Excavators are large, diesel-powered construction vehicles that are built for digging out earth with its bucket. They’re often used to dig holes and trenches, as well as to build foundations. It has become a staple in most large-scale construction projects, but you shouldn’t let the word “excavator” fool you. If you swap out the bucket for another attachment, you can use excavator equipment to drive piles, clear brush, load, dump, and grade a job site. In fact, they can be used to perform a variety of heavy-duty tasks on the jobsite.
Most of these vehicles are tracked, but some models have wheels. In the past, excavators needed cables or wire ropes to harness their digging power. But, today’s excavators use hydraulic systems, which give them more mobility and make them easier to operate. Hydraulic excavators have an undercarriage and a house that sit on a rotating platform.
The house consists of the following parts:
- The cab
- The counterweight (which offsets the force of the digging)
- The engine
- The boom
- The digging arm (also called the “stick”)
- The bucket
The boom extends outward from the front of the house and connects with the digging arm at an articulated joint. The bucket (or some other attachment) is attached to the end of the arm, which is controlled by the operator with two joysticks.
Types of Excavators
Excavator equipment can handle a variety of different jobs and can come in wide range of sizes. According to the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, excavators will fall into one of the following categories:
- Standard Excavators — They typically weigh between 22,046 and 200,000 pounds. They’re ideal tools for moving large amounts of earth and for heavy lifting.
- Midi Excavators — They typically weigh between 13,227 and 22,046 pounds. They can be used jobsites with a great deal of confined areas, but with a scope of work that requires something more powerful.
- Mini-Excavators — They weigh less than 13,277 pounds and have a small footprint, which gives them more versatility. They’re also ideal for digging trenches, removing stumps, and performing minor demolition tasks where space is tight.
If you’re a construction or industry professional in South Texas and have a fleet of excavators that need to be repaired or serviced, Rhino Equipment Services has a team of qualified technicians that can help you. Feel free to reach out to us. We would be happy to speak with you about your specific needs.