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B-Series Orange-Peel Grapples Deliver Low-Cost Production

Fri July 17, 2009 - National Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

Major design features for the new Cat B-Series orange-peel grapples — GSH15B, GSH20B and GSH22B — include heavy-duty construction, 360-degree rotation, high clamping forces and time-saving maintenance innovations — all aimed at delivering the productivity, durability and low-cost operation expected from Cat work tools used in the scrap and recycling industries. The new four-tine B-Series line, which replaces the company’s current models, provides a range of capacities and fits a broad spectrum of Cat excavator models, both material handler (MH) versions and standard machines.

The new grapples effectively handle a variety of materials, from shredded scrap, long structural beams and car bodies in scrap-metal operations, to assorted waste at recycling plants and transfer stations, to massive rocks on construction sites. To efficiently match the grapple to its application and host machine, six model/capacity variations among the three basic new B-Series tools provide a range of working volumes from 0.75 to 2.0 cu. yd. (0.57 to 1.53 cu m).

Heavy-Duty Construction, Easy Maintenance

The massive tines in the orange-peel configuration of the grapple are fabricated of wear-resistant Hardox 400 steel, and in especially abrasive materials, optional weld-on inner wrappers can be added to the working surfaces of the tines. Tine tips are replaceable in the field, assuring continued peak performance of the grapple and reduced downtime.

The upper structure of each tine houses and completely protects a powerful hydraulic cylinder, which is accessible through a bolt-on cover and can be serviced without removing the tine. The combined action of the four tine cylinders forces the tips easily into any material pile, and then securely retains the load, even loads of bulky, hard-to-handle items. The high closing forces and fast opening cycles of the tines promote steady production.

Hydraulic-cylinder cushions work with mechanical stops to eliminate the potentially damaging effects of forces generated when the tines open quickly. Large-diameter pins and ample bearing surfaces add further to overall durability, and Cat designed bushings and seals assure reliability, according to the manufacturer.

The heavy-duty rotator assembly allows fast, precise positioning of loads and uses a robust swivel (with large slewing bearings) powered by a high-torque hydraulic motor that is separate from the swivel. Isolating the motor from the swivel results in a simpler, more durable rotator mechanism that is easier to service than integrated motor/swivel designs — reducing potential downtime from hours to minutes when changing a motor.


The new B-Series orange peel grapples can be used with the wheeled M318D MH, M322D MH and M325D MH/LMH (and their C-Series counterparts), as well as with the track-mounted 330D MH and 345C MH. In addition, a special crosshead bracket allows the new B-Series grapples to be used with a number of standard Cat excavators, including the wheeled M318D and M322D, and the nine current track-mounted models from the 320D to the 345D, inclusive, plus the C-Series counterparts of these machines. The crosshead bracket also allows use of a magnet, further extending the capabilities of the host machine.

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