Depending on the excavator size class, you usually have three boom options: standard arm, long arm, and super-long-reach. For most excavator models, the standard excavator arm configuration usually offers the best lifting capacity and breakout force.
By choosing a long arm, or super-long-reach, you can reach further and dig deeper. These excavator's arms are particularly useful in applications where there is limited space to reposition the machine correctly, like reaching down a slope.
However, as the arm length increases, you will lose some of your lifting ability and breakout force. In some cases, equipping an excavator with a long arm or super-long-reach arm with a larger counterweight can help maintain some of its digging power.
Long Reach Arm and Boom
Some manufacturers offer a one-way auxiliary hydraulic system as standard equipment. Other excavators come with bi-directional auxiliary hydraulics as standard. If you plan to run attachments in the future, such as a thumb on an excavator, you may need a two-way hydraulic system. If you are sure you will only be digging, then you can get away with it in one direction.
Another reason for choosing bi-directional auxiliary hydraulics is whether you are using a multi-function attachment. If you think you will be using an angled tilt bucket or any other tilt attachment, you may need this option.
Cab options vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, but there are a few popular features. One is increased lighting in the front and sides of the cab. Additional halogen or LED lights can extend your working day. Cameras are also becoming more common.
Rearview cameras are now standard on many tracked excavators and can be added to some smaller excavators. Some manufacturers also offer side view cameras as an option. They are particularly handy when slewing around a crowded site.
Front window and side window cab guards are other options you can find on the market. Cab window guards are often used by customers involved in demolition, forestry, and recycling work. The guards provide additional protection for the operator from environmental hazards.
You can choose a specially designed forestry cab for your machine. Forestry cabs offer better protection against falling objects. Many excavator manufacturers offer the option of a straight-line pedal. This feature makes it easier for the operator to travel in a straight line and is popular in trenching applications.
When you buy an excavator, depending on the size of the machine, you may have a number of options regarding the undercarriage system. Small and medium excavators may come with steel or rubber tracks. Rubber tracks are common for smaller excavators and larger excavators that perform road work. For steel tracks, a common choice is the width of the track plate. Wider track plates provide more flotation.
Many mini excavator manufacturers offer angled or straight (dozer) blades. Blades provide extra stability when digging and allow for light backfilling. Angled blades allow you to adjust the angle of the blade to the left or right for enhanced material placement.