So What Exactly Is An Excavator?

By: Sandra Stammberger

Excavators are engineering vehicles which are primarily used for the purpose of digging trenches, holes or foundations. They are also used for other purposes such as demolition, lifting and placing heavy materials especially pipes, for mining( not open pit mining), river dredging, landscaping. These can be used for brush cuttings aided with hydraulic attachments.

Because excavators are used for the purpose of digging, people usually use the term 'excavators' for all kind of digging equipments. Actual excavators have an articulated arm, a bucket and a cab mounted on a rotating platform known as a pivot. This platform is on top of an undercarriage with tracks or wheels. The design is basically derived from steam shovels.

The other terms used for excavators are ' diggers' and '360-degree excavators'. They are sometimes simply called 360. The tracked excavators are also called 'track hoes' due to its resemblance with a backhoe. There is a contradiction that the 'back' in a backhoe is used in reference to the pulling back action of the bucket towards the machine instead of the location of the shovel. However, excavators are still referred to as front hoes by some people.

Excavators come in a variety of sizes, but the most popular are large excavators and mini excavators. The large excavators are huge in size. They weigh around 85,000 kg and their bucket size is usually 4.5 m 3. These excavators are generally used for industrial excavation works.

Mini excavators are popularly known as compact excavators also, the smallest models generally weigh around 1,500 kg and they have a bucket size of 0.036 m 3. One thing that sets a mini excavator apart is the fact that all the movements and functions are supported by a hydraulic fluid.. These mini excavators have become very trendy in metropolitan areas because of the limited space available. It can easily get into small spaces where one cannot even dream of bringing in a large excavator.

Mini excavators are used for improving the service and reducing the maintenance costs. Mini excavators are generally used for loading the material into a truck , setting up pipes and for precision excavating and trenching.

These excavators can vary on the basis of their usage because there are different users for these excavators. The excavators can expand their uses when aided by different attachments. A flexible and successful excavator can be ensured by using standard mini excavator couplers. This would ensure a smooth functioning because all the attachments will work right the first time.

Being the most popular equipments in the construction industry, excavators have successfully aided in reducing the involvement of human effort in heavy construction work.

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