There are hundreds of businesses from around the world that build excavators, attachments, and parts, but few are as dominant as Caterpillar. Amongst the many different models that CAT has developed the most commonly used tends to be the 320 series. Falling into CAT medium excavators category, the 320 line contains very reasonably sized machines that are able to perform a wide array of jobs. Like many tractors, often the strength of the excavator is its ability to perform different undertakings by using different attachments on its hydraulic arm. Another producer of excavators that trails close behind Caterpillar is the Japanese manufacturing power Komatsu with its PC200 model.
Excavators of all different sizes are used across a vast array of different industries. However, there is one machine that absolutely dwarfs the rest of its heavy equipment family. Not only does this behemoth hold the record for the worlds biggest excavator, it also holds the Guinness Book of World Records claim for the largest land vehicle of all time. After spending five years developing the project and another relatively quick five years to build it, the German company Krupp had a $100 million machine on its hands. Standing at a staggering 30 stories in the sky, the Bagger 288 is considered a bucket-wheel excavator. At the end of its massive boom sits a saw-looking attachment, except instead of sharp blades, it has a rotating wheel of buckets that is constantly churning, scooping, and dumping any land in its path. Its incredible frame stretches 721 feet (almost two and half football fields). The Bagger 288 relies on twelve different 12 foot-wide tracks to get it moving. Its longest distance traveled was fourteen miles away. This took quite some time considering that, due to its incredible size, the beast can only move at a crawling 30 feet per minute. If it were to have gotten stuck in the mud it would have been an impossible feat to get it out. To avoid this, all of the sand that the Bagger had to travel over was pre-seeded with grass to eliminate moisture. All of its 45,500 tons made it safely to its next mining destination. But the breathtaking size of the machine is only half of its awe. In one day alone the Bagger 288s impeller can dig and drop 240,000 tons of coal per day. When it is all said and done this mega-machine is estimated to produce nearly 100 million tons of coal each and every year; that is enough coal to run one normal sized coal plant in the US for 75 years.
The most common type of excavator is called a crawler. Crawlers use tracks to conquer unstable terrains as well has have increased stability with operating the excavators arm. Crawlers come in a great deal of sizes depending on the job they are needed for. Medium to smaller sized models are often called mini-excavators. If an excavator is below 7 feet it also maybe called a mini-digger. These little giants are typically used for smaller roadside projects and landscaping. When a job demands the excavator to travel further distances, especially if on a road, the best available option is the wheeled excavator. While provide the same basic functionality as the crawler, the wheeled excavator naturally doesnt maintain the same stability due to the lack of traction. To combat this, the wheeled models use stabilizing legs (one on each corner) to comfortably ground the machine while it scoops and lifts materials. There is another type of excavator that may use tires or tracks that is often referred to as a “waste handler”. The arms of these particular machines are often fitted with claws or grapples that allow the excavator to pick up trash, waste, debris, or other materials and move them to a nearby location. These trash movers can often be seen in landfills and scrap yards. While most excavators are used for building, digging, or moving, one type of excavator was made for destruction. Demolition excavators have an small but powerful claw that is able to twist different directions. This claw is used to grab onto parts of a building and pull them down. Often crawlers and waste handlers will follow demolition excavators to remove the waste that has been torn down.
The technologies of excavators are always expanding. Even just recently the worlds first 3D printed excavator was shown at CONEXPO-cON/aGG, an event that is held every three years in Las Vegas, Nevada. This event draws the the construction industrys biggest names including brands like CAT, Komatsu, Volvo, and Hitachi. At the expo you can find the newest information on excavators, meet representatives from the biggest brands, and participate in classes and activities to learn more about using excavators in construction. The next CONEXPO-cON/aGG will take place in 2020 and will contain 28,000 heavy equipment exhibitors spanning 2,500,000 square feet.
If you are looking to find the right excavator for your business, farm, or operation look no further than the used heavy equipment sites like Mascus. With thousands of excavators on their site you can locate the exactly which make, model, and specifications fit your individual needs by using the filters on the left-hand side of the website. In the case that you are looking to sell your used excavator Mascus also provides a simple 3-step method to quickly get your vehicle in front of many potential buyers.