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Geith Puts Safety in Forefront With Quick Coupler Design

Wed December 07, 2005 - National Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

The Geith quick coupler and operating system was designed with close attention to safety for the user and colleague in mind. The result has been successful in combining easy-to-use operations and safety features on the quick coupler itself and the coupler operating control system.

Each safety principle in the coupler and operational controls work in unison and complement each other to address the potential health and safety weaknesses of earlier systems.

To operate the coupler successfully, one must use the combination of the senses-sight, hearing and touch — as well as logical reasoning. The designers sought to fully involve the operator in the usage of the coupler system in order to increase the safety environment of workers and colleagues.

This principle is outlined in the following:

• Sight: The coupler has a visible automatic locking system mounted directly onto it, which clearly indicates that the attachment is safely engaged. If it is disconnected, the locking system will indicate that the attachment can be carefully removed.

The standard recommended operating control panel also has an LED indicator light that is activated when the control system specifies to remove the attachment.

• Hearing: The standard recommended control panel is fitted with two audible buzzers, indicating that the control system has been has been activated to allow attachment removal. The dual buzzers act as a backup for each other in the event of a single failure.

The control panel also is fitted with a three-amp fuse to protect the circuit components.

• Touch: The control panel is equipped with a double switch operating principle where the operator must hit the switches in the correct order within seven seconds between switch operations to activate the system and enable an attachment to be removed from the coupler.

If both switches are not operated correctly, the system defaults to off-mode after a seven-second-time delay.

This feature ensures that the procedure to open the quick hitch is a purposeful intention to do so on behalf of the operator and not an accidental or unintended operation, which may result in a dangerous release of an attachment from the coupler. It also involves the operator in a logical thought process that ensures the operation is carried out in a safe and controlled manner.

Along with the outlined principle of double switch operation coupled with a time delay system that is standard with the Geith supplied operator control panel, the Geith quick coupler system also has a hydraulic connection system that allows for attachment release only when the coupler is in a safe position where it will retain the attachment pins in the coupler hooks after release, until the attachment is safely lowered to the ground and intentionally removed from the quick coupler in a safe and controller manner.

This hydraulic control system supports the aforementioned safety systems to provide an extremely safe, productive and user-friendly coupler system.

These systems generally consist of a switch, with or without a safety catch, and also a separate buzzer unit. These components need to be wired separately in suitable locations. The locations generally change depending on the customer’s preference and machine layout. Therefore, it is difficult to regulate the most suitable installation for the components to avoid damage from dirt, impacts and accidental operation.

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