How To Choose The Right Compact Excavator

August 2014, Vol. 69, No. 8

Machine rotation and boom swing are also critical factors when considering a compact excavator. “Machine rotation becomes important when comparing a compact excavator’s ability to provide up to 180 degrees of movement, compared to the 90 degrees of rotation that is common with backhoes,” says Connor. “An excavator’s independent boom swing allows operators to reposition the machine less frequently than a tractor loader backhoe, plus it delivers greater visibility to the working end of the machine.”

Versatility through attachments

Enhancing the usefulness of a compact excavator through attachments is not only a cost-saving solution, but it can open up new job opportunities for owners. “An excavator that can be equipped with construction-oriented attachments – such as trenching buckets, grading buckets, plate compactors, hydraulic breakers, grapplers, rippers, clamps and augers – can open up job possibilities on new or existing jobsites,” says Connor.

He also notes that many manufacturers offer their own type of attachment mounting system feature to help operators quickly and easily switch between attachments. “Faster attachment changes can be achieved with optional hydraulic actuated systems, which let operators activate the mechanism by pressing a switch inside the cab.”

The proper selection of a compact excavator can increase work potential and profits. However, thorough research on models and brands is only part of the solution. “You can’t truly know how an excavator model will perform until you operate it under load. Ask your dealer to schedule a demonstration that places the machine in real-life working conditions where you can lift, grade and trench,” says Connor. “Only then can you accurately gauge a machine’s balance between its hydraulic system and engine horsepower.”

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