09 Feb 2023
Enabling Innovation with Steel:
Episode 1 – AME Tilting Quick Hitches
A long-standing trust for BISALLOY® Structural 80 Steel, paired with Bisalloy’s technical guidance, has supported AME Tilting Quick Hitches to deliver their consistently reliable product to earthmoving businesses across Australia.
Operating large construction equipment can be expensive, especially on large projects, so any processes or innovations that bring efficiency to the industry while maintaining safety are welcomed. Both by operators and their clients.
For clients, less time on site means budgets are maintained, while for operators, they can move on to the next project sooner, potentially increasing their workflow and long-term productivity.
One type of excavation work that was traditionally time-consuming was cutting level lines on an uneven surface. A lack of adjustability in the bucket caused restricted movement in the direction required. An operator typically would build a ramp to gain the angle they desired before the dig to overcome this problem, which was a timely process.
A solution to the problem was devised in the early 80s by entrepreneurial Tasmanian Andrew Millwood, as son Kurt, the Manager of AME Tilting Quick Hitches, explains.
“My father came up with the idea for the attachment back in the day, he was an owner/operator of his own earth moving equipment – sitting on the machine for long hours he had time to think and said to himself ‘there’s got to be an easier way of doing this’,” Kurt said.
“He came up with the design of a permanent fitting between the machine and the attachment, which allows you to angle the bucket (up to 40° either way) and cut a straight line even when your excavator is on an uneven surface.”
The initial concept was progressed with the help of a local fabricator who soon had the first tilt hitch designed, built and out in the field proving its value, while earning a great reputation around Tasmania. This solution saved considerable time in final clean-up and trim work, and led Kurt to consider the idea of starting a manufacturing business based around the tilt hitch.
While distribution was initially limited to northern Tasmania, word gradually spread south before a few mainland operators also got wind of the idea.
Today AME sells its custom-built tilt hitches through dealerships (and direct to customers) all around Australia, with head office and manufacturing still being based in Spreyton, Tasmania.
Kurt said that all work is designed and manufactured in-house, with high product customisation seeing the tilt hitch being adopted by a wide range of excavators.
“Our hitches are custom made and built to order, we can make them to suit any sort of excavator pick-up arrangement and to suit every particular machine,” he said.
An important aspect of AME tilting quick hitches is the high-strength BISALLOY® Steel from which they are manufactured, with the two companies having worked closely together from the outset.
Kurt said that the quality of material and support from Bisalloy Steels has been excellent throughout the journey.
“Our reputation is built on the quality of the product. It’s well known across the industry as being the strongest tilting quick hitch in the market; they never fail and we’re really proud of that,” he said.
“That’s very important to our customers. They all have jobs and timelines, and they can’t afford to have any downtime on their machines.”
“We use Bisalloy quench and tempered steel because it’s Australian-made steel, which we like, and it’s really high quality. We can also jump on the phone and talk to them at any time and they’re really good value.
“It’s great to know that we can work directly with Bisalloy. Their steel is an important element in us producing a quality product.”
To learn more, visit the AME Tilting Quick Hitches website: www.ametqh.com