Volvo EW180E with Tiltrotator Attachment

Top 4 Excavator Applications for a Steelwrist Tiltrotator

One thing I’m really excited to see finally catching on in the U.S. is the use of tiltrotators on excavators. I often hear from my customers that once they’ve tried it and gotten the hang of it, they say they don’t know how they lived without it all those years. But I still hear from a lot of people who don’t even know what a tiltrotator is, let alone all the benefits that would justify the cost. Here’s what I tell them.

Tiltrotators, such as the Steelwrist tiltrotator found on Volvo excavators, are best described as a wrist at the end of a boom. They let operators achieve greater flexibility for attachments by rotating attachments 360 degrees and tilting 45 degrees left or right.

Adding them to your excavators can expand the types of work you do and decrease the amount of time you can do them in.

Here are the top applications in which I’m seeing Steelwrist tiltorators make a difference:

  1. Trenching in confined spaces — The ability to continue working without constantly repositioning the excavator will save your crew time and boost productivity. Picture digging around a manhole. With a traditional excavator, you would have to move the machine several times to completely dig it out. With a tiltrotator you can maneuver the bucket completely around the manhole from one spot.
  2. Ditch creation and cleanup — You can move the bucket with precision to accurately shape your ditches as you follow the road. Creating a V-shaped ditch is as simple as flipping one roller on the joystick. Start with the bucket 45 degrees to the left and dig a pass. Swipe to roller again to position the bucket 45 degrees to the right and make a second pass.
  3. Grading — Using a Steelwrist and the boom float feature makes grading work a snap because the operator has more flexibility with the attachment at the boom, allowing the operator to more easily follow the contours of the ground.
  4. Working with multiple attachments — The symmetrical quick coupler makes it easy to swap out attachments such as forks, brooms, compactors and grapples. Being able to add these and do it quickly saves time and increases the versatility of the machine, and the front pin lock of the Steelwrist will keep operators and other crew members safe on the job.

If you’d like to hear about the benefits a busy excavator crew gets from a Steelwrist tiltrotator, check out this customer using it in Arizona on their Volvo EW180E.


  • Brad Hutchings

    Does Volvo still make a backhoe?
    What features and options are available?
    Price range for a machine comparable to JD410

    November 29, 2018
    • Volvo CE

      Hi Brad,
      We do not currently make a backhoe. You can check out our current product line here:

      December 10, 2018

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