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Excavators are some of the most useful and necessary machines for a construction project. Designed to dig through earth and other types of foundation and equipped for such tasks as demolition work and heavy lifting, excavators help facilitate the operation of small and large construction sites. They are manufactured in many different forms, each of which is useful in a particular environment. From compact designs suited for areas with limited space to equipment that is better able to navigate unstable foundation, excavators are a necessary and well-spent expense for many construction firms, since they routinely handle building projects of different scopes and sizes.
Because excavators come in a range of types, you can select a design to specifically meet the needs of your building project. A common design of an excavator is the backhoe, which has a bucket on a boom arm facing the operator cab. Backhoes are available in compact sizes for work in smaller areas, and some offer 360-degree mobility. The bucket position of steam shovels—which these days are fueled by electricity or diesel, not steam—makes them ideal for working near walls. Dragline excavators have more extension than backhoes. They can also be operated more easily over earth affected by heavy moisture or instability. Bucket wheel excavators use shovels attached to a front wheel to move stones and soil to a conveyor belt, which then deposits its contents into a bin. Suction excavators lessen the danger of pipe damage by using vacuum-powered hoses to pull rocks and earth out of the ground. Whether you are working with space constrictions, walls, wet ground, or underground objects, there is an excavator form tailored to your task.
Purchasing a new excavator represents a significant financial investment. However, the protracted length of time for which an excavator is operative—they are designed to last 8,000 to 10,000 hours—means a consumer can use the excavator for a few thousand hours and then resell it to partially recoup his or her capital. This also means that fully functional used excavators, with many hours of work ahead of them, are on the market for less than full price. Two- to three-year-old excavators with a few thousand hours of wear are usually resold at 25 percent less than the original price. Older models with more wear can be 50 percent or less. The chance to resell and buy used excavators makes owning these otherwise expensive machines a financial viability for many consumers.
One of the biggest disadvantages of excavators is the size and weight of the equipment. These heavy machines cannot be driven across long distances because they are very slow and fuel costs would be excessive. Excavators also cannot be driven on normal roads. They can damage roads that are not reinforced for heavy loads. Excavators must be transported on large trucks even if they are used across town.
All of the costs required to use an excavator add up. They are expensive to operate and expensive to transport. Fuel costs on the equipment is expensive just for normal use. Small businesses find it difficult to afford large equipment and are forced to rent the equipment as needed. This leaves the owner to pay for upkeep and repairs, which are also costly.
Difficult to Repair
Large equipment is often difficult to repair due to the large size. Maintenance crews must get inside the equipment or on top of the equipment to work on it. Changing out large parts is not an easy task and often requires the use of a hoist, which adds to the cost of the excavator. The many moving parts can also pose a problem when trying to repair large equipment. It takes someone trained in heavy equipment repairs to perform most large repair jobs. Instead of being done in-house, the maintenance is often outsourced, which adds to the heavy cost of ownership.
Employees must be certified to operate heavy machinery before they are able to use the excavator. Training takes time and money that many companies do not have. Certification can take weeks to achieve because certain criteria must be met before an employee can gain credentials. The training organization must be accredited before the certification can be official. This can be a costly expense for a company.
Plan Your Budget for All Costs Associated with an Excavator
According to the EDA, excavators are the third most purchased pieces of heavy machinery, with 509,900 units financed since 1990. If you need an excavator for your business, it is important that you plan for both the initial purchase and the long-term costs associated with the piece of equipment.
You have a few options to consider when you need to purchase an excavator. You can choose to rent, lease or buy. You can choose a mini-excavator or a full-size excavator. You can choose a new, used or refurbished excavator. Excavators 101 notes that a used excavator can cost 25 to 50 percent less than a new one. With all of these options, you can mix and match options to fit your budget. If you only have one job that requires an excavator, and you are low on cash, you can rent a used mini-excavator. If you will use the equipment a lot, but don’t have a lot of money, you can lease a refurbished unit.
If you purchase an excavator instead of renting it, you will be responsible for the upkeep costs. These costs include keeping it full of fuel and oil, as well as regular preventative maintenance checks. You may have to replace the shoes, tracks, track pads or slewing rings periodically. Hydraulic fluid may need to be replaced or refilled. Electrical components may need to be replaced eventually.
With research, a construction firm will be able to find an excavator for nearly any project. Excavators come in many different sizes with features that are suited for special situations such as working with moisture-rich terrain or removing large amounts of debris. While they may be an expensive purchase, excavators are designed to work for thousands of hours and can be resold once they have served their purpose. Construction companies with limited budgets should keep in mind that aside from the initial expense of purchasing an excavator, they must also account for additional costs such as maintenance, repairs and employee training. If purchasing an excavator is not financially feasible, the possibility of leasing or renting one should be considered.
Are you looking for excavators? An excavator basically means something or someone that moves earth. Most commonly this is known as one who carefully removes earth from geological or archeological sites in a manner that does not disturb the fossil or object being uncovered, however in construction an excavator is a large machine used for removing large amount of ground quickly in order to make room for a building complex.
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