Howell Tractor Pinpoints Solution for DeWulf Excavating

Wed April 13, 2005 - Midwest Edition

Bruce DeWulf, president and owner of DeWulf Excavating, Mishawaka, IN, had seen the advertisements in industry trade magazines and even visited the Web site. He was considering trying the new Expander Pin System as he performed maintenance on his equipment over the winter.

But his company had just recently moved into its new facility in Mishawaka. In addition to working on his equipment, the new facility had to be organized, so time, as well as cost, were a concern.

Around the same time, Howell Tractor and Equipment had recently become a distributor for the Expander Pin System and its product support representatives, including Renee Bruce, had just begun sharing information with their customers on this new product.

After asking a few questions about the features and benefits of the pin system of Bruce, DeWulf decided to give this pin system a go. He began by testing the new Expander Pins against the traditional line boring and pin replacement.

DeWulf removed the boom pins and line-bored the holes using regular pins for replacement, while the Expander Pins were used to replace the steering cylinder pins. The first benefit DeWulf realized was the time saved with the Expander. To remove, clean, lubricate and install the Expander took only 45 minutes with the actual installation of the two expanders taking less than 15 minutes. The line boring method took more than a day to complete.

“[There was] a huge savings in time particularly with the cost of labor these days,” said DeWulf. “If the Expander holds up to its claims, I will use the Expander in all my equipment.”

The problem of pivot wear in machinery and equipment is well known. Even with close original tolerances, the holes in the lugs will begin to wear. This process accelerates and the holes become oval, affecting both the efficiency and stability of the equipment.

Repairing the lugs is expensive and time consuming and is still only a temporary solution.

According to the Expander Group, the Expander Pin System permanently solves this problem. The system consists of an axle -- which is tapered at both ends -- expansion sleeves, pressure washers and fastening elements. The parallel expansion of the sleeves eliminates play in the pivot lugs. When the fasteners are tightened, the slitted sleeves are pushed down over the tapered ends of the axle, expanding parallel to lock the Expander System in the pivot. Double sided locking is designed to increase stability and safety, and fitting and dismounting the system is simple.

The Expander Pin System has been widely used in Europe for years and is now being engineered into new equipment by a number of manufacturers. The system can be used on any equipment with mechanical pivots, including construction equipment. The company has designed and manufactured more than 25,000 Expander System assemblies. According to the company, with accurate pivot dimensions, the system can be custom designed for any application.

DeWulf Excavating has been in business for more than five years and works land excavation, pipe laying and storm sewer construction. DeWulf’s equipment fleet includes loader backhoes, wheel loaders and Hitachi excavators.

Roger Svensson, CEO of Expander America Inc., founded the Expander Group of Sweden in 1986 with his father, a contractor who invented the Expander System while he and his twin brother searched for a solution to the wear problems of their own equipment.

For more information on the Expander Pin System, visit or CEG Staff