An Excavator Brake Down


A very specialized vehicle that is used in the construction and industrial industries are called excavators.? Also referred to as a 360 (short for 360 degree excavator) or a digger, the underside of the particular vehicle typically has tracks or wheels that allow the excavator to be mobile.? Also consisting of a topside cab, a boom, a stick and an articulated arm, these specific machines are believed to be the next era in steam shovels.

When it comes to an excavator, there are a variety of different options available including a long reach, steam, compact, dragline, suction and power.? Because there are many different types of excavators, a wide range of job uses can be accomplished with this machine.? Some of the various things that an excavator can do is lift heavy materials, dredge rivers, mine various materials, demolish different structures and build various landscapes.? Not only that, but an excavator can come in a many different sizes ranging from 3,000 pounds to 185,000 pounds.? Whether it’s a small, mini excavator or a large track excavator, each machine serves a unique process.? Before deciding on which one is best for you, it’s very important to understand the job it will be used for.

Typically, all excavators will have the same basic structure that consists of a cab, boom, stick, bucket and tracks for mobilization.? The main component of an excavator that houses the operator is the cab.? The cab is connected to the deck of the machine by specialized pins that maintain the gears and control the tracks.? The next part of the excavator, the boom, is also connected to the cab.? The boom uses hydraulic cylinders in order to allow the machine to be lifted into the air.? Depending on the specific job, more advanced excavator’s are fully equipped with a swivel so that the boom can operate without interference from the cab.? Another important part of an excavator is the stick.? The stick will allow for boom extension in order to reach materials like dirt, sand and gravel that are either further away or positioned up high.

As new technologies continue to be introduced, the capabilities of an excavator continue to increase.? Now able to handle more difficult jobs than ever before, excavators are no longer restricted to simple digging work.? With advanced attachments like hydraulic augers and grapples, these special machines are able to do much more than you might think.? Typically used with other pieces of equipment like loader and bulldozers, an excavator is essential in many different milling, digging and demolition projects.? Without question, one of the biggest advantages that an excavator provides is its diverse ability to get different specialized jobs done.

Top 5 Excavating Safety Tips

OSHA Training Center Excavation HazardFollowing correct safety protocols when excavating is critical. According to a report by Osha, two workers are killed every month due to trench collapse.

Keeping the crew safe should be a priority, but often safety protocols are overlooked or ignored for convenience or deadline completion.

In this article we will take a look at the top 5 excavating safety tips.

Create safe trenches

This is the most important safety measure as failure to follow these guidelines can result in trench collapse. All additional safety measures should be followed in addition to those listed here:

  • Shoring: Installation of supports (typically hydraulics) to brace soil and prevent collapse.
  • Benching: Installation of steps providing safe access and exits for the trench areas.
  • Shielding: Installation of steel or aluminum protective structures around workers in the trench.
  • Sloping: The process of digging the trench wall at an angle, sloping away from the excavation.

Trenching and Excavation SafetyKnow the soil you are working with

Each cubic yard of soil can weigh as much as a 3,000 pound car. Depending on the type of soil the crew is working with, workers may have to slope, bench or shore the trench.

Soil classification should be performed by a knowledgeable, competent worker. Failing to properly follow these guidelines can result in a tragic cave-in.

Keep heavy equipment at a distance

Heavy equipment should be distanced from the sides of the trench, as far away as possible. Removed soil and other materials should be kept a minimum of two feet away from the edge – more if possible.

If the terrain does not allow for two feet of clearance, soil should be moved to another location.
Follow proper testing protocols: Once a trench has reached the four-foot mark, atmospheric testing should be performed. Trenches that show any signs of harmful gases, low oxygen levels or hazardous fumes should not be entered until properly dealt with.
Provide safe access to and from trenches: If trenches are more than four feet deep, additional requirements apply. Safe entrances and exits should include the implementation of ladders, ramps or steps. Ladders must extend above the trench surface a minimum of three feet.
Failure to adhere to safety guidelines may result in trench collapse. The loss of life is simply not worth bypassing regulations in an attempt to beat a deadline.

Employers should educate workers on excavating regulations, dangers and security measures, and reminders should be given in the form of memos, brochures and posted signs. Trench collapse can be prevented by proper training and implementation of security protocol.

The Different Types of Excavators

excavator in actionAlso referred to as a backhoe or digger, an excavator is a heavy piece of heavy machinery that is generally used to dig into the ground.? An excavator can also be used for building roads, structures and mining various types of minerals.

Because an excavator is such a large piece of machinery, digging jobs are more efficient and effective when the machine is being used due to the amount of materials that it is capable of picking up.

Adding to their versatility, an excavator comes in a variety of different sizes.? Ranging in size from smaller machines that can fit into your backyard to gigantic pieces of equipment that are used to excavate enormous rocks and mining substances like gold, soil and diamonds, an excavator serves many purposes.? Helping various construction workers make their jobs much easier, an excavator can greatly decrease a projects operational cost while also increasing worker productivity.

Hydraulics in Excavating

excavator hydraulicsThe majority of the excavators that are used in today’s construction world function with a hydraulic part that helps increase the amount of power that the machine uses.? In a commonly used excavator, a hydraulic cylinder, a bucket, an arm and a boom will be utilized.

Working synchronized together, each part of the excavator is essential to the machine’s overall performance.? Simply making a small adjustment to the excavator’s hydraulic cylinder could extremely improve or decrease the machine’s overall accuracy.

Another critical component of the excavator machine is the cab that sits on top of a platform that pivots on its tracks or wheels allowing it to move around.? In order to maneuver the excavator, the machine’s operator sits in the cab and uses the control system to move around.? The boom part of the machine acts similar to an arm and is able to reach out and grab whatever object or material that is needed.

In addition to being capable of extracting a large amount of dirt and other substances, the excavator is a very diverse piece of construction equipment.? Machine operators are able to remove the excavator’s boom and bucket to install specialized crushing tools, drills or scissors.? This allows the piece of equipment to be used to drill through harder materials like concrete.

Types of Excavators

dragline excavatorThe two main types of excavators that are typically used include a backhoe and a dragline excavator.? The most common type is a crawler excavator.

A backhoe can be seen at pretty much any construction or building site and is the main piece of equipment that is used for digging.? The other frequently seen type of excavator is a dragline.

This machine is usually much larger than a backhoe and is used for large mining and civil engineering jobs.? Depending on the specific construction job, either a backhoe or a dragline excavator will prove to be more useful.