What to consider when choosing an excavator?

What to consider when choosing an excavator?
Darrius Drew
Construction/Manufacturing and machinery
It takes approx. 5 minutes to read this article

Running a construction company comes with many responsibilities. One of them is providing the right equipment to your employees. The basic machine, necessary for efficient and effective work, is an excavator. When deciding to buy an excavator, you have to remember that it is first and foremost an investment that will pay off over time, with faster and easier construction.

Type of excavator

To quote a classic – first you need to answer one very important question – “what do I need the excavator for?”. Do I need a continuous cycle excavator or an intermittent cycle excavator? Will I be using it for high-volume excavation, building excavation, or water extraction? Think about it and choose the type of excavator that fits your business needs. Factors to look at include:

  • grab capacity,
  • boom reach,
  • type of drive,
  • weight and size of the excavator,
  • engine power and fuel consumption,
  • spare parts availability.

New or used?

When buying an excavator, you can follow similar criteria as when choosing a car. Going to the showroom to buy a new car, we can choose from several manufacturer’s models and compare the pros and cons of each. Deciding to buy new equipment, you can expect its faultlessness and be sure that the machine will serve us for several years. However, you need to remember about proper servicing, according to the recommendations of the manufacturer. In addition, buying a new excavator, you can customize it to your needs, and even personalize it. However, you have to reckon with high costs, reaching even several hundred thousand zlotys

A decent, used excavator can be purchased at a price of several thousand. However, as is the case with used equipment – you never know what you will come across. It is the same with the excavator. If you’re not sure of your technical knowledge, be sure to bring along a friend who can tell you what to look out for

Here are some tips on what to look for when buying an excavator

  • chassis and body – walk around the vehicle. Look out for parts that are subject to wear and tear or harsh weather conditions, such as water deposits after rain. Most importantly, make sure there is no rust. Also look to see if there are any signs of welding or painting anywhere. This could mean that the excavator has been damaged before and is past several repairs;
  • tires – Take a look at the tires on your excavator. On each tire, it is written what year it is from. You can also use a tread depth gauge. If the tires are more than a few years old or worn, you are probably looking at replacing them. The cost of a new excavator tire is quite high, so you need to consider whether you will be able to afford the expense
  • theengine – if it starts and runs perfectly, you probably have nothing to worry about. But check how it runs at slow and fast speeds. Does it “choke” and does it run evenly? If you hear disturbing sounds, such as knocking, rattling, it may mean that the engine is about to be repaired. Also look under the hood for signs of oil. Check if the engine is not “sweating” and nothing is dripping
  • transmission – similar situation to the engine. Repairing the transmission is a huge cost, so it should work well. Put in all the gears one at a time and pay attention to whether they go smoothly. If you feel that any of the gears are hard to get into, stuttering or grinding, you can expect the transmission to be overhauled or replaced;
  • hydraulics – The bucket on your backhoe should run smoothly. Replacing the hydraulic cylinders is another costly repair that may await you if the system is found to be defective. You can assess the condition by inspecting the pump – see if it’s leaking, if the seals are scuffed, if all the hoses are in place. Check how the bucket rises and lowers;
  • test drive the backhoe. See how it performs when driving and when using the bucket. Evaluate whether you think the cab provides enough visibility. This will be equipment that will be working day in and day out, so operator comfort is important;
  • paperworkask about all necessary paperwork, service books, insurance payments, etc.


When choosing an excavator, you should be guided by your business interests and needs. If the budget does not limit us, it is worth investing in new equipment. If you want to spend a little less, you can be interested in a used excavator. But always remember that the comfort of work and safety of employees are most important.

Main article photo: Designed by Freepik

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