Earthmoving Attachments, Steelwrist

Steelwrist Tiltrotators: More than just a product


Bear Earth Solutions has reworked the way it does business, thanks to Steelwrist Tiltrotators.

Tiltrotators have changed the way Stuart Long thinks about earthmoving. And with his small NSW-based earthmoving business – Bear Earth Solutions – Stuart is always happy to advocate for his tiltrotator manufacturer of choice: Steelwrist.

“When people see our machines with the Steelwrist gear equipped, they don’t quite understand the concept at first,” he says. “But once they see it in action, they’re blown away by it. They very quickly understand.”

Bear essentials

Bear Earth Solutions focuses on rural earthmoving works, using a small fleet of predominantly Cat excavators equipped with Steelwrist attachments. Stuart says this combination gives him the flexibility to run larger machines, but with the versatility to work in tight-access areas.

“The Cat products are great, and very good on fuel,” he says. “We’ve got a 6-tonner with a Steelwrist X06 Tiltrotator, and then a 3.5-tonner with a Steelwrist S-Type Tilthitch, which can fit all the same attachments. That really brings costs down, because all our grabs, grading beams, forks, and so-on can all be used on both machines.

“It’s a very cost-effective system. I sat down the other day and worked out that I’ve probably saved between 25 and 30 grand by going all Steelwrist. That’s a big deal for a small business like ours.”

Stuart had previously used another brand of tiltrotator, but found the product wasn’t quite right for him.

“It didn’t have the grabs at the back of the hitch, it was about 40kg heavier, and 200mm longer, which meant breakout force was lost,” he says. “It just wasn’t what I wanted.”

With a view to upgrade, Stuart reached out to Brett Wilson, Sales & Support Engineer NSW at Steelwrist.

“I spoke to Brett at Diesel Dirt & Turf,” he says. “I told him what had happened, what I wanted, and where my last rotator had fallen short.”

A relationship galvanised

Stuart got the sense that Steelwrist had the right products and, more importantly, the next-level support to back them up. And soon afterwards, he took the plunge and put his money down.

“Looking at the relationship I have with Steelwrist now, I’m very glad I did,” Stuart says. “I had a few teething issues at the start, and they sorted it all out straight away.

“It’s not just about the product with Steelwrist – it feels like one of those old- school relationships. They know how we operate, and they make the whole purchasing and transition process so easy.”

The benefit of this close relationship, Stuart  says, came to the fore when it came to add the Steelwrist Tilthitch to the mix.

“It was actually a 2017 model that they’d brought out as a demo unit, but they weren’t planning on actually selling it,” he says. “But they were happy to sell it to me, because they understood exactly what I wanted to do with it.”

Brett even went the extra mile to help Stuart and the Bear Earth team during the transition period from their old attachments.

“Brett knew our situation, and he actually gave me six Steelwrist head plates so I could weld them to my older attachments, just to get us through,” he says. “Ever since then, I’ve basically gone Steelwrist for all my attachments.”

And as Steelwrist has continued to help Bear Earth Solutions grow, Stuart has been more than happy for the support to flow both ways.

“It’s not just a business relationship, it’s more like a friendship now,” he says. “Brett will have prospective customers ring me to ask what I reckon about the Steelwrist stuff, and I’m quite happy to share my experience.”

As for what’s next for Bear Earth Solutions? Stuart sees himself continuing to grow steadily with Steelwrist by his side.

“I’ve love to buy an X18 Tiltrotator and put it on a 15-tonner,” he says. “That’s my next goal – just need to find a bit of work for it first. But whatever I get next, I’ll go Steelwrist again. I wouldn’t look at anything else.”

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A Steelwrist Tilthitch allows Stuart to easily share attachments between his two excavators. Image: Stuart Long

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