One of our key account managers recently returned from a visit with a client that needed to solve a design application for its fleet of excavation vehicles. The client wanted to outfit the vehicles with a more secure latching solution for an existing exterior storage box on the outside of the excavator cab, which holds expensive tools on the jobsite. With the intention of preventing tools from going missing and lowering the risk of theft, the client came to us with very specific requirements for the application design and its operation.
The main challenge of the design requirement presented itself in the access. The client specified that the box could only be opened from the inside of the excavation vehicle, meaning that the only way an individual on the outside of the vehicle could access the box would be if it was triggered from within. To further deter theft, the box would have no visible exterior latching mechanism.
Because the interior operator would be using both hands frequently to control the machine, the control of the latching device had to be able to be triggered with simple manipulation. In addition, the client requested that the interior latching system be flush with the existing control panel, so as not to obstruct the operator, and be constructed in a durable material to withstand the impact of the construction-related wear.
The solution? Southco’s AC-75 Single Point Paddle Actuator, which features a paddle-style construction with a deep recess for an easy grip or fingerpull operation. The AC-75 is constructed of powder coated aluminum for durability and usability in extreme temperatures, making it suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications.
Additionally, the AC-75 enables front mount installation with three cable mounting options and is compatible with Southco’s R4 Series Rotary Latches. This complete system allows the engineer to install the AC-75 inside the excavator cab and install the R4 outside, in the box, with both connected by the cable. When the operator triggers the AC-75, it releases the rotary latch in the exterior toolbox, granting access.
Is designing for security a factor in your off-highway applications? Tell us in the comments.