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I spotted this heavy machinery/loader attachment at a road reconstruction job site in Ontario:


enter image description here

enter image description here


  • The device a has horizontal tube that is cut off at an angle.
  • The tube is attached to a vertical mounting plate.
  • The tube portion appears to be custom built -- the angled cut through the tube is too rough to be a factory made.

Question:

What is the purpose of this device?

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    $\begingroup$ that's not a hydraulic cylinder. $\endgroup$
    – Tiger Guy
    Aug 19 at 12:51
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    $\begingroup$ ask at the site ... it does look custom made ... custom purpose probably $\endgroup$
    – jsotola
    Aug 19 at 14:37
  • $\begingroup$ Could be useful in a swampy area, especially excavation in debris and mud-clogged culvert near the outlet, for which the normal excavator access is restricted. $\endgroup$
    – r13
    Aug 19 at 18:40
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It looks like it's being used to backfill narrow watermain trenches with gravel.

enter image description here


Edit:

It's also used for filling up an excavator bucket with gravel -- so that the excavator doesn't need to move out of position to go over to the gravel pile.

enter image description here

It's hard to tell from the photo, but the excavator in the back is straddling a narrow trench. And the gravel pile is too far away for it to reach.

It seems like it would be an ordeal for the excavator to move away from its position over the trench every time it needed gravel. And in this particular location, there's not enough room for the loader to drive up and dump gravel directly into the trench.

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    $\begingroup$ I was three minutes too late. There is a required depth of gravel above and below the pipe before backfilling with dirt. It can get expensive real fast if you aren't good at placing the exact amount of gravel spec'ed for the job. $\endgroup$
    – Phil Sweet
    Aug 19 at 21:02
  • $\begingroup$ @philsweet would you mind elaborating on why does it get expensive? $\endgroup$
    – NMech
    Aug 20 at 2:23
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    $\begingroup$ Because you have to buy the gravel, and probably load and haul excess dirt away. Too little and you get fined or don't get paid. Too much and you loose money. $\endgroup$
    – Phil Sweet
    Aug 20 at 2:44
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They may be unrelated parts.

The top part looks like a column and baseplate that was later cannibalized and part of it was cut off to be used in a different assembly, say a 90-degree elbow.

The lower photo looks like an attachment for a small excavation machine.

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    $\begingroup$ the pictures are different sides of the same part? $\endgroup$
    – mart
    Aug 19 at 20:19
  • $\begingroup$ Given the answer showing it in use, the speculation that it was two separate items is false. $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Aug 21 at 8:30

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