Alabama Excavator Parts - Excavators are important machines that are used in a variety of industries. These machines are capable of moving heavy dirt loads much faster in comparison to manual labor. This industrial equipment is used in many industries including road work, bridge building, landscaping, construction and architecture. While tracked models are sometimes known as trackhoes, excavators go by many names including mechanical shovels, diggers and 360-degree excavators. Excavators can be equipped with numerous attachments to facilitate a range of jobs including grading and landscaping, demolition with a cutter, breaker and hydraulic saw attachments, material handling, river dredging, forestry, construction, open-pit mining, regular mining, driving piles when working with a pile driver, digging holes, foundations and trenches, snow removal with snowplow and snowblower attachments, drilling for rock blasting and footings with hydraulic auger attachment or drill, mulching for forestry and more.
An excavator is a type of heavy construction equipment that is comprised of specific parts. The dipper, boom, cab and bucket are situated on top of a rotating platform called the house. The house is located on top of an undercarriage that features either wheels or tracks. The steam shovels of yesterday have transformed into today’s excavators. Today’s hydraulic excavating models use hydraulic fluid to complete all functions and movement. The hydraulic cylinders feature linear actuation making them different from excavators that are cable-operated, relying on steel ropes and winches instead.
Hydraulic excavators come in a variety of different models and sizes. Compact and tiny models weigh in around two thousand pounds. The largest models conversely fall into the two million pound category.
Modern hydraulic excavators rely on engine power to operate three hydraulic pumps as opposed to mechanical drivetrain operations. Two of the pumps supply high-pressure oil for the track motors, swing motor, arms and accessories. The third low-pressure pump supplies power for pilot control of the spool valves. This setup enables less physical effort required for the operating controls. The three excavator pumps typically consist of a gear pump and two variable displacement piston pumps. These three pumps can be found in the excavator in numerous configurations depending on different manufacturer models.
The House and the Undercarriage
The two main aspects of the machine are made by the undercarriage and the house. The undercarriage is comprised of the tracks, track frame, the gears and the hydraulic motor that operates the blade tracks. The house consists of the operator cab, the counterweight, hydraulic oil tanks, fuel and the engine. A center pin connects the undercarriage to the house. A hydraulic swivel located at the pin axis supplies high-pressure oils to the hydraulic motors’ tracks. This setup enables the machine to traverse 360 degrees freely.
The house is attached to the main boom and various configurations are available. Mono booms are among the most common. This kind of boom offers zero movement other than up and down motions A knuckle boom is another option which allows it to move right and left in line with the machine. There is a hinge option located at the booms’ base to let it pivot up to 180 degrees independently to the house, usually on available on compact excavators. There are triple articulated booms available on specific machines.
A dipper arm is attached to the end of the boom. This apparatus provides the required digging force to drag the bucket through the ground. The length of the stick is optional depending on whether breakout power or reach is necessary. Shorter stick models are often utilized for breakout power jobs while longer stick models are used to complete extensive reach situations. At the end of the stick, the bucket is attached. A mud bucket describes a large, wide capacity bucket that has a straight cutting edge used for leveling and cleanup or wherever teeth are not needed. General purpose buckets are usually stronger and smaller with hardened teeth and side cutters to break up rocks and difficult ground. There are many different buckets of varying sizes for different applications. There are many attachments used for crushing, boring, cutting, lifting, ripping and more.
Before the 1990s, the excavating machines were outfitted with a conventional counterweight that was located at the back of the equipment. This was in place to add more lifting capacity and digging force. This design was not ideal for working in confined locations. The counterweight of modern machines today is designed to stay in the width of the tracks making it much safer and more user-friendly within confined spaces.
In excavators, there are two main kinds of control configuration to operate the bucket and the boom called the ISO and the SAE. This configuration disperses the top four digging controls between two separate y-x joysticks, providing the operator with simultaneous control over all four movements. Some models have switches that enable the operator to choose which configuration they prefer.
Regular excavation and bucket jobs have been surpassed by hydraulic excavators. Many attachments including an auger, a grapple or a breaker have become common hydraulic powered attachments. There are models that offer a quick coupler feature to simplify attachment mounting and increase efficiency. Excavators often work beside loaders and bulldozers. Most of the compact-sized excavator models have wheels and a backfill or dozer blade. This horizontal blade attaches to the undercarriage. It is used for pushing and leveling material back into a hole.
8 Main Excavator Types
There are eight main kinds of excavators including the dragline, long reach, crawler, bucket wheel, backhoe, steam shovel, skid steer and suction.
Steam shovels are one of the original types of excavators. They utilized steam energy back in the day, while current models rely on diesel or electric motors. Steam shovels are similar to backhoes with the bucket or shovel facing away from the machine instead of facing it. This design allows the operator to push dirt away from the unit instead of pulling the earth towards it. Steam shovels are popular for digging around objects that might interfere with a regular backhoe.
Backhoes are one of the most popular kinds of excavators. Backhoes contain a large bucket that extends from a boom or an arm and a wheeled track base. The bucket faces the operator cab and enables the operator to scoop earth toward the equipment. There are many kinds of excavators and sizes including heavy-duty applications such as dredging water and bridge construction to compact residential models ideal for backyard landscaping. The smaller models enable operators to work in tiny spaces; however, this translates to approximately a 200-degree swiveling capacity for digging close to the machine.
Dragline excavators are designed similarly to a backhoe and include numerous lines and cables to support the bucket pulling motion. The dragline design enables operators to obtain a longer reach while digging deeper compared to a traditional backhoe. The cable and booms let users work over wet or unstable ground and in difficult locations unattainable by regular models.
Skid Steer Excavators
Skid steers are designed with their booms and buckets facing away from the operator. This engineering enables attachments to reach over the cab instead of around the cab. This design makes skid steers useful for negotiating tight turns and narrow locations. These machines often complete residential jobs such a digging pools, site cleaning and working in limited surroundings while removing debris.
Resembling a modern dump truck, these special excavators enable operators to use a large hose and vacuum technology to suck rocks and earth out of the ground. The material is transferred back to the truck. This machine makes it safer to dig around underground pipes and equipment compared to regular backhoes.
Crawlers run on two tracks and not wheels. These machines are used in construction and mining operations. Crawlers are also known as compact excavators. They lift heavy debris and soil by using hydraulic power components. The machine can travel down hills thanks to the chain wheel configuration that makes these machines excellent for difficult and hilly terrain. Crawlers are slower in comparison to other models but offer better stability, flexibility and balance.
Long Reach Excavators
The long reach excavator showcases lengthier boom and arm components. Long reach excavators are excellent for hard-to-reach locations. This machine offers over one hundred feet of horizontal reach. These machines are often used for demolition in applications working over a body of water. Various attachments can be fixed to the arm to complete jobs such as cutting, crushing and shearing.
Bucket Wheel Excavator
These excavators function with a large front wheel with built-in buckets and shovels. Dirt and rocks are scooped up within the buckets as the wheel rotates. Materials are transferred onto a conveyor belt that makes up a portion of the machine. The belt transports the material into a bin that depending on the model, could be a part of the machine or separate.