Shaun Gratton is an owner/operator trading as S. Gratton Plant Hire, from his base in the beautiful Staffordshire Moorlands in England. Since taking delivery of his first engcon tiltrotator 16 months ago, Shaun has never looked back. His only regret is that he didn’t buy one sooner!
Shaun had been interested in the engcon tiltrotators since 2008, when he first witnessed them being demonstrated at the old SED show. Initially Shaun thought what a brilliant idea the tiltrotator is. Shaun said, “I had done a fair bit of research on the product and read up about them in magazines and on the internet, on various blogs and forums, but I had never actually seen one in the metal as such. I was a bit sceptical as to how good they would be and will they stand the test of time out in the field”. Following on from his engcon experience at the show, Shaun returned to work and set about obtaining a price for an engcon unit. At the time, Shaun was running a year 2000 model Komatsu PC27R-8, so he thought if he was going to buy something new it should really be an upgrade to his existing machine. The following year Shaun replaced his old machine with a brand new Komatsu PC27MR-2.
After taking delivery of his new Komatsu, his good friend, and well known UK engcon user, Eddie Warrener, took delivery of his new Kubota KX080-3 LGP fitted with an engcon unit. This gave Shaun a great opportunity to visit one of Eddie’s sites, where he could have some time in the seat and try out the engcon for himself. Shaun said, “After experiencing using an engcon first hand, my gut feeling was that I wanted one desperately, but sadly at the time the recession was starting to bite, and so the whole idea was put to the back of my mind for a while.
About three years later, Shaun spent a day on site with Eddie, helping out on a job. It was while he was operating Eddie’s machine for a few hours, that Shaun suddenly realized that a tiltrotator is a massive game changer, in terms of how you can work with more flexibility and much less movement of the base machine, making the machine so much more productive. At this point Shaun was determined that he would be going down the engcon route before much longer.
In 2012, Shaun visited the Hillhead mining and quarrying exhibition in Buxton, and during a visit to engcon UK’s stand, Shaun did a deal with Tim Wood, for an EC02B with an S30 top and S30 bottom quick coupler set up, with a fully proportional control system. A short time after the show, the unit was installed and in addition Shaun also decided to purchase an engcon grading bucket, which he describes as a brilliant addition to his set up.
The engcon unit continues to impress Shaun and his customers on a daily basis. Commenting on the engcon, Shaun said, “I think it’s a fantastic piece of kit, and as many have said before, it totally changes the way you can work with a machine, making your machine far more flexible in what can be achieved. The range of attachments that can be used on the unit open up a whole new world for us as operators”.
Shaun is continuing to invest in new attachments to complement his tiltrotator, which now include an engcon kerb/block grab, and the recent addition of an Intermercato timber grab; these attachments have been well received by his portfolio of customers. Shaun’s arsenal of attachments looks set to expand further again soon, as he is currently having a set of pallet forks made for his machine. Another item on the wish list is a compaction plate, which will give him even more versatility in his day to day work.
Commenting on his engcon experience so far Shaun said, “The engcon has been a revelation for me. I love it, my customers are impressed with it, and it continues to win me more work and contracts every day. I really enjoy those jaw dropping moments when people actually see what can be done with a tiltrotator, compared to a conventional fixed bucket excavator, it really has turned my machine into a Swiss Army knife amongst excavators!”
Shaun Gratton, S. Gratton Plant Hire
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