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Types of uses for regular and mini excavators

by Byrne Anderson
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Excavators and construction are synonymous that go together without a doubt. They are the most valuable pieces of equipment on any construction site. With enhanced attachments and technological innovation, excavators are now not just for digging or lifting enormous amounts of soil. Instead, their versatility allows you to demolish structures, lift away waste, excavating mines, drilling operations.

So, whether you’re looking to undertake road construction, mining work, building construction, demolition, dam construction, earthwork, or any other construction work; you have to get one in your fleet of equipment.

You can either purchase one for yourself or go with an excavator rental company. But before going into the shopping process, it is pretty vital to understand different types of excavators, their capabilities and uses to make a well-informed decision.

Excavator types based on size


Excavators that weight between seven to 45 metric tons come under the heading of a standard excavator. These standard excavators have enough power and hauling capacity to work for a variety of commercial and industrial construction projects.

Mini excavator

The mini excavator also termed as a compact excavator is a type that has a reduced tail-swing or even a zero tail-swing that makes it ideal for working in tight spaces. Its maneuverability in small narrow job sites makes it ideal for residential works and landscaping jobs. Although mini-excavators are not as powerful as standard excavators they can undertake a variety of jobs. Many companies prefer to hire mini excavators on weekly or monthly plans as they are useful with a wide variety of civil construction projects.

Excavator types based on operation

Crawler mounted

As the name suggests, this type of excavator is mounted on a crawler assembly that moves by two rotating tracks the same as that of a tank. Such mobility makes it ideal for uneven and difficult terrains. The hydraulic power of the crawler makes its tracked chassis more stable.

So, if you’re looking to work for steep, rough, or muddy landscapes, it’s the best pick. The only con of a crawler excavator is that it’s slow. So, if you need an excavator on multiple locations of the same project, it may not be the best choice.

Wheeled excavators

This type of excavator is mounted on a wheeled assembly instead of tracks. It’s well suited for jobs on flat/hard surfaces like asphalt or concrete. But because of less traction control, you won’t be able to work well in muddy, soft, sloppy, or hilly terrain. However, it works faster than a crawler excavator and is easier to maneuver.

Long reach excavators

This excavator has a lengthy arm and boom that makes it ideal for head-to-reach areas. Because of its extendable arm of range 40 to 100 feet, the operator can work well from a safe distance. So, if you’re looking to undertake a job where the terrain or construction site prevents the machine and operator from getting too close, this must be your pick.

Hydraulic Shovels

The hydraulic shovel is actually the most powerful type of excavator that’s commonly used for mining projects. So, if you’re looking to handle any job that requires lifting and hauling large rocks or minerals; it has got the power and capacity to deliver.


Well, this type of excavator is used for specific jobs especially while excavating underwater. It operates differently than other types. It uses a hoist rope system and a dragline to raise and lower the bucket.

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