Excavators are some of the toughest and most versatile heavy equipment on any construction site. Because they can be used for so many different applications and on so many types of job sites, there’s a lot of variety in excavator size, capacity, and design.
New Excavator Purchasing Tips
Here are some tips to ensure you purchase the right excavator for your purposes:
- Get the right size and specs. It’s essential to site safety and efficiency that you accurately determine the requirements for the job as far as excavator size and weight, bucket capacity, arm reach, etc. Start by choosing between the three standard size classifications for crawler excavators: compact (0 – 6 metric tons or less than 13,227 lbs.), mid-size (6 – 10 metric tons or 13,227 – 22,046 lbs.), and full-size (10 – 90 metric tons or 22,046 – 198,416 lbs.).
- Consider transport requirements. There’s another important reason to correctly gauge your excavator size needs for the job and the region: Your new machine may alter your transport plans, especially if you own a relatively small fleet. Will you have to invest in a higher-capacity trailer to haul the excavator? Are their concerns about weight-restricted roads or bridges?
- Ask about the hydraulic flows and coupler options. Make sure you’ll be able to equip your machine with the right attachments for the job. Flexible coupler options also mean you’ll have an easier time with attachments for future jobs.
- Buy for the preferences of your operators. Most lean strongly toward either ISO or SAE control patterns. If possible, opt for an excavator offering a pattern control selector, which is a convenience feature on some newer models. This lets individual operators configure the controls to their preferences.
- Pay attention to cab comfort. A comfortable heavy equipment operator is a happier, more efficient operator. Ergonomically designed cabs with a sensible control layout make a long work shift much more pleasant. And they’re not just great for employee satisfaction and productivity; they also prevent potentially dangerous distractions due to discomfort or operating inconveniences.
- Discuss track choices with your dealer. Typically, compact excavators have rubber tracks that aren’t as durable as the steel ones on larger machines. They’re less likely to damage the types of surfaces compacts commonly work on. Track width matters too, with wider ones providing more traction and stability, especially on soft ground. Tell your dealer about the ground conditions at your site so they can steer you to an appropriate—and safe—selection.
- Learn about your undercarriage options, too. Large, rugged undercarriages offer durability. But also look for features that facilitate easy cleaning and maintenance. Additionally, a thoughtful undercarriage design minimizes buildup between the track chain and the frame and makes cleaning faster and simpler.
- Understand the Tier 4 solutions. These standards reduce machine emissions that are detrimental to worker health and the environment. Excavators today are built with a variety of engines and technologies to meet emissions regulations, and it’s important to know what you’re getting in this respect and how it might affect operations and maintenance.
- Take the time to review the optional features. Modern excavators have a long list of available features. Some of them really help with your bottom line. For example, things like auto-idle and selectable power modes improve fuel efficiency. A telematics system is also a smart investment.
- Look for a great dealer and a great warranty. The warranty protects your investment, as do extended maintenance contracts. Buy from a dealer with a proven record offering top-quality brands, who delivers parts and components when you need them, and who has factory-trained technicians for shop and on-site services for preventive maintenance and repairs. A great dealer like Trekker is your connection to the highest quality equipment and reliable maintenance that keeps your job sites safe and productive.