Excavator Types: Which is Right for You?

Excavators are a staple on construction sites but with there being so many different types, it can be hard to work out which is best for your next project. Excavators are used to dig trenches, foundations and holes. There are many different sizes of excavators to suit the volume of earth you need to move as well as the size of your worksite. Whether you are working on a residential project or a commercial one, each job has different requirements.

The following guide will help you determine which excavator type is best for you.

Dragline Excavator

Dragline excavators are large pieces of machinery that are mainly used for mining and civil engineering projects. This model lifts a large bucket through the use of chains and ropes which are attached to a large truss structure. Dragline excavators come in the form of either a smaller, portable excavator and a large excavator which is often assembled on-site, particularly on mines.

Crawler Excavators

Crawler excavators are a mid-sized machine used primarily for digging trenches and loading trucks. They are a chain tracked machine which makes them more suited for uneven ground where other excavators might struggle.

Crawler excavators are hydraulically powered and capable of accommodating a wide range of attachments. Beyond the usual bucket attachment, the crawler excavator can house:

  • An auger. This attachment allows you to bore into the ground using a metal spiral. It allows you to dig precise holes for fences and much more.
  • A grab: this attachment allows an excavator to pick up ‘hard to grasp’ objects like rocks and tree trunks that are either too large or the wrong shape for a bucket to retrieve.
  • A breaker: This attachment is essentially a jackhammer but with much more force. The excavator allows you to maneuver the attachment around hard-to-reach places.

Vacuum Excavator

Vacuum Excavators use a vacuum to excavate soil and debris and are less likely to damage utilities when digging compared to regular excavators. When used for soil, this machine will use a water jet to loosen the soil and then a vacuum tube will excavate soil from the chosen area. This machine is useful for digging sites located in an environment that cannot be drastically damaged, such as around pipes.

They can also be useful where you do not know the exact location of the delicate materials under the surface. Traditional excavators might accidentally hit a pipe and damage it with their bucket attachment whereas vacuum excavators are a non-invasive method of digging.

Long Reach Excavators

Long Reach excavators perform a similar function to crawler excavators except they have an extended arm. This is particularly useful for demolition jobs in urban areas where high-rises require long arms to properly reach. Multiple attachments can be used on long reach excavators depending on the requirements of the project. It can perform actions such as shearing, cutting and crushing. They are also used for dredging jobs where the cabin has to be kept away from the body of water when excavating.

Skid Steer Excavators

Skid steer excavators are smaller, more compact machines that are primarily used in residential projects. They are a wheeled machine that can remove debris from urban projects where the worksites are smaller and more difficult to navigate. A skid steer’s wheels can move in opposite directions, allowing for a full 360-degree turnaround without moving forwards or backwards.

If you are looking for an excavator for your next project, then call us today or visit iseekplant for a range of machines available for wet and dry hire. We have a range of suppliers located across Australia including the major cities of Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Perth, Darwin and Adelaide. We would be delighted to find the perfect fit for you so start your journey with us today. Get things moving by using the iseekplant Get a Quote tool for affordable excavator hire in your area! If you need more information read our excavator hire price guide and make sure to subscribe to the Constructionsht blog to ensure you never miss a thing.