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4 Tips for Choosing the Right Excavator for Your Job

Choosing the right construction equipment for a project always involves many considerations. You need to determine not only which tools you’ll need, but also precisely which type of each will be best suited for the job. You may have determined that you need an excavator, but now you need to make sure you get the right one.

Sure, excavators all perform the same key functions, but they vary in size and capability. Identifying the perfect excavator for a job can take a bit more time and patience, but it will be worth the effort once you get set up on the job site. In this article, we’ve compiled 4 key tips to help you choose the right excavator for your job.

1.   Define the Budget

The first consideration when it comes to finding the right excavator is budget. In an ideal world, the backers of a construction project would have an unlimited budget, and acquiring the ideal tools for every job would make everything go very smoothly.

Of course, that’s not usually the case, so your budget may limit your options upfront. However, it’s important to understand the real value of finding the best excavator for the job. Put simply, getting an excavator that’s smaller or underpowered for a job may save a little upfront, but could ultimately cost more in the time it takes to complete a task, compared to one with the proper capabilities.

Be sure to take all of these costs into consideration when finalizing your budget, and do your best to allocate resources for the right excavator.

2.    Identify Your Needs

When looking for excavators, it’s important to identify a model with a configuration that matches your construction environment. A demolition excavator that has the capacity to tear down the top of a multi-storey building is likely going to be overkill if used to flatten some sand dunes at a suburban beach.

On the other hand, an amphibious excavator that can operate safely in and around water will have a limited use if its arm doesn’t have additional joints to move around a seawall or dig a trench to specification. Knowing your project needs at the start of a search will ensure you have a clear idea of the particular excavator needed.

3.    Consider the Attachments Required

If you need the excavator for a specialised task — as opposed to using one for multiple assignments — it’s useful to note that attachments can alter its capabilities and the way in which it performs. For instance, An Auger driver attachment enables an excavators to essentially ‘drill holes’ in the earth whilst a hydraulic breaker or ‘hammer’ can be used to break rock or concrete.

Even if a particular excavator seems like the perfect fit on paper, it may not be right for a particular task. All excavators are tough and reliable pieces of equipment, but if an attachment will alter its performance, it’s important to confirm whether you may need one that has more power or another element to ensure the job can get done right.


4. Know the Variables

When choosing an excavator, it’s also a good idea to think about any other extras you may need. For example, it’s an unfortunate reality of construction that sometimes sites are broken into and construction gear gets damaged. If you’re intending to use your excavator on a site that won’t be secured overnight, then built-in anti-vandalism components could be an important feature to have.

Remember the Flexibility Factor of Renting

Once you’ve decided on the right excavator for the job, you’ll also need to determine how you’ll be acquiring it. Anyone who has spent time on a job site knows that it’s impossible to foresee everything that may happen during a construction project, which is particularly important to keep in mind when it comes to getting equipment for the job.

One only needs to look at construction in the state of Victoria as an example of this. In 2018, construction grew over 15% over the year prior, but the rapid and surprising July 2020 re-introduction of stage 3 coronavirus restrictions in Melbourne has hindered this trajectory — in what was an already very hard year for the sector due to the pandemic.

When you rent equipment for a project, you’ll retain the ability to respond quickly to changing needs. For example, if the project evolves and suddenly requires a different excavator, it’s easy to return your current one and make the swap to a new one. If you buy an excavator, on the other hand, it’s much more difficult to pull off the same switch in a short period of time.

Keep these tips in mind next time you’re in the market for an excavator to ensure you’re choosing the right one and acquiring it in a way that makes sense for your project.

What other tips help you decide which excavator to pick? Let us know in the comments below.

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