Types of Excavators and Their Uses


One of the significant pieces of construction equipment is an excavator. It is used in both large and small constructions like housing projects, road construction, moving large rocks.

If you’re starting a construction company or own one, you might want to consider buying excavators for sale based on the type of projects and construction sites you work on. 

This article will briefly explain the different types of excavators and their uses. 

What is an Excavator?

An excavator is a heavy construction vehicle used to excavate or move large objects. It has a bucket arm for unearthing a rotating cab with moving tracks. These parts provide the machine with immense digging and excavating power. 

Excavators are hydraulic. All the movements and functions of excavators are carried out using hydraulic fluid, hydraulic cylinders, and hydraulic motors. 

Types of Excavators

There are many types of excavators for sale in the market. These are categorised based on uses, features, and sizes. This section will explain the many different types of excavators, their services and their features. 

  • Crawler Excavators

Crawler excavators run on two endless chains or tracks ideally used for mining and heavy-duty construction jobs. Most of the excavators run on wheels, but since crawler excavators are used for heavy-duty construction, they are run on a track. 

This track or chain system allows the excavators to slide down uneven terrains less risk. This feature makes these excavators suitable and ideas for grading hilly areas and rough terrains. 

Although slower than many other excavators, they provide excellent balance and stability. They are mainly used in construction activities like mining, trench digging, and landscape grading.

  • Wheeled Excavators 

Very similar in size and appearance to crawler excavators, wheeled excavators run on a wheelbase instead of a track or chain base. Since they have a base of wheels, they’re faster than crawler excavators and run smoothly on concrete, asphalt, and any other flat surface. 

Since wheels are not ideal for uneven grounds and don’t offer optimal stability, excavators are only used for roadworks and urban projects. 

The only downside to wheeled excavators is that they perform poorly on uneven terrain. 

  • Dragline Excavators

Dragline excavators operate with a very different process, much larger than other excavators. Unlike crawler and wheeled excavators, dragline excavators use a hoist rope system that lowers the bucket while the dragline pulls the bucket in the driver’s direction. 

As dragline excavators are heavy, they are usually assembled on-site. These are commonly used in civil engineering projects carried out on a large scale, like canal dreading and underwater excavating.

  • Mini Excavators 

Recent developments have led to the innovation of mini excavators used by contractors as they are smaller and lighter in shape, size, and weight. They’re a mini version of the standard excavator and fit perfectly in places with little space. 

Due to their shape and size, they can only take up small loads of construction work. However, it’s only because of their compact size that you can also use them indoors. 

If you’re looking for smaller construction projects, mini excavators are a perfect choice. 

Wrapping Up 

Excavators are excellent construction machines that improve your overall work and efficiency. While excavators for sale are available in the market, their functions are mostly similar.

 Before you purchase an excavator, make sure to research the types and features of each excavator based on your requirements.


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