The quality of a ripper shank is determined by the type of materials used to make it. Anyone who uses heavy equipment can tell you that a shank made of inferior steel is going to break whether it is an OEM or aftermarket brand. The truth is, if you skip due diligence on the terrain and use a shank lacking the necessary hardness, it will break regardless of who manufactured it. As with all steel products, there is a chemical specification and Rockwell hardness standard to meet the performance criteria of the part’s performance.
The two most popular methods of manufacturing shanks are (1) cutting them out of manufactured steel or (2) forming them out of forged steel. For the manufacturer, it is more efficient to cut shanks out of steel plate. However, cutting from steel that was already formed requires a lot of trust in the steel supplier. The manufacturer must know that the consistency of the elements in the steel is as specified and will not break under stress. In some parts of the world this is not an issue because the supply of steel is known to be high quality.
In other parts of the world where the quality of steel production may be inconsistent, forming the shanks out of forged steel becomes the more effective manufacturing method. Because the only way for the manufacturer to eliminate their risk of selling products made with poor steel is to simply make their own steel. Companies using this method to insure quality specifications in their steel make them stand out from other competitors in their region (and the world) who have not taken such measures. At ACTP, we seek out these manufacturers.
Knowing how your shank was manufactured is one of the best ways to eliminate the risk of buying in the aftermarket and save yourself the extra dollars it costs to buy from the OEM without sacrificing quality. There are additional factors that can be used in conjunction with this knowledge that give you even more benefit as a buyer.
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