9 Things to Consider when choosing a Suitable Excavator


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There are nine key things that you need to consider when choosing the right excavator for your Brisbane area project. Performing site prep is about using quality machinery and attachments, all of which work together to get the job done quickly and efficiently. 

When completing a project, time is of the essence. That’s why, when choosing an excavator, you want to select the features that will cut down on machine time.

According to For Construction Pros, “some industry experts estimate that a quality automated coupler on an excavator can save up to 25% of total machine operating time compared to direct-mount attachments.” Couplers are handy for quickly changing attachments such as different types of buckets used for various applications.

The key is to fit your machine with the right equipment so a wide range of tasks can be performed easily. For example, you might need a breaker for demolishing structures in Toowoomba, a grapple for clearing land, and a trenching bucket for digging foundation footings, so having the ability to swap them out with no hassle is important to finishing a job within a specified timeframe and budget.

1. Consider Transportation

If frequent transport is a consideration, you’ll need to figure in those costs when choosing your excavator. One factor that should be evaluated is whether it is necessary to upsize or downsize a trailer to match a particular machine. There may also be permit requirements for transporting heavier excavators, so you’ll need to factor that into the cost.

You should also make sure you have the proper hauling truck available. It should meet the hauling regulations of the area where you’ll be travelling, whether it's a short distance, such as from Byron Bay to Ballina, or all the way from Gold Coast to Sunshine Coast, and should be appropriately matched to the right sized trailer.

2. Partner with the Right Expert

When choosing an excavator, it’s important to find a partner who knows the equipment inside and out. This will ensure you have the right equipment for your job while giving you someone you can rely on to answer important questions and provide parts needed for future repairs.

3. Power Is the Key

Your excavator needs to have enough power for your job so you’ll want to look at the hydraulics and testing options available on the unit. Often times, the power and type of work that can be performed during the course of a day are listed on the machine. The right hydraulics and power will make you more efficient and productive, so don’t skip this step.

4. Consider Zero Tail Swing

Zero tail swing allows you to safely work close to walls, dig sites and other obstacles. You'll have more agility with your excavator, which means less chance for any accidental impacts.

5. Picture Your Jobsite

Think about what your job site will look like and consider any possible demands or hazards you might encounter. Think about the needs you will incur as your project moves forward depending on your location, whether you are in Logan or Brisbane or somewhere else, and what unique logistical challenges may be involved. Planning for various tasks will help you when choosing the right excavator.

Keep in mind that some models perform better on landscapes that are large and flat, while urban environments with buildings and obstacles will have different requirements. Take into account the needs of your typical job site when making a decision.

6. Consider Top Specifications

Features such as engine power, bucket capacity and storage should all be considered when choosing the right excavator. Your engine should be strong enough to get you around the job site so you can perform various tasks. You will also want to check the types of buckets supported by the machine as well as the maximum capacity of this option. Ensure proper storage of your excavator according to the weather in your particular area. This is especially important in parts that receive frequent rain and snow.

7. Consider Size

Before choosing an excavator, consider what size you’ll need to take on various jobs. For example, if you’re working small jobs or in tight spaces, a mini compact might be suitable. On the other hand, if you need a lot of power for larger jobs, a standard model will better fit your requirements.

Mini excavators are smaller than standard models and range from 0 to 5 tonnes. They are typically used for working in smaller areas or tight spaces.

Standard excavators are the most common type, ranging from 6 to over 500 tonnes, and can be used for a wide project range. They work great for digging, material handling, dredging, demolition and snow ploughing.

8. Other Excavator Types

There are various types of excavators that perform specific functions. One is the knuckle boom excavator, which contains an additional joint on its arm for more flexibility when digging.

Long reach excavators feature an arm that can reach from 39 to 95 feet, which is substantially more than the 41-foot reach of a standard excavator. This works well for demolition and dredging jobs where longer reach is necessary.

9. Additional Factors

Once you understand the requirements of your project, you need to take into account other factors that will impact your excavator choice. Think about the site where your machine will be used. What does the space look like, and which features will it require?

Determine whether you will need any attachments, and if so, which ones. Will rippers, hammers, buckets or couplers be necessary to complete your job?

Select attachments from the same manufacturer as your excavator. This will ensure all pieces are compatible with one another.

Figure out if you should hire or purchase. If you will only be using the excavator and attachments temporarily, it will probably be more cost-effective to rent. Conversely, if you’ll need the use of a machine in the long-term, it may be more economical to purchase it outright.

Need to hire a McManaway excavator today? Call us, and we’ll handle all your excavation and earthmoving hire needs.



50A Enterprise Street, Cleveland, Brisbane QLD 4163





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