Construction Machinery Equipment

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Excavator Overview

Excavators are powerful digging machines that come in a variety of sizes and are capable of shifting large amounts of material. But regardless of their size, excavators are highly mobile.  For example, the cab attaches to the undercarriage on a centre pin enabling the excavator to have a convenient 360-degree turning radius. This feature makes them useful for a variety of light and heavy industrial jobs.

Other features include:

  • Manoeuvrable boom and bucket that extends out from the cab
  • Bucket may be removed and accessories fitted
  • Comfortable air-conditioned control house

The earlier excavators for sale were cable driven compared to today’s models which are powered hydraulically. These advanced machines are very versatile and have many uses.

Excavators can be either tracked or wheeled with both versions having their unique uses. Whichever version you choose, the excavator price will vary considerably and be determined by the size and model. Also, when looking at excavator sales, your budget will determine whether you purchase a used excavator or a new excavator for sale. In addition, you may decide that it is not worth the expense of purchasing new or second hand and settle on hiring an excavator.


Excavators are employed for the bulk movement of debris, soil, rocks, and trench digging.  Additionally, the boom may be fitted with optional accessories making these machines very versatile and useful on a wide variety of projects. Excavators are a vital part of many job or construction sites. In fact, operations from complex demolitions and basic trenching couldn’t exist without an excavator operated by a skilled driver.


Excavators come in a range of sizes: small (mini), medium (midi), and large (the size of an excavator is measured by its weight). In general, heavier machines offer more speed and superior strength compared to the lighter models which are more useful in tighter working conditions.


It is beyond the scope of this article to pinpoint accurate prices for Excavators for sale as they vary considerably, but the following are some broad examples of what you can expect to pay in Australia.

To begin with, in the following examples, new Excavator prices range from around $25,900-for the mini to a starting price of $170k for the 30 tonne plus models. But bear in mind, a second-hand excavator for sale in good condition can be purchased at a discount to these price examples.

Types of Excavators

Mini Excavators

The lighter or smaller machines are often referred to as mini excavators. Although they lack the power of the larger models, they come into their own in tight spaces, as they can squeeze in where their bigger brother cannot go. The mini excavator is the preferred size for people that like to do it themselves. Furthermore the ‘mini’ is an ideal size for projects around the home or around the business premises. Another advantage is the mini excavator does only minimum damage because of its compact size.

Because it is small and lightweight, the mini excavator is easy to transport quickly to the construction site. However, its small size does not mean it is underpowered. In fact, some mini excavators outperform larger machines because of advances in hydraulic systems.

Pricing: A brand-new Mini Excavator example; Brand new 2016 Champion CE22T, 2.2T Mini Excavator. Only $25,900 + GST.


  • 33HP Diesel
  • Quick Hitch
  • Pilot control
  • Triple pump
  • Short tail design
  • Hammer & auger piping
  • Best quality pumps and valves
  • 3 Years/3600 hours parts and labour warranty.

Medium Excavators

Medium or mid-range sized excavators are seen more often on larger construction sites. They have far more power than the previous mentioned mini excavator so are more productive on sites where heavier workloads are required.

Pricing: A brand-new Midi Excavator for sale example; New Yuchai YC55-8 5.7t conventional midi excavator with Yanmar engine and Japanese Nachi Hydraulic system. Only $62,689 incl GST.

Large Excavators

Large excavators are more often seen on mining sites or large sewerage projects etc. These larger machines come into their own where huge amounts of material need to be shifted quickly. They have their restrictions of course with their large tonnage and bulk and the radius swing of their larger booms.

Pricing: A brand-new Large Excavator for sale example; 2016 Yuchai YC360LC-8 (33.6ton) starting from around $170,000. On the other hand, a good second-hand machine may be purchased at a discounted price way below the previously mentioned cost.

Choosing the right Excavator for the project

It is important to look at the configuration of the boom and stick, along with the functionality of the attached bucket when comparing models. In many models, the boom only moves up and down and is referred to as a “mono boom”. Some other models come equipped with a “knuckle boom” which is more versatile as the boom will also move to left and right. The articulated boom feature is more common on compact excavator models. When excavators are fitted with a triple-articulated boom, they have an extra joint, which allows the bucket to work more closely to the undercarriage.

Excavators that are fitted with a quick coupler help to increase performance by reducing the time needed in changing attachments such as:

  • Hammers
  • Mulchers
  • Rippers
  • Augers
  • Rakes

Also, when choosing the right excavator for sale to do the job, the excavator must be able to move a set amount of material every hour to meet production requirements. Furthermore, the operating weight and machine configuration will determine which tasks an excavator can handle successfully.  Another consideration, of course, is access to the construction site, the length of the boom and bucket size, etc.  This may limit you to a certain sized machine.


The most important safety feature of the excavator is, of course, the operator. The operator should be properly trained both in operating the machine and in safety procedures to prevent injury and damage.

Additional safety features are:


  • the seatbelt (when fastened)
  • the canopy which protects the operator
  • also, the engine may only start up when the safety lever is in the ‘lock’ position.



Excavators make it possible to move thousands of tonnes of soil, debris, and rock, while seated comfortably in an air-conditioned cab.

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