An excavator is an extremely useful piece of machinery. You will find one on nearly every construction jobsite, regardless of the type of work. Part of the reason why excavators are so popular is because they come in a wide variety of types, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. That variety can also make it difficult to choose which type of excavator is right for you.
Also known as standard excavators or track excavators, crawlers run on two treads instead of wheels. Although they are slower than wheeled excavators, their treads make them better suited for rough or uneven terrain. As the standard, crawler excavators can be found in many different types of construction sites. However, they’re most commonly used in mining operations, trench digging, and landscape grading.
In recent years, mini excavators have become popular on jobsites. Also known as compact excavators, they’re considerably smaller than other kinds of machinery. It is because of this that most mini excavators have reduced (or, in some cases, zero) tail-swing. This makes them optimal for job sites that require delicate work or have many obstacles that need to be avoided. Part of their popularity can be attributed to their ability to work indoors.
As the name suggests, long reach excavators feature a long, extendable boom and arm. The two together can range from 40 to 100 feet in length. With a wider reach, these excavators are well-suited to reach long distances and places difficult or dangerous for operators. Unfortunately, their long reach also makes them difficult to use in small spaces or tight corners. They’re commonly found at heavy-duty digging sites and demolition projects.
Unlike other kinds of excavators, dragline excavators utilize a hoist rope and dragline system to maneuver the bucket, instead of the usual arm and boom. They’re larger than other types of excavators, and because of that they are usually assembled on-site. Their size also makes them especially good at deep digging, with a maximum digging depth of 65 meters. The dragline system makes it especially useful when working underwater, like at dock jobsites. Other common uses for dragline excavators include deep piledriving and road excavations.
Suction excavators, also called vacuum excavators, are best known for their suction capabilities. They are fitted with a suction pipe and a water jet to create a suction power of 200 miles per hour. Suction excavators have very specific purposes, but they’re extremely useful in those cases. Its pipe is usually around 30 centimeters in diameter, making it ideal for underground work, delicate terrain, or precise operations. On larger operations, however, they are not particularly useful.
The main difference between skid steers and other types of excavators is that the boom and bucket of the machine faces away from the driver. Usually, skid steers are utilized in residential work, site clearing, and debris removal. This is because they’re smaller and more compact, making them good at maneuvering through narrow or tight spaces. They have wheels instead of tracks, making them faster but unable to ride over rough terrain.
Hydraulic shovels are considered the most powerful type of excavator. They’re very large and have powerful engines, making them useful for lifting or moving heavy objects. They can usually be found at mining operations or heavy digging projects. Their large size makes them a hindrance on smaller jobsites.
Several factors should be considered when choosing an excavator, since finding the best fit for your project will maximize its use.
Picking the right excavator for the job can be a serious challenge. Ask a construction equipment expert at one of our EquipmentShare yards. Our local staff can help you with all of your construction equipment needs. Find a location near you.
The anatomy of excavators all follow the same general structure, but different types of excavators will have different specifications.
Attachments are important parts of your machine and theft is common. If you want to keep track of everything in your fleet and maximize your efficiency, check out our tracking hardware for all of your equipment and tools.
Like any other piece of heavy machinery, parts of your excavator will deteriorate and eventually will need to be replaced. Some common parts you can expect to replace include:
Not sure where to find replacement parts? EquipmentShare’s excavator parts shop has a large catalog of replacement parts from dozens of manufacturers, whether you need to replace a filter or an entire window. If you’re looking for a professional opinion or have equipment that you need help with, get in contact with one of our equipment service centers.