Excavator Hire FAQ
Q: What is an excavator?
A: Specifically, an excavator is a piece of heavy machinery used for digging and demolition. Broadly speaking excavators serve multiple construction related functions.
Q: Why do I need an excavator?
A: Excavators replace manpower making jobs cheaper, less labour intensive, and quicker. A large excavator can easily replace twenty workers with shovels, and smaller mini-excavators can make projects around the house considerably easier.
Q: How does an excavator work?
A: Without going into too many technical details which are beyond the scope of this FAQ, an excavator consists of a an undercarriage and a house. The undercarriage contains the tracks (or occasionally wheels) and the house contains the cab and is where the boom is attached. The boom is what the excavator is all about and is basically a large pivoting arm with a bucket attached to the end. A hydraulic motor (generally, although in very large applications diesel motors may be used) controls the movement of the boom and the bucket which is used for digging into earth, rock, or structures.
Q: What other functions can excavators serve?
A: Modern excavators often come with blades or loaders attached to the undercarriage which can be used to move earth or rock or for grading. Often there is a place for auxiliary attachments such as augers (used for drilling), breakers (used for destroying concert and rock), and grapples (used for grabbing hold of things). Some excavators come with one attachment while others have "quick couplers" which allow the auxiliary attachment to be changed on the job site.
Q: Do I need to hire an operator?
A: Not necessarily, but it can be something to consider. For smaller around the house jobs mini-excavators are relatively simply to operate. As previously stated larger excavators can be harder to control and time spent learning to control the device is time that the job is not getting done. Professional operators can reduce the time it takes to complete a job. Also keep in mind that these are large and heavy pieces of equipment. They can be dangerous if operated without caution or improperly. Some machines will come with operators, usually indicating that advanced training or licensing is needed to run that machine.
Q: What do I need to consider when hiring an excavator?
A: Consider how large the job you have is and how long it will take to complete. Take into consideration any space constraints or limitations as well. An excavator is useless to you if you can not get it to where you need it. Weight should also be added to the list. As excavators can be very heavy you should make sure the terrain you are planning on working in can support the weight. Bucket size should be considered as well, too large can create an unnecessarily big hole and too small could make the job take longer than needed. The reach of the boom is important as well; make sure it will be able to dig deep enough for your required task.