The 5 Different Types of Large Excavators and Their Uses

If you’re looking to dig deep and wide, a large excavator is the right machine for the job. These are available in different categories for varied uses with the ability to carry out heavy-duty construction projects.

These machines lift, move, and shovel earth to help with construction projects such as digging foundations and moving debris. 

And don’t worry about equipment break downs and repairs. Parts are available online. From crown pallet jacks to simple belts most parts can be found easily.

There are several different types of excavators available on the market, each of which has its own unique set of capabilities and applications. Here’s an overview of the types you might encounter on the job site, along with a little information about what they’re used for.

large excavator

1. Crawler  Excavator

This machine is also known as a standard excavator. It has tracks, which makes it good for uneven terrain or work in mines.

The arm can be raised or lowered to dig at different depths. The crawler is often used in construction projects, such as digging trenches for utility lines, pipelines, and sewers. 

They are also used to dig foundations for buildings and other structures. If you need a large excavator, some models have attachments that allow them to move heavy objects like rocks or tree stumps from one place to another. It is the most widely deployed excavator because of its versatility. 

Crawler excavator

2. Long Reach Excavator 

These are for projects in difficult locations where access to the site is limited. They can also be used to work within a large radius, such as building canals, dams, or other structures that require clearing a wide area.

These machines usually have a 6 m or higher boom with a long reach that can extend  40-100 feet. 

Long reach excavators are also usually deployed on demolition sites where their far reach enables them to demolish structures without moving. The long reach also makes them preferred for risky jobs because the operator is safe. The long reach of the boom keeps the operator far from impact or falling objects.

long reach excavator

3. Skid Steer Excavator 

A skid steer is a compact piece of heavy equipment that works similarly to a forklift but uses tracks instead of wheels. The compact size makes it so useful; you can use it in tight spaces and even on top of concrete slabs without causing damage. 

And because it uses tracks instead of wheels, it is deployable on various tasks. The flexibility makes these workhorses so appealing; they’re extremely easy to maneuver and can be used in almost any situation where an excavator might come in handy. 

It’s commonly used to move materials around warehouses, factories, construction sites, and storage yards. However, these are preferred for residential construction sites. 

Skid steer excavator

4. Backhoe Excavator 

A backhoe is a vehicle with an excavating mechanism at its back end and a bucket on the front. Combining these mechanisms makes these the most versatile, hence the most popular.

A big bucket or blade is attached to the front of the backhoe and is used to push, level, and transfer earth and other objects. The excavator arm attached to the back of the backhoe works similarly to a regular excavator.

However, backhoes only spin 200 degrees instead of 360 degrees.

This machine is highly visible for tasks such as digging trenches, removing trees, grading land, moving large rocks, and digging foundations. They are also used to dig holes for setting poles or pipes.

A large backhoe can be used in road construction to move dirt or gravel with a flat blade from one place to another. These excavators are operated by a single operator who sits in a cab on top of the vehicle.

Back hoe excavator

5. Drag line Excavator 

A drag line excavator uses an electric mechanism instead of hydraulics to move its bucket, which can move vertically or horizontally. These excavators have limited mobility and are usually moved from place to place on flatbed trailers. 

Dragline excavators are typically used on large civil engineering projects like constructing canals where there is a need for moving high volumes of earth. These heavy-duty machines are also commonly used in urban development projects such as constructing subway systems, drilling tunnels, and laying down large drainage pipes. 

Mining companies also commonly employ them to haul away mountains of waste rock at open-pit mines. Some dragline excavators have jaws attached to them which can tear out solid pieces of earth that would otherwise require bulldozers for removal. These pieces are then dropped onto large trucks, which can transport them from one place to another.

old drag line excavators

Conclusion 

Excavators are indispensable in any project where there is a need to move heavy earth loads. However, their versatility goes beyond digging and moving earth to demolition tasks.

But a  large excavator is effective only if deployed to a job it is designed for. Evaluate your project needs and pick one of the above excavators for a successful project.

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