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Everything you need to know about hiring an excavator
Excavators are one of the most versatile pieces of heavy equipment used in the civil, mining and construction industries. It consists of a boom, dipper, bucket, and cab which sits atop on a rotating platform and is mounted on an undercarriage with either tracks or wheels.
What an excavator can do
Excavators are typically used for the following jobs:
- Digging trenches, holes and foundations
- Material handling
- Heavy lifting
- Driving piles
- Demolition jobs
- Rock breaking
Types of excavators and their attachments
Excavators come in different sizes ranging from 6 tonnes to over 500 tonnes. Generally speaking, the more/heavier materials you need to move, the bigger machine you should look to hire. There are also a number of different types of excavators built to be used in various circumstances:
- Spider excavator (or walking excavator) - an all-terrain excavator which consists of a boom, stick, bucket and cab. It generally has three to four legs which move around in step-like increments. You should hire a spider excavator if you are working on steep inclines or uneven terrain.
- Rubber tyred excavator - as its name suggests, rubber tyred, or rubber tracked excavators have rubber pads.
- Swamp excavator (or amphibious excavator) - used to perform dredging while afloat in shallow water. These types of machines are typically used for removing silty clay, clearing silted trenches, swampland operations etc.
- Long reach excavator - built with a long boom arm, and typically used in demolition works (in replacement of a wrecking ball) by reaching higher levels of buildings and tearing down structures.
- Vacuum excavator - removes materials such as debris and litter, via a powerful suction through a wide pipe (up to 30cm wide).
- Wheeled excavator - mounted on rubber tyres as opposed to the normal tracked undercarriage. Mainly used for street works as the tyres cause less damage than steel tracks.
- Zero swing excavator - intended for tight and narrow spaces, zero swing (or zero-tail swing) cabs stay within the width of the tracks through a full rotation.
- Mini excavator (or compact excavator) - generally between 0.5 - 8.5 tonnes
- Hybrid excavator - capable of doing more work with less fuel by using recovered energy
Depending on the type of job, excavators can be fitted with different kinds of attachments to improve its flexibility and efficiency, including the following:
- Clamp / Grabs / Fork
- Compaction attachment
- Rock breaker / Hammer attachment
- Tine / Ripper
Selecting the right excavator
To ensure that you have the right excavator for your project, the following factors should be taken into consideration:
- Size of the job - make sure the machinery can access the area to be excavated
- Site conditions - check if the ground is soft or uneven as this may affect the type of excavator that can be used
- Attachments - will the job require other attachments fitted to the machinery?
How much does an excavator cost?
An excavator's hire cost will depend on its size and type needed for the job as well as what attachment it should have. Some hire companies also take into consideration the project duration when sending out rates to hirers. 11 - 15 tonne excavators will cost you around $110 to $120 an hour, with an operator, while hiring 16 - 20 tonne excavators will range from $115 to $125 an hour and with an operator. Bigger excavators, ranging from 21 - 25 tonnes will cost you around $125 to $140 an hour, with an operator.
If you are looking to hire an excavator and would like some advice on which one to hire for your project, you can reach out to our equipment hire experts on 1300 550 434 or by getting excavator hire quotes online from local suppliers with PlantMiner.
We also have a number of excavators available for hire across Australia. Select your city below for quotes: