Pitman Utility Products of Grandview, MO, has been designing and manufacturing utility and construction equipment since its founding in 1950. The Pitman Tiiger derrick chassis is a mini cat-track carrier that is ideal for applications in backyards, narrow right-of-ways, and remote hard-to-get-to locations. The machine has sliding tracks that adjust the width, allowing it to fit through narrow spaces.
Menominee Falls, WI-based Magnetek Inc. worked with Pitman to improve the performance, productivity and safety of its Tiiger mini-derrick chassis by implementing its Enrange MHR wireless controller system scaled to meet the specific needs of the application. The wireless controller features components of a radio receiver and a hydraulic controller in a single package, reducing installation time and overall costs while increasing operation efficiency and safety.
The mini-derrick chassis is controlled by a fully proportional hydraulic system for machine travel and site setup operations. The Enrange MHR system controls the tracks in a forward and reverse motion, and the cat tracks can be slid in or out to adjust the width for greater stability of the machine. As well as providing outputs, this control system also has inputs from toggle switches located on the machine- mounted control box. The radio system has custom control logic for ease of operation, and added safety from the radio system and the machine mounted controls.
The MHR offers an LCD graphic display that allows for viewing of system settings and a series of readouts that monitor the overall operation of the system. The readouts are not alpha-numeric codes, but rather clearly spelled out descriptions for ease of troubleshooting. The display shows the overall health of the machine, and in the event of a malfunction, error messages are displayed to quickly pinpoint the issue.
The MHR manages the output to the hydraulic valve bank as the transmitter is actuated. To ensure repeatable and constant performance at all temperatures and loads. The result is smooth ramp up and ramp down of each crane function independent of any other functions for increased operation efficiency and safety. The system makes use of the six available inputs for a chassis enable, and slide in and out digital inputs[me1] . These are additional features for safety and control consolidation that allow the operator to perform all functions with a small control system.
Because of its control type flexibility, Magnetek provided the Enrange Flex 8Pro handheld transmitter with the radio system because it offered proportional and digital on-off pushbutton control in one compact package. The ergonomically designed contoured case is comfortable for the operator, and it offers easy-to-operate push buttons for reduced finger fatigue.
The Flex Pro’s unique speed control includes four proportional operating modes. Speed outputs can be adjusted by 25, 50, 75 or 100%. For example, in a tight area, the operator can select 25% output, which provides 0 to 25% output over the full travel of the transmitter’s pushbutton. This gives the machine operator more precise control where and when needed. The modes are toggled by the key switch and the transmitter’s four LEDs light up to indicate which mode is active.
The Magnetek Flex-8Pro is perfect for mobile hydraulic applications such as the Pitman Tiiger, with a durable fiberglass, nylon housing made to withstand shock. The Flex Pro is rated NEMA 4 (IP66) and is sealed to withstand harsh environments. By using reliable frequency generation and an access code system, the signal only operates the intended equipment. Its light-weight, ergonomic design allows for belt clip mounting and one-hand operation for improved working capability and increased safety; the belt clip also helps prevent accidental loss or damage at the work site.
Wayne Koenig has been with Magnetek’s Enrange radio business unit since 1995. Prior to Magnetek he held positions with Anderson Mavor and Structured Mining Systems. He holds an Associate Degree in Mechanical Drafting/Design form Triangle Tech of Pittsburgh and a Bachelor of Science in Information System Management from Robert Morris University.