Do you need an excavator for your construction business, but you’re not sure what type to get? Considering the cost of heavy equipment, this is one purchase where you don’t want to make a mistake. After all, part of improving cash flow in construction involves searching for the right equipment for the job at the best prices.

There are various types of excavators, and each is designed for specialty work, such as mining, digging, demolishing structures, and so on. Here are the different types and what you need to know to make the right decision for your business.

Crawler Excavators

Crawler Excavators

The crawler excavator is also known as an all-purpose machine, and it’s used in various industries. This type of excavator contains a bucket, a boom, and an arm. It’s useful on dig sites, when demolishing buildings and structures, when mining, for trench digging, and for lifting heavy objects.

Crawler excavators use two rolling tracks rather than wheels. It moves more slowly than a wheeled excavator, but it is more stable, which makes it ideal for any uneven terrain or muddy construction sites.

Wheeled Excavators

Wheeled Excavators

The wheeled excavator is best for jobs on level terrain and flat surfaces. This type is also a multi-purpose machine that can do all sorts of tasks. Wheeled excavators are best for moving from one job site to another or if you need to take it on the road.

Unlike crawler excavators, you can take wheeled excavators on the road rather than rely on a trailer to carry your heavy equipment. Doing so can save companies more money.

The downside to wheeled excavators is that you need to avoid hilly terrain and muddy ground.

Mini Excavators

Mini Excavators

Mini or compact excavators are specialty machines best for jobs in small areas where there isn’t room for larger heavy equipment. Mini excavators are easy to transport as they weigh less than five metric tons. This also means you need less fuel.

Mini excavators don’t do as much damage to the terrain, and they won’t ruin the pavement or softer ground.

Keep in mind that compact excavators aren’t as powerful, but they’re perfect for jobs that require lifting smaller loads. You can learn more about them and how to get them here.

Long-Reach Excavators

Long-Reach Excavators

This piece of heavy equipment has an extended boom and longer arm, perfect for jobs that require a long reach. Jobs that long-reach excavators are best for include underwater digging, hard-to-reach areas, and demolition projects.

This type of excavator can reach between 40 and 100 feet away. It’s also ideal for sites on difficult terrain that would impede the machine from getting too close.

Short Swing Radius Excavators

Radius Excavators

Another all-purpose excavator is the short-swing radius machine. Its design allows construction workers to navigate it through tight areas such as construction sites in the city.

Short swing radius excavators have the same capability as other types, including both crawler and wheeled excavators.

Excavator Attachments

Having the right attachments is also an important part of choosing the correct machine. Specialty equipment makes completing a job easier.

Common attachments include:

  • Bucket (slim, smooth, wide, ditching, trenching, etc.)
  • Breaker
  • Auger
  • Thumb
  • Couplers
  • Ripper
  • Shears

Choosing an Excavator

Finding the best excavator for your business depends on the job you need it for as well as the terrain. A general-purpose type is a go-to choice for many companies, but you’ll have to consider the size as well as any necessary attachments.

Use these tips to make the decision easier. And if you’re looking for more construction advice, check out some of our other related articles.

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