Grapple saw

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  • Updated 4 months ago
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I’m working with several European Equipment manufactures to develop tree cutting technology on excavators. (See website: www.littlemuleequipment.com) I just purchased a EGO self propelled lawn mower. I was really impressed with the proformance of this Equipment. It made me wonder if this technology could help us solve some of the challenges we are having with our grapple saw project. Currently we are using a hydraulic motor to power our saw, but this has many limitations for this application. Our grapple saw is operating on the end of a tiltrotator. This is a device that is used to greatly increase the range of motion of an excavator. Basically it gives an excavator the same range of motion as a human wrist and arm, but with much more strength. However the limitation is getting hydraulic hoses thru a continuious rotating rotator. That is where a electric cordless saw could help. I looked into the EGO chain saw and other cordless saws available. They are too small for our application. However a typical mid sized gas power chain saw proformance is all we need. Something 5 to 10 horsepower. Given the proformance of the EGO lawn mower, I think this might be possible. We are looking for someone to helps us explore this possible application of cordless technology.
Our rotator offers us one hydraulic circuit and 6 electrical signal wires. We use the hydraulic circuit to power all of mechanical movements like grapple, bar movements and oil pump for saw. Signal wires might be big enough to provide recharge power to batteries, but do not offer potential of running direct power from excavator to electric motor for saw. That is where batteries would come in. They would offer large amount of power for short burst close too saw. Grapple saw assembly already weighs more then 500 pounds, so even the addition of 4 EGO 56v batteries would not even be a significant weight increase. Our grapple saw idea has significant market appeal for tree service, utility and excavation companies. Would EGO be interested in working with us to power our saw? Are their independent engineers in the EGO community that might be interested in working with us. Are their people within EGO community who could recommend persons who could help us? We have the saw part of our product All developed, we just need the power source for the saw. Could the EGO batteries and charging system work for this appliation?
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Tiltrotator Tech

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Posted 5 months ago

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Blue Angel, Champion

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Interesting piece of equipment you have there!

It sounds like you need a battery large enough to supply power to the saw while receiving a constant trickle charge through the coupler to maintain the battery charge level. You would need to determine how much power the saw will draw over a given amount of time, say one hour worth of work, and then see if the coupler would support that amount of power transfer. If so, I don’t see why this system wouldn’t work.

Ego’s batteries are very capable and they’re charging system is very robust, with fan cooled cells and phase change cell wrap to keep temperature spikes in check. However, it is all proprietary and optimized for small outdoor power equipment use.

I would think for an application like that you would want to deal with a fairly high power level to ensure the saw could do it’s job reliably. For this you would need a sizable battery pack, and maybe with a dedicated cooling system built-in.

A small to medium sized electric vehicle powertrain provider might be a good place for you to go for design and/or engineering assistance (a company like EV West comes to mind, http://evwest.com/catalog/ ). Ego’s parent company, Chervon, is in the PowerTool business. I don’t want to speak for them, but I’m not so sure an application like this would suit one of their off-the-shelf products.

Someone from Ego can give you the official word after the holiday.
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Tiltrotator Tech

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Thanks for the reply Blue Angel, 

Your comments are very helpful. Too summarize, You think our application could be viable with the right equipment. Ego products as are, are probably not large enough, and EGO clearly has a big market to focus on. However the link you sent to EVwest might lead to helpful source for equipment. I plan to reach out to them on Tuesday. Do they have a staff that is knowledgable of the equipment? If your interested this is link to a video of saw in action. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Xpgt3xStlc&t=4s.

Thanks Again. 
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Blue Angel, Champion

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Cool looking rig you have there! I could have used something like that when we cleared our lot. We had a few large trees that would have been worth selling, but after weighing the pros and cons of letting someone else remove them (they were far to big for me to handle) we just had them shred with the rest. A shame, really.

I’ve never dealt with EV West, but I know they specialize in converting cars to EVs. They come up with their own drivetrain designs and work with large lithium batteries and high current motor controllers. If they can’t help you they probably know who could.

Good luck with your venture!
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Amber F., Official EGO Rep

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Official Response
Thank you for sharing this, as well as the excellent idea! We'll share your thoughts with the product team today.