What Is The Difference Between
Manual & Hydraulic Thumbs?
There are two different types of thumbs available: Manual & Hydraulic. A manual thumb is the more common, as well as less expensive option. The thumb is held in position using a pin & solid arm. The adjustment of the thumb to bucket angle is changed by unpinning the arm & allowing the arm to slide to the desired position, then being re-pinned. A hydraulic thumb requires the machine already be plumbed with auxiliary hydraulic lines & foot pedal or switch to control the thumb. A hydraulic cylinder allows for on the fly adjustment of the thumb's proximity to the bucket.
Our thumbs are built with universal fit design for a variety of brands including John Deere, Caterpillar, Komatsu, Kobelco, Volvo, Hyundai, JCB, Link Belt, Bobcat, Hitachi, Kubota & most others. They are manufactured to Heavy Duty Specs, Weld-On Ready & have Serrated Edges for better gripping. The proximity of the thumb is adjustable by moving the placement of the arm & pin. If the machine is being used to grab materials more often, the operator may choose to have the thumb angled closer in proximity to the bucket for less bucket swing. In the opposite situation where digging is more of a necessity than grabbing, the thumb can be pinned at a larger degree of angle away from the bucket, or even completely pinned against the stick or fully removed if it is not being required during certain dirt digging work.
There are a few things required when deciding which size of thumb will fit on your trackhoe or backhoe. Thumbs are sized by length of the tines, also known as fingers, & the bracket length. A good estimate of size is based on the weight of your machine, however the most accurate way to choose the correct size of thumb is by measuring your stick width, as well as the distance between the teeth of the bucket to the stick when sitting at a 90 degree angle.