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Tiltrotator: The Machine’s Scandinavian Wrist

The tiltrotator has become a machinery staple, visible across the country at various expos and events. It seems that every OEM has links to tiltrotator manufacturers, with many fitted at factory before the machine is sent out. So, what is the history behind the device?

Every plant operator working today knows that efficiency is a top priority in the construction industry. Machinery is used for a range of applications in varying conditions. To make machines as efficient and versatile as possible, attachments are often used. However, even with attachments, machines can be limited in motion. For example, the cab of a standard excavator may be able to rotate 360 degrees, yest the machine’s arm and bucket are limited to a forewards-backwards motion. The tiltrotator, introduced to the Scandinavian market in the 1980s, has revolutionised the scope for machinery with digging arms.


Tiltrotators were invented in Sweden in 1986. Entrepreneur Rune Norgen. who, at the time, worked for Noreco purchased the drawings, development and patent rights to the first Rototilt.

To this day, Rototilt remains among the biggest names of Tiltrotator manufacturers in the plant industry. The company supplies tiltrotators to the likes of Kobleco and Caterpillar. However, in 1990 Noreco was only selling around 200 tiltrotators per year. In truth, the device has been popular among Scandinavian plant operators for years. The wonder expressed by those in oversees markets is met with astonishment that, as an industry, we have not caught onto tiltrotators earlier.

The slow uptake is, however, understandable. The tiltrotator, at the time of its initial development, was a new concept. As the product was developed, there was nothing to base information about its usage on. Manufacturers learned and developed the tiltrotator from scratch. As a result, it was not until the mid-1990s that the device started to gain global attention.

Today, it is rare to attend an event, expo, or demo day without encountering a display of the machinery’s use of a tiltrotator. As tiltrotator manufacturers cemented themselves as suppliers of useful attachments for excavator operators, interest grew exponentially.

To read more about what makes tiltrotators popular in today’s market, read more in the October 2019 issue of Plant Planet.

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