During the early eighties, having chalked up a decade’s experience of working with diggers since he was seventeen, Hugh Edeleanu found himself dissatisfied with both the quality and operation of excavator bucket hitches. Changing buckets was a time consuming, laborious and often perilous activity because the plant operator had to unhook, replace and lock all the buckets and attachments manually. Moreover, the hitches and bucket available at the time were low-grade and subject to premature wear which led to the buckets becoming misaligned with the machines’ geometry.This meant that excavators’ digging capacity and tear-out force became diminished. Believing there had to be a better product available on the market, but with his extensive searching yielding none, Hugh decided the only way forward was to design and make a better product himself.

Key to Hugh’s demanding specifications was the need for the new hitch to detach, hook and lock buckets securely in place automatically, without the need for the plant operator to leave the safety of the machine’s cab, thereby saving down time and man hours, and eliminating the operator’s exposure to the risk of accident and injury. The hitch also of course had to be extremely hard wearing and durable to increase its useful lifespan and reduce replacements. It took several years of developing and perfecting the design, constructing and testing prototypes, and ultimately conducting field trials but, early in 1991, Masterhitch sold the very first of the new product and the ensuing “Hooker Quick Hitch” has become an Industry best.

Since then, Masterhitch Europe Ltd has gone from strength to strength. Manufacturing its products in its 70,000 sq ft factory in Strood, Kent, the company now makes a range of seven sizes of fully-automatic, hydraulic quick hitches for excavators ranging from 1.5-50 tonnes, and has also diversified its product range to include a variety of buckets, telehandler forks, excavator attachments such as grabs, grapples, rakes and rippers, and its famous “Ram Guard” which protects excavators’ ram rods from accidental damage necesstating costly replacement. In addition, Masterhitch offers an extensive range of specialist services and bespoke buckets and accessories, safety (“boxing ring” style) guard rails for large excavators, and a wide range of Brokk cradles, buckets and replacement parts.