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All excavators will have an undercarriage, house, and boom. The undercarriage may be wheels, but is more frequently continuous track for improved stability over the uneven terrain of work sites. The house is the cab portion of the excavator. This is where the joystick-like controls are located. The house turns on the undercarriage via a hydraulic system. The house and undercarriage are built to serve as a counterweight to the material being lifted with the boom and bucket.
The boom is the long arm, which extends from the front of the excavator. Straight booms move up and down and knuckle booms move horizontally as well as vertically. The attachment on the end of the boom is frequently a bucket, but there are other attachments available for various purposes. Buckets come with either a straight edge for smoothing or with teeth for breaking up material while digging. Examples of attachments are the following: a powerful hammer known as a breaker, a claw for grabbing, or an auger.
How excavators work
Once you have chosen your attachment, moving the stick controls in the house operates excavators. The boom has a hinge, which allows the bucket or attachment to reach out and scoop or hit the material. If the goal is to move material to a new location, the house can then be swiveled and the material released from the bucket. Excavators are also used to ram and smash existing structures into smaller pieces before scooping them up for removal.
Excavators are heavy equipment used primarily at construction sites. They are used to dig or break ground and materials in preparation for building. They have four main components: undercarriage, house, boom, and bucket. The house sits on top of the undercarriage and swivels 360 degrees. The boom is a long arm with a hinge in the middle that allows the operator to move the bucket attached to the end. Excavators come in many sizes ranging from approximately 13hp to the largest 4500hp. The smallest excavators are known as mini or compact excavators; more information on these can be found in the “Mini Excavator” subsection of the “Heavy Equipment” section of this site.