Chairman’s Commentary

Calibre Contracting Equipment – previously JB Attachments – specialises in the invention, development, production, sale and service of tilting devices for excavators.

Recently we have experienced enquires about the actuator units we use, with a throw away suggestion that we are using inferior “cheap Chinese copies” of the Helac units.

Nothing could be further from the truth and anybody who has used Calibre equipment would know that is not our style. We will never be the cheapest in the market place but we work hard to ensure we are the best. The driving force of our company is to ensure our equipment is state of the art and of a robustness to withstand the tough demands placed on excavator attachments.

Calibre was the first company to develop and introduce the Ram-Tilt many years ago. We pioneered the research and development into the use of actuators in tilting hitches a number of years ago - and introduced them to the market – now known as the Heli-Tilt.  In the next twelve months Calibre will be introducing its revolutionary curved ram tilting mechanism in the Calibre Robotic System.

It took a number of years to build an actuator based tilt hitch that was not so heavy that it made the machine top heavy; that had the right power to output ratio for the machine size and that was strong enough to handle the strains without being over engineered. 

The addition of any tilting device seriously affects the OEM’s advertised breakout force of the machine. There are a number of actuator based tilt-hitches on the market ranging from good to terrible - interfering with the breakout force so much they dramatically compromise the performance of the machine.  Whilst these factors are generally lessened- if not ignored - in the purchasing decision, it is understanding and minimising these effects that is at the centre of Calibre’s design process with tilting attachments.

In the original development of the Heli-Tilt, we used actuator devices developed with Helac, a US based company. Since then, other European, US and Australian companies have come on the scene with actuators of their own. There are even some Asian suppliers - although we have not yet come across any that match non-Asian suppliers.  At this point in time we do not use them.

At Calibre we are always on the look out for best of breed that matches the demanding design requirements for our tilting hitches and can match our delivery requirements. To satisfy both aspects we have moved across to a dual supply arrangement over the last eighteen months.

Our design department likes to work closely with our component suppliers on aspects of design, production and post sales service particularly in relation to the operating demands of excavators.  As was originally done with Helac, we have such a relationship with another high technology supplier, producing actuator units beautifully designed and manufactured - and which coordinate perfectly with our improved Heli-Tilt design requirements.

We consider the Helac actuator units to be excellent and that is why we use them in many of our current lineup of Heli-Tilts.  However, some of our more recent designs now incorporate the newer actuators, which we believe better suit the performance requirement we are trying to achieve in some models.

In conclusion, cheap copies do not come into the Calibre equation. Indeed it is usually our designs and equipment that are being copied.

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