Equipment Spotlight: Mini Excavators

February 2011, Vol. 66 No. 2
Volvo's EC20C compact excavator.

Caterpillar
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The new Cat D Series Mini Hydraulic Excavators—models 303.5D CR, 304D CR, 305D CR and 305.5D CR—are powerful, versatile, compact-radius machines that work comfortably in confined spaces and build on the quality design and reliability of their C Series predecessors. With model designations that closely reflect their operating weights (3.5 to 5.5 metric tons), the new machines feature enhanced stability for greater productivity, a redesigned work-tool coupler, load-sensing hydraulics, and engines that meet U.S. EPA Tier-4 Interim and E.U. Stage-3A emissions regulations. Models 303.5D CR and 304D CR are zero-tail-swing machines that keep the radius of the upper body within the width of the tracks; models 305D CR and 305.5D CR are compact-radius machines that limit upper-body tail swing over the tracks to 5.5 inches or less. Both designs reduce the machine's operating footprint and simplify the operator's job. A new pin-grabber-type coupler (with the new optional hydraulic operation) combines positive work-tool retention with a design that maintains tight tolerances between coupler and tool, significantly reducing wear. Similar to large excavators, D Series booms feature a curved design for digging flexibility and fabricated-box construction for strength and durability. The independent-swing boom allows digging next to walls and obstructions, and an optional long digging arm for each model increases digging depth and lift height. catrequests@cat.com

New Holland Construction
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The New Holland E50B compact excavator with zero tail swing offers maximum versatility for excavating and grading. Reliable, fine-tuned engine and hydraulic performance results in exceptional power and up to a 10-percent increase in fuel economy. A hydraulically controlled dozer blade adds extra versatility for site-prep, back-filling and general grading. The blade is designed to match the width of the tracks for excellent coverage. An optional 4-way angle blade is available. A fully enclosed cab system with heater also is available -- air conditioning is standard. Featuring an operating weight of 10,274 pounds, a maximum dig depth of 11 feet, 9 inches and a bucket breakout force of 11,128 foot/pounds, this machine meets Tier 4 emissions standards. The machine includes auxiliary hydraulics as standard equipment, making it factory-ready for grapples, breakers and other attachments. www.newholland.com

Buyer's Guide