Choosing between mini excavators and larger crawler excavators starts with a simple evaluation. Narrow your search by comparing specs, considering your scope of work and doing a demo.
It’s important to look closely at the machine’s key specs. You can do this online or with machine literature, such as a full-line brochure with detailed specs.
Two leading factors for selecting an excavator are size and weight. Regarding size, note the machine’s width, length and height.
Keep your trailer and weight limitations in mind. You may get more productivity from a larger excavator, but it may not fit on your existing trailer. You may also need a larger towing vehicle and permits to transport a larger excavator.
Another important spec is digging depth. This can vary depending on the excavator’s arm type. Mini and larger crawler excavators can be configured with longer arms for more dig depth and reach. A standard arm will give you more power to dig through tough dirt or rocks. Some large excavators can be fitted with
a mass excavation boom and arm for the most power.
Evaluate Your Jobsite
Your jobsite may dictate which excavator will work best. Are you working in open areas? If so, a larger crawler excavator can help you be more productive. If you work in tight spaces, a mini excavator may be your best option, especially if you need to pass through narrow gates.
If you want a larger crawler excavator with less tail swing, pick a reduced-tail-swing model. Some crawler models offer this feature, allowing for work in confined areas.
If you work in the dirt, the heavy steel tracks on a larger crawler excavator help provide a low center of gravity, which provides good machine stability. A mini excavator’s rubber tracks are ideal if you travel across established surfaces and want to minimize ground disturbance.
Dozer blades are invaluable on mini excavators. You can upgrade to an angle blade for even more productivity. Some mid-size crawler models offer dozer blades as an option. Decide how important it is for your line of work.
Tips for a Successful Demo
The best way to get a feel for how a machine meets your needs is to schedule a demo with your local dealer. Compare cabs and consider comfort when operating a mini or larger crawler excavator.
A good indicator of excavator performance is cycle time. Compare how the machines’ hydraulic systems perform.
Activate the excavator’s rearview camera if it is equipped with one. Check the machine’s visibility from inside the cab.
Before buying a mini or mid-size crawler excavator, consider renting until you know what works best for your setting and your projects. Once you’ve had a chance to use the machine at your jobsite, you’ll be able to make a better purchase decision.
Contact your local dealer and schedule a time to see the excavators up close. You can also find useful information in the mini excavator and crawler excavator sections of our website. When you’re ready, schedule a demo.