How Do Construction Excavators Work?

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How Do Construction Excavators Work?

Construction excavators work in a variety of ways. Like most construction equipment, they are made up of multiple parts working together to get a job done. Each type of construction excavator works a bit differently because they are designed for a specific purpose. When they are designed, the function is always kept in mind. Although the majority of construction excavators look similar, they have different features and parts. Construction excavators may be purchased from construction supply companies as well as on the online auction site, eBay.

When examining a construction excavator, the job that it does needs to be examined as well. Since these machines come in several shapes and sizes, one can be found to fit almost every size of job. Many times, the different designs of the construction excavators are made for the terrain, specific job, and size of the job. There are many uses for excavators, and most of them have three main parts: the motor, the arm, and the locomotion. Each of these things works in conjunction with the others to perform the excavation.

Uses for Construction Excavators

Many people believe that excavators are only used for digging holes. This is not entirely true. Often, they are used for applications, such as mining, scraping, and moving large objects. No matter the size of the excavator, it can perform a multitude of tasks. The bucket can be used to push, pull, or dig. This allows it to be useful in every aspect of excavation. Most of them, if used properly, can be used to push over small trees and move them out of the way. They can dig into the earth or pull down earthen walls for mining. Many of the uses for excavators have little to do with actual excavation.

The industries in which excavators are used are as varied as the sizes and shapes of excavators. When hearing the word "excavation", or "excavator", people automatically think that destruction is involved. With modern excavators, this is not true. Many modern excavators are used for building and clearing building debris.

Modern excavators come with a variety of options, such as flat buckets, legs, and half-tracks. Each of these options are designed to accomplish a specific purpose, such as stabilisation or tamping. Some excavators support equipment, rather than dig under it.

The Main Parts of an Excavator

There are three main systems that an excavator uses. The first is the motor or power driving system; the second are the arms; and the third is the mechanism of locomotion. Each of these systems work together to accomplish the job that the excavator is doing.

The Motor

The motor of an excavator is one of the most important and expensive parts. Essentially, it does what all motors do and creates the power to move and operate the machine. Excavators can have a variety of different motors. The motors can be powered by diesel fuel, petrol, or are sometimes electric. Electric excavators are extremely rare and are generally specialised to a specific working environment.

The motor of an excavator works much like the motor of a car. It has fuel, pistons, oil, and a transmission. Diesel motors, although preferred for excavators, are also heavy polluters. This means that they release a variety of toxic gases into the immediate work area, and ultimately, the atmosphere. So despite their efficiency, there are environmental concerns. This is the same for motors powered by petrol. These motors also release environmentally-toxic gases. This is not to say that electric motors are the least toxic to the environment, because they also produce gases, and the power plants that generate the power also have an environmental impact.

The operator of the excavator generally uses a variety of switches, levers, and pedals to operate the excavator. Each pedal works similar to those on a car where there is a clutch, a gas pedal, and a brake pedal. These are mainly for moving the machine forward or backward. The switches generally control locking mechanisms for the arm, and the levers control the attachments.

The Arm

The arms, or attachments, are the functional part of the excavator. Since most excavators may have more than one termination on the arm, its function may vary. The most common termination is a clawed bucket. This is to pull dirt, soil, or sometimes concrete into the bucket and move it into a container or just out of the way.

The arm is moved by hydraulics and levers. The levers are inside of the cab, and from there, the operator can control how the arm moves, how that attachment moves, and how the whole excavator rotates. This gives the person doing the excavating the power to accomplish the job. The arm can be used in a variety of ways with the bucket attached. This includes lifting, holding, removing, or supporting portions of a structure.

The arm can have other attachments, as well as the bucket. There are claw attachments, modified buckets, spikes, and a variety of other useful tools. Most of these attachments do have similar purposes, but with slightly different outcomes. The most commonly seen attachment is the bucket, and its most common use is to dig or remove debris. The arm is usually controlled by an advanced system of hydraulics with levers that are inside of the cab of the excavator. The levers control the horizontal, vertical, and digging action of the arm. Since this is controlled from the cab, it is important to watch for people or obstacles in the path of the arm.

Excavator Locomotion

Just as there are many attachments to an excavator, there are many types of movement of which they are capable. The most common is a track design that allows the cab and arm to swivel, but not the base of the machine. This provides stability, while not sacrificing manoeuverability. Most excavators have a design that allows a 360-degree movement of the arm and the cab. The tracks allow the excavator to move across uneven or rocky terrain.

Some excavators have a half-track design where the front of the machine has wheels and the back has tracks. Although this design is less stable on rocky terrain, the half-track design makes the excavator easier to turn and change places easily. These sometimes have a third wheel allowing the excavator to make tighter than normal turns. Many of these can be found on excavation sites in urban areas where increased mobility is a benefit.

One of the more stable versions of the excavator has fold out legs. There are either two or four of them that can be controlled independently to keep the excavator stable no matter the surface. They also help to keep the machine from undermining itself. This feature can be very important when working in swampy or soft areas where the sand or mud may slide out from the excavator and undermine it.

Buying a Construction Excavator on eBay

In order to find out which types of construction excavators are on the market, a good place to try is eBay. This online auction service has a large list of the different types of construction excavators and accessories for them. They also often have manuals for learning their functions as well.

If you would like to purchase an excavator on eBay, type the name of the excavator into the search box, and click on the search button. This populates a list of all of the different items matching the criteria or keywords. You can then scroll through the list until you find one that suits your needs. Then, click on an option, and this brings up a more detailed listing.

Read the detailed description carefully to make sure that all of the specifications that you require are included. If there are any questions, use the "ask the seller a question" feature. This feature allows you to correspond with the seller about any questions or problems. There is also a return and location policy on this page. If everything is agreeable, then proceed to make the purchase.


Although not everyone needs a construction excavator, it is good to understand how they work. The different parts of the excavator each perform very different functions that can make large and small projects easier. Each size and style of excavator can suit a different purpose. Many of the large excavators are only for sale privately, while the smaller ones may be sold on eBay or at a local brick-and-mortar shop. Make sure that you have a practical use for an excavator before purchasing one.

An excavator can make digging and other construction jobs easier to perform. They have more uses than just digging, and becoming familiar with these uses is beneficial to anyone considering an excavator purchase. There are several companies that make excavators, including Caterpillar, a name known throughout the construction world. Make sure that the project and the size of the excavator are suited to one another, and that the accessories that you are purchasing are the exact ones that are needed. One very important thing to consider when purchasing or operating an excavator is safety. Be sure to read all of the literature regarding the operation of the specific excavator being purchased.

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