Excavator Types and Their Uses

September 8, 2021 4:34 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Moving earth? You’re probably going to need an excavator—but which kind? There are different types of excavators available, all of which can perform different functions on heavy-duty projects.

Generally, an excavator includes a rotating cab, bucket, arm and movable tracks. This enables them (regardless of their size) to move over and around obstacles, pick up and move heavy earth and carry out other important tasks.

When planning your project, you’ll want to ensure you have the right type of excavator for the job. Soil types, job types, speed, terrain and the amount of space you’ll require will all help you narrow down your choices. Here’s what you need to know about excavator types and their uses, so you can choose the right one for your next project:

  • Crawlers: Crawlers are often used for heavy-duty projects like mining and construction. They’re characterized by the wheels on two endless tracks, and use hydraulic power to lift heavy rocks and soil. Crawlers have a chain wheel system that allows them to go down bigger hills safely, and can handle gravelly or other unstable territory in a safe manner. If your terrain is giving you trouble, a crawler could be the best choice. Keep in mind that they’re slower than other excavator types, but their stability often makes that a worthwhile sacrifice.
  • Dragline: A dragline excavator attaches a bucket to a hoist coupler, which attaches to a hoist rope system. The line runs from the bucket to the cab and back again. The hoist rope raises and lowers the bucket, while the dragline pulls it back toward the driver. This is a good excavator type for large-scale civil projects, especially because it has to be assembled on-site.
  • Long reach: A long-reach excavator is good for situations where you need to be able to reach 100 feet or more. The long arm makes it possible to dig even when the cab can’t get closer to the project site. These are usually a good choice for excavation projects over water or where the equipment is used to break down or crumple components.
  • Mini: Mini excavators are a great choice when you need to move around a small space—like the backyard of a residential home. Their small size and core functionality are similar to the larger types, but they are somewhat less powerful than excavators needed for bigger jobs.
  • Skid steer: This type of excavator is also used for smaller residential projects, like digging pools and other earthmoving projects. The boom and bucket are opposite the cab, which can make it easier for the operator to complete the job in tight quarters.
  • Suction: Suction excavators, as the name suggests, have a suction pipe that moves soil and debris rapidly. A water jet loosens the dirt, then the operator can move the soil appropriately.

No matter what kind of excavator you need for your job, Estes Excavating Inc. has what your project demands. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our selection and services.

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