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The Complexities Of Modern Heavy Equipment

The heavy equipment industry can be quite complex when it comes to different types of machinery. Take the humble excavator. This is a piece of machinery that has a bucket at the end of a boom used to dig holes. Or is it? The backhoe is an excavator that has been modified through the addition of a loader at one end – effectively, two machines in one. Different industries have specialized equipment which, whilst bearing the name excavator, look very different to the traditional excavator found digging trenches.

In the mining industry, there are bucket excavators where the name refers to a large wheel that has buckets attached. This machinery continually cuts through earth and rock, a little like a large grinder. A smaller version is sometimes used to dig trenches for underground services – this is known as a continuous excavator. The mining industry also uses an excavator that is similar to the traditional machine, however, it is much larger, and rather than digging holes, is used to scoop large amounts of ore to dump into huge trucks.

There are older excavators that use cables to control the boom and bucket. These are fairly slow workers, however, they are very reliable. Modern machinery achieves the same control using hydraulics. Hydraulics can be maintenance heavy as the equipment gets older – the slightest leak in a hydraulic line will weaken the machinery’s ability to work.

Traditional excavators have changed a lot over the years. The bucket is no longer fixed – it can be removed in minutes and range of different attachments installed – again, in minutes. These attachments can do anything from breaking up concrete to digging large post holes. Heavy equipment is not as simple as looking at a bulldozer, grader, loader or excavator – there are so many different versions of each equipment. Fortunately for new operators, it’s the more traditional equipment that they’ll be using. After completing heavy equipment training, and as you gain experience, you can look at some of the more specialized machinery.

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