Large excavators are seen at almost every construction or dig site around the world. Some of the most common are ones that are used to haul dirt and materials from a trench. These often medium sized excavators have the power to move a ton of dirt every hour. However, if an excavator is too large it may take up too much space at the site and if it’s too small it may not be able to move enough dirt and material.
So, the idea is to start by understanding what type of excavator will work best for you prior to going for a Bobcat hire.
Known also as Backhoes and Diggers
Excavators use a wire rope pulley system or hydraulics to dig holes or wide trenches which is why it is often referred to as being a digger. Excavators are also popularly known as bobcats as well as backhoes. Most excavators have a long boom arm as well as a cab which is mounted on a pivot. This boom is connected to the elbow of a stick that holds on to a bucket.
You can replace the bucket attachment using a number of different attachments as required by the job on site. Also, the cab has the capability to pivot in a complete circle mainly because it has 360 degree rotation available; this is one reason why it is also referred to as a 360 degree digger.
Excavators can either entirely be on wheels or they can be on tracks used most commonly with bulldozers and loaders. Ones that use tracks are also referred to as track hoes. In addition to excavators and bobcats being used on construction sites they are also used to lift heavy loads in industries like mining. Excavators can also be used for material handling, landscaping, river dredging and demolition.
Size of excavators
Excavators or Bobcats as they are called are available in a number of different sizes depending mainly on the job that is required. Small or mini excavators are often used to haul small portions of dirt at a time. Often times these small excavators are accompanied by a bulldozer blade located on the front. The smallest of these compact models can easily fit through a regular doorway while the largest of them can weight over 180,000 lbs.
Types of compact excavators
There are mainly two types of compact excavators i.e. zero tail swing and tail swing. The conventional compact excavators are all tail swing which have a rear counterweight in order to stabilize the unit while it was digging. The counterweight on the back extends well beyond the tracks so when it rotates it can make maneuvering the vehicle difficult. It was not until the 90s that zero tail swing units were introduced.
With zero tail units the counterweight does not move outside of the width of the tracks when it’s rotating. This makes it easier for the operator to maneuver the unit.
The majority of excavators out there are specified using their dig depth, dump height, arm force, power rating and maximum height.
Structure of most excavators
Excavators usually came with buckets attached to the end of their arms. However, things have changed quite a bit and today the attachments range from augers and grapples to breakers. You can also choose from a variety of buckets i.e. general purpose, heavy duty, tilt buckets, payment removal and sorting buckets. Tilt buckets enable the operator to control the side to side swing of the bucket.
This is the best attachment to use when digging slopes. Then there are sorting buckets that enable the operator to separate a large rock from their smaller materials very easily. Usually, the attachments are fitted with a quick attach mounting unit so that you can switch the ends at the job site.
Which bobcats to hire
Well every major company that manufactures industrial machinery also manufactures excavator models. These major suppliers include Hitachi, Bobcat, Catpillar, Volvo, Case CE, Hyundai, JCB, Komatsu, Daewoo etc. The machine that you end up choosing will mainly be based on the job you need it for. If you need to hire a machine make sure that you have sufficient training to use it. Since, this is something you just cannot afford to learn on the job.
Mark has over two decades of experience operating Bobcats. He has a passion for some of the largest excavators but that does not stop him from hiring the occasional compact Bobcat.