Your Ultimate Guide to Construction Diggers and Their Benefits

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Your Ultimate Guide to Construction Diggers and Their Benefits

Construction diggers are a versatile type of equipment. From demolition to mining, these powerful machines can perform a variety of tasks in many different settings. In a way, this astounding versatility is one of the main advantages of construction diggers, whatever their shape or size may be.

Both small and large-scale construction diggers can make massive jobs fast and simple. Featuring a cab for the operator, which can rotate 360 degrees, modern hydraulic diggers offer great visibility and ease of use. The arm which moves the excavating bucket is called a boom. While the bucket that enables the machine to dig out dirt, gravel, and blasted rock can also be substituted for other types of attachments that perform different functions.

The benefits of using construction diggers for a variety of civil engineering, construction, and landscaping jobs are multifold. When trying to select a digger for a job, it is important to be aware of all the different types of excavators available on the market, what the attachment options are, and what the advantages and disadvantages of each specific feature are for certain settings and situations.

Different Types of Construction Diggers

The main differentiating factors between diggers are their sizes and the mechanisms they use to move around. The modern small-size diggers are commonly known as mini excavators. These powerful little machines have become the industry's best sellers in only a few decades.

Mini Excavators

Ideal for demolition and landscaping jobs, mini excavators have the advantage that they can operate within small spaces. When planning to use them for digging, it is important to consider the mini excavator's depth of excavation. Additionally, dump height determines how high the bucket can be lifted; basically, it has to lift high enough to be able to drop its contents into the dump container.

The comparably light weight of mini excavators becomes a significant advantage in situations in which a heavier machine might cause damage to the ground, for example, in the case of landscaping jobs. In terms of control systems, the pilot hydraulic controls of modern mini excavators make manoeuvring much easier than the lever controls of the past.

Dragline and Suction Diggers

Commonly used in mining, dragline excavators are massive, and they can handle large loads of heavy materials. Mounted on a fixed base, they feature extremely large buckets and structural design booms. On the other hand, suction excavators dig out material using a suction mechanism. Featuring a tank, which is ideal for storing waste, they are very compact and can move around easily.


The base of crawler excavators is a track system, similar to what can be seen on army tanks. They are ideal for digging dirt out of small spaces and bringing it out to larger dumping areas. They usually feature a very long boom, which allows them to reach inaccessible spots.

Wheeled Diggers

The average wheeled excavator is a multipurpose piece of equipment that can adapt to many different settings. Its large wheels allow it to navigate many different kinds of hard surfaces. Commonly featuring a hydraulic system, they are able to operate at a high speed.

The Versatility of Construction Digger Attachments

The attachment is basically whatever is connected to the end of the boom. In digging work, it is usually a bucket, but changing it can turn a construction digger into a demolishing or drilling machine, among many other possibilities.

Construction Digger Attachments

There are many different kinds of attachments one can use with many construction digger models. Some are used in demolition work and others in recycling and waste handling, while others provide ideal solutions for handling different kinds of objects and materials.



Slab Crab

Holding slabs


Grabbing large rocks


Pulverising concrete, demolition

Auxiliary Sticks

Lengthening arms to reach more distant spots

Hydraulic breaker


Blade Bucket

Cutting off large pieces before pulling

Pallet fork

Safe pallet handling

Waste Clamp Buckets

Waste handling, features rams and pipework

V Buckets

Ditch digging

Shaker Buckets

Sorting and separating material on the spot

Crusher Bucket

Recycling by crushing materials on site

Hydraulic magnet

Site clearance, metallic scrap handling


Drilling and extraction


Ripping through frozen, hard-packed or tough surface materials

When buying attachments, it is always important to make sure they are adapted to fit a specific construction digger make and model.

Construction Digger Features

The basic mechanism of a construction digger is made up of an articulated boom with a bucket attachment at the end. The operator's cab is placed on a rotating platform alongside the boom's hinge. The platform usually features either wheels or tracks to enable mobility.

Modern hydraulic diggers offer quick tool-mounting mechanisms, allowing for quick attachment switching, thus greatly increasing their on-site functionality. The controls of these modern diggers are located in the cab, featuring a set of levers, which allow the operator to control both direction and height.

A construction digger's swing circle is what enables it to turn. Comprising an outer and inner race, and a number of ball bearings, this mechanism is crucial to digger performance.

The base of a digger is also very important, as its ability to move around and manoeuvre on certain surfaces depends heavily on it. Wheeled diggers are more suitable for hard surfaces, while those featuring a tracked base can be good on sand, mud, and other surfaces where wheels might easily get stuck. Compact or mini excavators usually feature this type of tracks. Made of either rubber or steel, tracks are extremely durable, and they provide excellent traction.

Construction diggers come in many different sizes. Caterpillar's smallest compact digger weighs about 900 kg, while Orenstein & Koppel's largest model weighs 980,000 kg, featuring buckets that can hold up to 52 cubic metres of material.

Towable vs. Tracked Mini Diggers

The towable diggers of the late 1970s have been largely substituted by the modern tracked mini digger. In terms of carrying out small jobs, the original towable diggers were a huge step forward in their time. The advent of mini diggers has made this type of machines rather obsolete, but their affordability still makes them a very convenient option for certain small and sporadic jobs.

Pros and Cons of Towable Diggers

Towable diggers tend to have less stability than those mounted on tracks, which makes them more difficult to drive, especially when the operator is not very experienced. Considering that a used crawler in good condition may cost the same as a brand new towable digger, the latter is not always an ideal choice.

Tyres also tend to wear fast, and they can also be damaged by sharp objects and difficult terrain. Over time, the added cost of replacing tyres can make towable diggers less cost-effective than mini excavators. However, having a machine mounted on wheels can be a good idea when other mobility features can be damaging to the type of surface it needs to operate on.

Pros and Cons of Mini Diggers

Mini construction diggers are very mobile, their 360 degree slew and boom offset give them the ability to function in tight spaces and reach targets in any direction. Their grading blade feature can be very useful for levelling work, and the cab offers a safe place for the operator to do his job.

On the other hand, mini diggers are expensive, and this cost is only justified in the case of people who plan to use the machines on a regular basis. Modern mini diggers are also harder to maintain, and some of their spare parts can be expensive and hard to find. Moreover, some very early models can be rather noisy.


From the outmoded towable diggers of the 1970s to the modern mini excavators, there is a wide variety of diggers available on the market today. Diggers can be mounted on wheels or tracks, they can feature a suction mechanism or a hydraulic power system, among many other possibilities. There are only a few different types of diggers, in terms of functionality; however, these machines that share so many essential features can radically change by the mere switching of attachments.

Construction diggers are made up of a cab mounted on a platform, a boom, and a bucket. Some of these buckets can be extremely sophisticated, for example, the ones used for sorting waste. The platform can either have wheels or tracks. The former are good on hard surfaces, while the latter are suitable for operation on mud, gravel, and sand.

Mini diggers can be very expensive, but they can also make digging jobs extremely easy. However, in the case of small and infrequent digging works, a second-hand towable digger can do just as well as a top-notch mini digger. Massive industrial jobs, on the other hand, often require large scale construction diggers.

As a rule, any old digger can beat a shovel and a bucket; they require minimal manpower, do a clean job, and are extremely versatile. While mini diggers are the optimum choice for any individual carrying out non-industrial work, their price is usually a big deterrent. Luckily, the second-hand market for construction diggers is very active, as these machines tend to a have a long useful life.

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