The Powerful Excavator
iPhoneOgraphy – 24 Jul 2016 (Day 206/366)
Excavators (Hydraulic Excavators) are heavy construction equipment consisting of a boom, dipper (or stick), bucket and cab on a rotating platform known as the “house”. The house sits atop an undercarriage with tracks or wheels. They are a natural progression from the steam shovels and often mistakenly called power shovels. All movement and functions of a hydraulic excavator are accomplished through the use of hydraulic fluid, with hydraulic cylinders and hydraulic motors. Due to the linear actuation of hydraulic cylinders, their mode of operation is fundamentally different from cable-operated excavators which uses winches and steel ropes to accomplish the movements.
Excavators are also called diggers, JCBs (a proprietary name, in an example of a generic trademark), mechanical shovels, or 360-degree excavators (sometimes abbreviated simply to 360). Tracked excavators are sometimes called “trackhoes” by analogy to the backhoe. In the UK, wheeled excavators are sometimes known as “rubber ducks.”
Hydraulic excavator capabilities have expanded far beyond excavation tasks with buckets. With the advent of hydraulic-powered attachments such as a breaker, a grapple or an auger, the excavator is frequently used in many applications other than excavation. Many excavators feature a quick coupler for simplified attachment mounting, increasing the machine’s utilization on the jobsite. Excavators are usually employed together with loaders and bulldozers. Most wheeled, compact and some medium-sized (11 to 18-tonne) excavators have a backfill (or dozer) blade. This is a horizontal bulldozer-like blade attached to the undercarriage and is used for levelling and pushing removed material back into a hole.