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Purpose of Using a Long-reach Excavator

Feb 22 , 2023

Excavators are considered to be very important machines, especially for the construction and mining sectors, as they are used to dig or excavate large amounts of ground from the surface. There are many excavator models on the market. Each excavator has a specific configuration for a particular excavation task. One specific model that has been widely used is the long-reach excavator. The machine is designed with a long arm, often referred to as a boom. Long-reach excavators are most commonly used for digging deep holes or trenches.


Very often, long-reach excavators are used to excavating rivers or lakes when placed on floating platforms or barges. Some long-arm excavator models are equipped with oversized counterweights designed to counteract the levering effect of the boom. When equipped with hand-held augers and other similar attachments, long-arm excavators are used to reaching heights. In addition, when equipped with mechanical thumb attachments, the machine can be used to lift and move pipes, poles, and other similar objects. There are many brands of long-arm excavators on the market, but Caterpillar excavators designed with a long moving arm are considered the best.

Excavator Boom

 Excavator Boom

Purpose of using a long-reach excavator

A long-arm excavator is actually a tracked machine designed with a bucket and bucket bar for digging trenches and holes. Like the tracked backhoe loader, the long reach excavator is found everywhere on every major construction or mining site. Although it is the ideal machine for digging deep holes and trenches, the long-arm excavator has a limited digging capacity. The main part is the boom, while the bucket bar can be extended all the way down to the bucket. Special hydraulic cylinders power the three main components: the bucket bar, the boom, and the bucket.


Designing a long-arm excavator is a much more demanding task and requires more than just attaching a long boom and bucket bar to a standard excavator. Longer and larger cylinders require longer distances and more efficient component movement. Longer boom excavators need to be designed with appropriate counterweights in order to counteract not only the weight of the moving arm but also the increased leverage. This increased leverage is created when the drum is full. When the excavator attempts to lift the loaded bucket, not including the extra balance may result in tipping over.


One of the disadvantages of long-reach excavators is the problem of transportation. Due to the size of a long reach excavator, transporting a long-reach excavator to a construction site can be a difficult task. For this reason, the long-moving boom and bucket bar are usually removed from the machine and transported by a separate vehicle. In addition, the counterweights are so heavy that they need to be transported separately. Transport problems and other similar issues are the main reason why companies decide to hire long reach excavators when needed rather than buying them.