushing a switch,” notes Foster.
The first in-cab quick-attachment systems came out about five years ago. “It is really gaining popularity,” says Foster. “I really can’t think of any drawbacks. At approximately $750, customers are finding a real value in this option.”
The powered quick-attachment systems decrease cycle time and reduce the amount of effort required. They also offer advantages in packing or heavy debris applications. “The powered quick attach would provide more force than rotating the levers manually,” says Foster.
Larry Brown Excavating frequently switches between buckets, augers, brooms and rollers. This excavation contractor has found that the powered quick-attach systems save a lot of time. “With the price of operators, you can’t have them out there pounding on the levers trying to get them freed up,” says Brown. “With attachments that have no hoses, you just pull up there, drop it off, pick up the new one and go on. When you change to the auger or the broom, yes, you have to attach hoses.” Yet, Brown adds there is still a time savings by using the quick attach.
However, not everyone is sold on the powered quick-attachment systems. Despite running a wide array of attachments that includes buckets, forks, a tree spade, an eight-way V-plow and a backhoe, NCD Developers doesn’t use a powered quick attach. “I prefer the manual quick attach on the skid-steer loaders,” says Fonseca. “That way I know somebody gets down and locks them down. I don’t have to worry about the attachment coming off.”
Whether you’re using a powered or a manual quick-attach system, you should verify that the attachment is properly connected. “The operator should always visually confirm the quick attachment pins or pawls are properly engaged into the attachment,” advises Foster.