As a punchout user, please email for assistance.
Resource Center
{{product.extended_sale_price | toCurrency({currencyCode : cartDetail.currency.code})}}
Cart details ({{productsTotalQuantity}})
Subtotal: {{cartDetail.cart_amount_ex_tax | toCurrency({currencyCode : cartDetail.currency.code})}}
Your Shopping Cart is empty
Check The Thumb Attachment to Match its Bucket

Check The Thumb Attachment to Match its Bucket

17 Jun 2024 Author: Jazmin Kelly Read time: 3 min

Experienced excavator operators know that the proper attachment exponentially increases productivity. The more work you complete in less time equals fewer production hours and extends an excavator’s lifetime. The proper thumb attachment for your machine can provide a winning combo of power and precision.

Think of a thumb attachment like an extension of your own hand on the arm of your excavator. Essential for moving materials like rocks, logs and debris, an excavator equipped with a thumb attachment can be used for tasks like demolition, landscaping and site clean-up. A thumb attachment and an excavator bucket can be used to pick up and securely clamp materials such as brushes, branches, rocks, etc.

Versatile though it may be, a thumb attachment is not a “one-size-fits-all” tool for excavator buckets. Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) engineer thumb attachments specifically for an excavator’s bucket teeth. Pay attention to these three aspects:

Machine’s stick length: John Deere and OEMs provide various stick lengths.

  • Bucket’s tip radius: Measured from the center of the main stick pin to the tip of the bucket’s teeth, the radius will vary widely among OEMs. 
  • Coupler or no coupler: OEMs offer couplers in different heights. If a thumb attachment has a coupler, the thumb body’s length will also be increased.
  • By checking these aspects, you can verify that the thumb attachment’s tines fit with the machine’s bucket. When the tines and teeth of the bucket match, wear and tear—like cracks and bends—is reduced. Taking the time to check compatibility safeguards against the potential of broken tines and extends the overall bucket and thumb production hours.

After checking the different aspects of a thumb attachment, consider the three main thumb attachment types. 

Progressive Link Thumb Attachment

Outfitted with a Main Pin with an extra Pro-Link, this hydraulic thumb offers 180 degrees of rotation. The extra linkage allows the thumb to pivot on the excavator's stick pin to precisely pick and place material at maximum stick extension and securely clamp material when maneuvering the load. The Progressive Link thumb's tines are spaced at the same rate as the excavator's bucket teeth.

Non-Progressive Link Thumb Attachment

These thumbs include a Main Pin without a Pro-Link, offering 120 degrees of rotation. This attachment also has a pin-mounted bucket thumb pivot on the excavator's stick pin.

Stick Mounted Hydraulic Thumb Attachment

The Stick Mounted Hydraulic attachment comes in narrow or wide thumb and offers limited rotation. The narrow thumb is best suited for moving bulky materials when you need to pay attention to their weight, while the wide thumb attachment is best for raking or combing fine and loose materials. 

You can adjust the thumb position from the excavator cab for all three hydraulic thumb attachments. Discuss the excavator you need to equip with a thumb plus the work you'll need them to perform with a trusted partner. With this information, you’ll be able to find the right attachment for your machines and the job at hand. With the proper thumb attachment type, you'll transform your excavator into a frequently used fleet favorite and finish the job in less time. 

Jazmin Kelly

As the construction attachment specialist for RDO Equipment Co., Jazmin is focused on assisting the salesforce in ordering, answering questions and monitoring attachments in the rental fleet. She also works closely with vendors to establish and maintain working relationships. In her free time, you will find her at a baseball game, volunteering or hanging out with her grandparents and family.

Staying Connected
Join our email list to receive information on featured equipment, store promotions and sales, special announcements, and more.