California Excavator Parts - Excavators are instrumental for completing building projects on time and on budget. They are far more efficient compared to manual labor and can move heavy loads of dirt in mere minutes. These machines are used in landscaping, agricultural applications, road work and bridge work along with the construction industry. While tracked models are sometimes known as trackhoes, excavators go by many names including mechanical shovels, diggers and 360-degree excavators. Excavators can be equipped with numerous attachments to facilitate a range of jobs including grading and landscaping, demolition with a cutter, breaker and hydraulic saw attachments, material handling, river dredging, forestry, construction, open-pit mining, regular mining, driving piles when working with a pile driver, digging holes, foundations and trenches, snow removal with snowplow and snowblower attachments, drilling for rock blasting and footings with hydraulic auger attachment or drill, mulching for forestry and more.
An excavator is a type of heavy construction equipment that is comprised of specific parts. The stick or the dipper, cab, boom and bucket are located on top of the house which is a rotating platform. The house is situated on top of an undercarriage that has tracks or wheels. Excavators have evolved from steam shovels of yesteryear. The hydraulic excavating models rely on hydraulic fluid to finish all movement and functions. The linear actuation on the hydraulic cylinders makes them differ from cable-operated excavators that rely on winches or steel ropes.
There are numerous sizes and models when it comes to hydraulic excavators. Tiny and compact models weigh approximately 2k lbs. while the largest models weigh in around 2m lbs.
Three hydraulic pumps are utilized by modern hydraulic models instead of relying on mechanical drivetrain configurations. Two of the pumps supply high-pressure oil for the track motors, swing motor, arms and accessories. The third low-pressure pump supplies power for pilot control of the spool valves. This setup enables less physical effort required for the operating controls. The three pumps that are in an excavator are often the two variable displacement piston pumps and the gear pump. These three pumps can be found in the excavator in numerous configurations depending on different manufacturer models.
The House and the Undercarriage
The house and the undercarriage make up the two main portions of the machine. The final drives with a hydraulic motor and subsequent gears to individual tracks the blade, track frame and tracks are considered undercarriage components. The house consists of the operator cab, the counterweight, hydraulic oil tanks, fuel and the engine. The house and the undercarriage are connected via a pin. A hydraulic swivel located at the pin axis supplies high-pressure oils to the hydraulic motors’ tracks. This setup enables the machine to traverse 360 degrees freely.
The house is available in a variety of configurations and is attached to the main boom. Mono booms are among the most common. This type features zero movement besides straight up and down. The knuckle boom enables the machine to move right and left in line. There is a hinge option located at the booms’ base to let it pivot up to 180 degrees independently to the house, usually on available on compact excavators. There are triple articulated booms available on specific machines.
A dipper arm is attached to the end of the boom. This apparatus provides the required digging force to drag the bucket through the ground. The length of the stick is optional depending on whether breakout power or reach is necessary. Shorter stick models are often utilized for breakout power jobs while longer stick models are used to complete extensive reach situations. A bucket is typically attached to the end of the stick. A mud bucket refers to a wide bucket that has a straight cutting edge for cleanup applications and leveling and where teeth are not required. General purpose buckets are usually stronger and smaller with hardened teeth and side cutters to break up rocks and difficult ground. There are different buckets available in numerous sizes for a variety of applications. Numerous attachments can be used for ripping, lifting, cutting, boring, crushing, and more.
Prior to the ‘90s, all excavating equipment came with a conventional counterweight that was suspended off of the back of the machine. This design enabled the machine to conquer more digging force and lifting capacity. This design was not ideal for working in confined locations. The counterweight of modern machines today is designed to stay in the width of the tracks making it much safer and more user-friendly within confined spaces.
In excavators, there are two main kinds of control configuration to operate the bucket and the boom called the ISO and the SAE. This configuration disperses the top four digging controls between two separate y-x joysticks, providing the operator with simultaneous control over all four movements. Certain excavators have switches to allow the operator to decide on which configuration they want to use during operation.
Hydraulic excavator jobs have surpassed bucket and excavation tasks. Many attachments including an auger, a grapple or a breaker have become common hydraulic powered attachments. Some models come with a quick coupler feature to increase efficiency while simplifying the attachment mounting process. Excavators often work beside loaders and bulldozers. Most of the compact-sized excavator models have wheels and a backfill or dozer blade. This horizontal blade attaches to the undercarriage. It is used for pushing and leveling material back into a hole.
8 Main Excavator Types
• Long Reach
• Steam Shovel
• Bucket Wheel
• Skid Steer
Steam shovels are one of the original types of excavators. They relied on steam energy while today’s models use electric or diesel motors. Steam shovels resemble backhoes with the shovel or bucket facing away from the machine as opposed to towards the unit. This enables the operator to shove dirt away from the machine instead of pulling earth towards it. Steam shovels are popular for digging around objects that might interfere with a regular backhoe.
One of the most well-known types of excavators is backhoes. This equipment consists of a wheeled track base and large bucket that extends from an arm or boom above the ground. The bucket faces the operator cab and enables the operator to scoop earth toward the equipment. There are many kinds of excavators and sizes including heavy-duty applications such as dredging water and bridge construction to compact residential models ideal for backyard landscaping. The more compact units are ideal for accessing smaller spaces and this offers a 200-degree swiveling range for digging close to the machine.
A dragline excavator resembles a backhoe and includes various cables and lines to facilitate the bucket pulling motion. The dragline design enables operators to obtain a longer reach while digging deeper compared to a traditional backhoe. The cable and booms let users work over wet or unstable ground and in difficult locations unattainable by regular models.
Skid Steer Excavators
Skid steers are designed with their booms and buckets facing away from the operator. This engineering enables attachments to reach over the cab instead of around the cab. Skid steers are excellent in narrow areas and can easily negotiate tight turns thanks to this specific design. These machines often complete residential jobs such a digging pools, site cleaning and working in limited surroundings while removing debris.
Resembling a modern dump truck, these special excavators enable operators to use a large hose and vacuum technology to suck rocks and earth out of the ground. The material is transferred back to the truck. The suction excavator ensures a safer environment for digging around equipment and underground pipes compared to typical backhoes.
Crawlers run on two tracks and not wheels. These machines are used in construction and mining operations. Crawlers are also known as compact excavators. They lift heavy debris and soil by using hydraulic power components. The machine can travel down hills thanks to the chain wheel configuration that makes these machines excellent for difficult and hilly terrain. Crawlers are slower in speed compared to other models but offer superior balance, flexibility and stability.
Long Reach Excavators
The long reach model features longer arm and boom options. Long reach excavators are excellent for hard-to-reach locations. This machine offers over one hundred feet of horizontal reach. These machines are often used for demolition in applications working over a body of water. Numerous attachments can be attached to the arm to complete jobs including shearing, crushing and cutting.
Bucket Wheel Excavator
These excavators function with a large front wheel with built-in buckets and shovels. Items such as dirt and rocks become scooped up in the bucket as the wheel rotates. Materials are transferred onto a conveyor belt that makes up a portion of the machine. The belt carries the material into a bin that may be part of the model or separate.