Excavators are very popular machines used in construction and other civil engineering. There are several types of excavators used in various applications. Although they may be different in shape, size or functionality, they basically serve the same purposes. Excavators refer to industrial machines used to dig out soil from the ground. The term is synonymously used with backhoes or diggers. A quintessential excavator for sale consists of a few parts that work in concert to allow soil breaking, crushing, dragging and excavating of soil and rocks. These machines are used to remove soil for various purposes including road construction, building and structural construction or mining. They come in different shapes and sizes depending on the use. The main advantage of excavators is to improve efficiency and productivity by reducing operating costs. They are used where large scale excavation of soil is needed (where conventional tools like hoes and spades are ineffective). Their use can be classified as follows:
• Digging trenches, holes, trenches, rivers or foundation
• Heavy lifting such as loading waste, holding materials and other loose debris
• Mining excavations
• Driving and/or dragging piles of materials away from or towards a specific place and demolitions.
An excavator consists of a number of features that provide digging power, aid mobility and provide carriage. It has hydraulic cylinders, a boom, undercarriage, arm/stick and a bucket. These features are controllable from a house-like cab sitting on a rotating platform. The platform is fitted with wheels for mobility. The controller, who is also the driver, sits in the cab which houses several control features, used to direct the excavator’s arm and bucket to the right position, or increase drill force. The rotating platform allows the arm and bucket to lift off soil (or any other excavated debris) away from the excavation point. Most excavators use hydraulics because they optimize power output using fewer resources. The boom section resembles and functions in the same way a human arm does. The bucket basically holds soil and rocks during lifting. The design of excavators allows them to be used for various purposes. The boom is designed to fit a bucket, drill, scissor or even a crushing tool/element. Excavators are therefore very versatile and can be used to break the ground, drill and drag rocks and lift loose debris away from the excavation point.
Types of excavators
As aforesaid, these are industrial machineries used to satisfy varied industrial and contractor needs. From mining to road construction and civil engineering, excavators can be used in any space that requires equipment superior than hoes and spades. There are smaller excavators that can be used for backyard digging as well as larger machines meant for heavy duty large-scale excavations. With that said, there exist two main types of excavators used in modern construction namely back hoe and dragline.
• Back hoe – This is the most common excavator used today. Their use is widely applied to areas that may not be specific to excavation. As the name suggests, a back hoe excavator has a bucket (which functions as a hoe) facing the driver. The bucket is attached to a boom and extracts soil by pulling it towards the driver before lifting. This allows the driver/controller to have a clear view of what he is doing. Back hoes can be seen in almost every construction site and will always be present whenever there is need for excavation. The cab can easily rotate to 360 degrees. This allows loading of excavated materials to transportation or dumping truck. Back hoes can be used to excavate soil in construction and mining sites or load waste in dumpsites. They can also be used to drag collapsed soil, ice or other debris away from roads and houses. However, back hoes are relatively smaller when compared to their partner. They are therefore used in small to moderate applications like foundation building and constructions.
• Dragline – These excavators are much bigger in size and slightly different. They are used in large-scale applications such as on-surface mining and expansive civil engineering. They can be further divided into on-site and standard mobile draglines. On-site draglines refer to large excavators that are assembled and built on site while standard cranes are generally bigger than back hoes and smaller than on-sites. They are used in civil engineering tasks such as canal dredging. Large draglines usually weigh a lot and can damage standard tarmac roads or cause maneuvering troubles during transportation to excavation sites. For these reasons, they are usually transported in parts and assembled on site.
There exist other excavator distinctions mainly based on the nature of function, mechanism of work and machine size. Some common examples include the following;
• Suction excavators – These are also known as vacuum excavators. They use a suction pipe that carries away loose soil and debris, cut using the sharp teeth at the edge of the pipe. A water jet is usually used to loosen the ground before excavation begins. Suctions are mostly used in delicate situations that require careful and safe identification of underground elements.
• Long reach/long arm – As described by the names, these are excavators with long arm and boom sections. They are mostly used for destruction/demolition tasks like breaking down walls and procedural structural crumpling.
• Crawlers and compact excavators – Crawlers are high horsepower excavators used in mining and other heavy tasks. Compact excavators are generic machines used to lift of soil and debris using hydraulic power mechanisms.
• Power shovels – They are also known as stripping shovels or front shovels. These are high-end machines used in sectional excavation such as mining and digging. They consist of a revolving device, crane with lifting arm and bucket, counter weight and maneuvering controls.
Excavators are generically grouped as industrial machines used in any form of digging and soil lifting. There are several types of excavators available in the market. Most of them exhibit minor manufacturer differences, although their functionality are relatively similar.
Excavators are important construction machines applied in day-to-day use. Due to their high initial cost, most people prefer hiring the machines for quick excavation. However, firms involved in mining, building and construction own their excavators. When choosing an excavator, it is important to buy from genuine reputable dealers. This will eliminate spare part problems and you will also enjoy improved durability.