What can you do with an excavator?

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What can you do with an excavator and how do different attachments broaden its range of roles? While excavators of any size are already versatile tools, there are a variety of attachments for hire that further improve on this. However well you plan a job, it is impossible to anticipate every pitfall and there will come a time when more specialised equipment is needed. Hiring or purchasing specific equipment each time can cause needless delays and expense. Often a specialised attachment for your existing excavator can achieve the same result with far less fuss and inconvenience.

This is one of the reasons excavators are praised for their versatility in the construction and demolition industries. Below we will give an overview of some of the most commonly used attachments and their uses:

1.      Hydraulic Breakers

These are available in light, medium and heavy duty classes, making them suitable for suitable for all categories of excavators. Also known as Rock Breakers, they use a nitrogen gas powered hammer action to propel the spiked tip. They are used mainly in demolition to break up concrete, tarmac and rock that the standard bucket would struggle to penetrate. They are also useful for breaking up concrete reinforced with steel rebar that would be too heavy to lift if left intact. The narrow body and tip can easily reach into confined spaces where jackhammering or explosives would be difficult or dangerous to use.

2.      Selector Grabs

Shaped like two opposing, hinged buckets, selector grabs use hydraulic power to grip or cut as the two sides close together. They are ideal for removing or installing ground pipes and drains, or removing logs or felled trees in forestry work. Selector grabs are also used for sorting waste in construction or recycling sites. Perforations in the two shells reduce the weight of the grab allowing heavier loads to be lifted without affecting strength.

3.      Pallet Forks

The addition of pallet forks to an excavator allows it to perform the work of a forklift or telehandler. Compared to a telehandler, the added manoeuvrability and ability to access restricted areas can put the excavator far ahead. Excavators are also suited to a far greater range of ground conditions than forklifts, with greater stability. This allows palletised goods to be easily lifted and transported in a wider variety of environments.

4.      Concrete Pouring Buckets

When precision concrete pouring is required in areas a concrete lorry can’t access, these are the ideal solution. The pouring bucket can be filled directly from the concrete lorry and transported across soft or uneven ground to the point of use. They are designed to avoid overspill and wastage with a pouring spout incorporated for precise pouring.

5.      Riddle Buckets

Also known as shaker or skeleton buckets, these resemble a traditional bucket with a perforated back. They allow rubble and topsoil to be sorted by allowing smaller debris to fall from the bucket while retaining larger pieces. Non hydraulic riddle buckets are ideal for dredging canals and waterways as they can be immersed in water.

6.      Augers

Augers resemble a large screw, designed for drilling precise vertical holes in a variety of ground surfaces. They have a tough teeth and pilots for initial penetration of the hardest surfaces such as rock and frozen earth. As they drill into the surface, the helical screw thread aids penetration and lifts waste from the hole. This leaves a perfectly straight hole perfect for installation of posts, standing pipes or stanchions. Augers are available in a variety of sizes and widths for differing excavator sizes and hole widths.

7.      Earth Drills

Earth drills act as a hydraulic motor for augers and log splitters, amplifying torque for increasing boring power. The auger is locked into the earth drill housing, ensuring it will not detach and ensuring straight vertical hole cutting. Earth drills allow excavators to work as mobile drilling rigs with increased accessibility. Earth drills come in a variety of sizes, with increasing power output and auger compatibility.

8.      Log Splitters

In forestry work producing logs or trees to large too be removed by excavator, log splitters are the solution. They fit to an earth drill attachment and have a wide conical tip which, when engaged with timber, draws itself into the wood. As the tip rotates and enters the timber, it forces it apart, splitting it into lighter, more manageable pieces. These can then be removed as usual. This is a far more efficient and cost effective solution than sawing trees for removal.

9.      Hydraulic Compressors

Hydraulic compressors are used for any application that requires compaction of loose materials. They use hydraulic power to flatten and smooth any surface they are applied to. This can be used for embankment compacting, compacting inside trenches and other deep excavations or finishing worksites where plant machinery has churned up the ground surface. As an excavator attachment, they can be used for inclined or vertical compaction with no extra effort.

10. Deep Dig Trenching Buckets

Also known as narrow or micro trenching buckets, these are a longer, narrower version of the standard bucket used on excavators. They allow deeper, narrower trenches to be easily excavated while handling larger amounts of material. In addition, they increase the digging depth of the excavator without the need for a larger model.

11. Land Rakes

Land rakes have a similar width to the largest bucket for the excavator being used. Instead of a solid bucket they have a series of sturdy parallel tines forming the rake structure. These attachments are perfect for land clearance, removing heavy vegetation with minimal ground disruption. As a non hydraulic attachment, they are also perfect for dredging and cleaning waterways and other shallow waters.

SERV Plant Hire are plant and machinery specialists offering a huge variety of construction equipment for hire to the North West of England. We have a wide range of micro, mini and midi excavators for hire, with attachments to suit any need. If you need high quality, reliable excavator attachments for your current job, contact us. We will be happy to answer any questions and ensure you have the best equipment for the job.

Excavator Attachment Hire

We offer a wide range of attachments to tailor your excavator to a variety of specific tasks and jobs.