Depending on the excavator size class, you typically have three arm options: standard arm, long arm and super-long-reach.
For most excavator models, the standard excavator arm configuration generally provides an optimal lift capacity and breakout force.
Choose a long arm, or super-long-reach, and you will be able to reach further and dig deeper. These excavator arms can be especially useful in applications where space to properly reposition the machine is limited, like reaching down a slope.
However, with increased arm length you will lose some lifting capacity and breakout force. In some cases, configuring a larger counterweight to an excavator with a long arm or super-long-reach arm can help maintain some of its digging power.
Common Hydraulic Considerations
Some manufacturers offer one-way auxiliary hydraulics as standard equipment. Other excavators come standard with two-way auxiliary hydraulics.
If you plan to run attachments in the future, like a thumb on the excavator, you will likely want two-way hydraulics. If you’re confident you’ll only ever be digging, you may be able to get away with one-way.
Another reason for selecting two-way auxiliary hydraulics is if you use mult-function attachments. If you think you’ll use an angle tilt bucket or any other tilting attachment, you may want this option.
Excavator Cab Options
Options for cabs vary across manufacturers, but there are several popular features.
One is increased lighting on the front and sides of the cab. Additional halogen or LED lights can extend your workday.
Cameras are also increasingly common. Rearview cameras now come standard on many crawler excavators and can be added on some mini excavators. Side view cameras are also available as an option from some manufacturers. They can be particularly handy when slewing on a crowded jobsite.
Front and side window cab guards are another option you’ll find on the market. Customers working in demolition, forestry and recycling regularly include window cab guards. The guards provide operators with extra protection from environmental hazards. You may opt for a specially designed forestry cab for your machine. Forestry cabs provide even greater protection from falling objects.
Many excavator manufacturers offer the option of a straight travel pedal. This feature makes it easier for operators traveling in a straight line and is popular in trenching applications.
Customizing an Excavator Undercarriage
When you buy an excavator, you may have a few options when it comes to the undercarriage, depending on the size of the machine.
Mini and mid-sized excavators may come with steel or rubber tracks. Rubber tracks are common for mini excavators and larger excavators performing road work. With steel tracks, a common option is the width of your track shoes. Wider track shoes provide greater flotation.
Many mini excavator manufacturers offer an angle or straight (dozer) blade. Blades provide extra stability when digging and can perform light backfilling. Angle blades give you the ability to adjust the angle of the blade to the left or right for enhanced material placement.
More Excavator Shopping Tips
Want more tips on excavator shopping? Check out how to find a warranty that fits you.