Introduction to Excavators, What Are They And Where Are They Used For


Modern civilization owes its existence to many different fields of learning, from science, engineering, philosophy, arts, system of government and many others. The list is just but a few that contributed to mankind’s progress. Construction also contributed a lot in shaping our society, cities and industries.In this article, we will introduce the machine called an “Excavator.”

What is an excavator? Excavator is from the word “Excavate.” The Meriam-Webster dictionary defines the word “excavate” simply as “to dig out and remove.” Excavator then means, one who excavates or digs. Before modern machinery was invented, people are the ones who excavates, using shovels and buckets together with any contraption that can hold and transport earth material. Later on, as technologies improved, man invented a machine that can dig, thus the modern reference to an “Excavator.”

An excavator is a mechanized machine that is designed to dig a hole and transport the earth material removed from the ground.  Other names for excavators are mechanical shovels, JCBs, diggers or 360-degree excavators or simply 360.

Modern excavators are used primarily for digging soil and rocks, but some have movable attachments that can break and crush concrete, cut steel,  layout gravel, drill holes in the earth and some even mow landscapes.In order to perform these heavy tasks, excavators are built ruggedly with movable and extensible parts to be able to dig faster and deeper than any group of men can do manually.

We are amazed the first time we see an excavator in action. A man operating the machine by pushing and pulling multiple levers and pushing buttons to operate the machine. We see it rotate from side to side and its giant mechanized metal claws crushing concrete and digging with ease in the ground.

Excavators are commonly seen in construction sites when a new building  is being constructed or at times we see them in city streets when a road repair is going on.  That is just what we normally see in the cities. Excavators are use in many more ways. They are used to dig trenches, foundations of houses and buildings, they carry different heavy materials, they are used in forestry work, in demolition jobs, in landscaping, heavy lifting, mining and river dredging.

    Modern excavators are composed of the following parts:

1.    Arm or Stick – The arm is the long metal controlled by hydraulic pumps. This is similar to a man’s arm that operates on the elbow and wrist.  In an excavator, the arm attaches to a boom and bucket.
2.    Boom  – The boom is the part that attaches to the bucket. This is similar to the forearm of a man. This part is also controlled by hydraulic pumps like the arm.
3.    Bucket – The bucket is attached the boom. This is the part that digs for earth material. This is also used for crushing concrete. There are different types of buckets for different tasks, like with or without teeth.
4.    Cab –The cab is the housing structure where the driver or operator sits and where the operating controls are located.
5.    Undercarriage –  The undercarriage is the base of the excavator where the tracks or wheels are attached. Excavator bases come in two types, the wheel type and crawler type. The wheel type is similar to that of a car and is used on hard surfaces like concrete and gravel. The crawler type is used for uneven surfaces like mud and sand. The crawler type has to be transported by another vehicle to get to its destination.

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