Renting Versus Owning Equipment There are always going to be times when, no matter how carefully an excavation company plans out a project, there simply isn't enough equipment on hand to handle the requirements of the project without running out of time. The choices at this point are clear -- rent the machines you need or go ahead and make the purchase. It is however, not easy to make these types of decisions, thanks to several factors that you'll need to consider. Rental pricing: It's no secret that rental companies make a killing with the equipment they rent out. Most companies will rent on a daily or weekly basis, which is good for them but can be bad for you. Depending on what area you work in, the price can be very high or just right. Depending on what type of equipment you need, the price to rent will vary. Excavators and off road dump trucks are among the highest to rent, as they can cost as much as 12,000 dollars per month! This may seem a bit outrageous at first, although if you own a profitable company and are working on a big project, you'll have problems meeting the price. Buying: When you need more equipment and don't want to rent, you can buy your equipment. Buying is the way to go if you plan on using the equipment more. If you work on large projects on a frequent basis, you may want to look into buying the equipment you need instead of renting. Buying will save you money in the long run, providing you are going to be using the equipment again. If you need the equipment for one or two projects, you may just want to rent. Sure you won't own the equipment, although you certainly don't want to buy something you won't be using. Servicing: One of the great things about renting is the fact that company you rent from is responsible for fixing anything that breaks. Your company won't be responsible for repairs, as you don't own the equipment. If something breaks or goes wrong, simply call the company and they will come out there and fix the problem, as the price for repair is included in the rental contract. If you choose to go ahead and buy the equipment, then your company will be responsible for the repair of the equipment. As you probably know with owning other equipment, you'll need to do regular maintenance and service on the equipment. Making that final choice on renting or buying is ultimately up to you. You should always think about finances, and if you can afford the machinery. If you don't have the finances or capital to buy what you need, you should go with renting. Either way you go, you'll get the machines you need to complete your job and stay ahead of schedule. Easy Site Prep Site prep is the best term that is used to describe the operations necessary to make raw land ready to accept improvements such as buildings, parking lots, roads, and other amenities. Once the project has been completed, the site prep is invisible. The term site prep is a broad term that can include several different tasks, such as clearing and grubbing, soil erosion, sediment control, storm drains, water and sewer pipes, topsoil stripping, rock removal, underground utility, and several other tasks. Soil erosion and management: To protect the quality of the water, soil erosion and sediment control measures are vital. With most locations, storm water permitting is required. All erosion and sediment control measures and devices must be in place and inspected before the first tree drops or first shovel full of dirt is removed. The designs for storm water management systems are becoming more and more complex. The detension basins have complex and spiraling side slopes and bottoms that have almost flat grades. Clearing: The limits of clearing can be marked with a GPS dozer. By following the outline of the display in the cab, the bulldozer can cut a path through the wooded area so other equipment will have a clear line to go by. The traditional method used to clear debris, such as burning, is rapidly fading away. The air pollution standards will prevent any type of burning of most areas across the United States. Site prep made easy: Depending on the job site, what you have to do will vary greatly. With excavation, what is needed to complete a job is as different as night and day. No matter what type of work you are doing, it will almost always require the use of heavy machinery. Clearing lots for houses, grading roads, laying pipe, fixing water leaks, and digging foundations are just some of the most common tasks found with the art of excavation. To do this type of work, it takes a special individual as work is outdoors year round, meaning that you freeze in the winter and burn up in the summer. Laying pipe is a task that takes skill. You first must dig the trench for the pipe, making sure that the elevation is right, and that the pipe will meet the specifications listed in the blueprints. There are several different types of pipe that needs to be layed, including water, sewer, and storm drains. When you first begin your job, you'll need to have the proper permits from the area that you are going to be disturbing the ground in. Once you have the proper permits, you can begin your work. With some jobs, you'll need to document on paper just how much land you disturb each day. Sometimes with excavation, the job site and plans will call for ponds or temporary ponds. This can be fun to do, although you have to be careful as well. Very common with sub divisions, ponds are something that take a lot of skill to dig right. Manholes are something else that you will encounter as well. You can use machinery to set them in place, although they will need to go a certain way. The easiest way to put them in place is by using an excavator, as you can lower it down and have a couple of workers set it in place. Anytime you are working on an excavation site, you should always be careful and make sure you do things by the book. There are always rules and regulations that you need to follow. Excavation is a very fun trade, although you'll need to be well versed with following plans, running machinery, and having fun outdoors. Backhoe Loader Also referred to as a loader backhoe, the backhoe loader is an engineering and excavation vehicle that consists of a tractor, front shovel and bucket and a small backhoe in the rear end. Due to the small size and versatility, backhoe loaders are common with small construction projects and excavation type work. Originally invented in Burlington Iowa back in 1857, the backhoe loader is the most common variation of the classic farm tractor. As the name implies, it has a loader assembly on the front and a backhoe attachment on the back. Anytime the loader and backhoe are attached it is never referred to as a tractor, as it is not normally used for towing and doesn't normally have a PTO. When the backhoe is permanently attached, the machine will normally have a seat that can swivel to the rear to face the backhoe controls. Any type of removable backhoe attachments will normally have a seperate seat on the attachment itself. Backhoe loaders are common and can be used for many tasks, which include construction, light transportation of materials, powering building equipment, digging holes and excavating, breaking asphalt, and even paving roads. You can often replace the backhoe bucket with other tools such as a breaker for breaking and smashing concrete and rock. There are some loader buckets that offer a retractable bottom, which enable it to empty the load more quickly and efficiently. The retractable bottom loader buckets are often times used for grading and scratching off sand. The front assembly on a backhoe may be either removable or permanently attached. Often times, the bucket can be replaced with other tools or devices. In order to mount different attachments to the loader, it must be equipped with a tool coupler. The coupler consists of two hydraulic cylinders on the end of the arm assembly, which can expand and retract to allow different tools to be attached to the unit. There are several types of backhoe loader brands, including New Holland, John Deere, and Case. Some will offer you cabs, while others won't. The newer types of backhoe loaders even offer you air conditioning, radios, and other accessories that make you feel like you are working with luxury. Common with excavating jobs, the backhoe can serve many purposes. It can haul equipment and supplies in the loader bucket. Another great use is to cover up dirt when filling in trench lines or covering up pipe that was just put in the ground. The backhoe attachment at the rear is ideal for digging water pipes and sewer pipes. The best thing about the backhoe loader is the fact that they are easy to operate. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to fully operate this nifty piece of equipment. Different Types Of Backhoe Loaders Caterpillar: Caterpillar hit a dial of power and performance with its top of the line 446 backhoe loader when it first introduced the D series version of the machine. The 102 HP machine also features a new operator station and offers optional joystick controls. The dig forces on the bucket have increased 10% on the backhoe. Bobcat: Bobcat gave its compact backhoe loaders a power boost when the company introduced the second generation B series to the lineup. The 31.5 HP B100 received a 45% increase in backhoe bucket breakout force and a 27% jump in the breakout force of the dipper. The 46 HP B300 received a 44% increase in dipper breakout force and a 21% boost in the breakout force of the bucket. The three model line also includes the B250, which is a 31.5 HP sideshift unit. Similar to the larger B300, the B250 also features all wheel steering and four wheel drive. New Holland: Each one of the four models of backhoe loaders in the New Holland lineup use the new 4.5 liter turbocharged Tier 2 engine. This new engine and a number of other upgrades were the basis for the B series machines, which offer low effort pilot controls which will give you a choice between excavator or loader style patterns. Case: Case added quite a bit to its M series backhoe loaders, by switching to family 3 engines to meet Tier 2 emission standards. The new machines of the M series have quieter, larger displacement engines for better lugging capacity. They also have increased torque rise for faster cycles of loader and backhoe operations. With 500 hour intervals of oil changes and easy to access transmission mounted hydraulic pumps, the M series is surely a force to be reckoned with in the world of backhoes. Ingersoll-Rand: The newest compact backhoe loader from this company can reach digging depths of up to 12 feet with its backhoe. Working as a loader, the BL-580 has an operating capacity of 3,406 pounds with a breakout force of 9,370 pounds. Both the loader and backhoe are equipped with standard auxiliary hydraulics with a two way flow to accommodate a variety of attachments, which includes booms, breakers, augers, and even compactors. Other nifty features include hydrostatic four wheel drive for power and traction, and all wheel steering for a tight radius. Komatsu: Komatsu announced that the optional excavator style joystick controls would be offered on its five model lineup of backhoes. The lineup has also been upgraded with increased hydraulic speed, stronger components, and Tier 2 engines. The entire Komatsu line consists of the 87 HP WB140 series, and teh 94 HP WB150 series. The standard model found with each series features a four speed mechanical transmission complete with a torque converter. The fifth model from Komatsu is the WB150, with offers an all star wheel design with a powershift transmission and anti theft prevention system. John Deere: The 410H is the hallmark of John Deere, offering 92 HP. The 410H also offers the total machine control system, which integrates control for the engine, transmission, hydraulics, and brakes so that the system can respond in an efficient way to the many different job demands. Terex: Since acquiring the Fermec line, Terex has marketed a full and impressive line of backhoes. The models include the 92 HP TX760B and the 100 HP TX860B. At 100 HP as well are the 860SX, 860 Elite, and the 970 Elite. Both the 760 and 860 models feature four speed shuttle gearboxes and travel speeds of up to 25.8 miles per hour. Operating a Backhoe Safely A skid steer loader with backhoe attachment or a backhoe loader in general can be very productive if it is operated safely and efficiently. The best way to get the job done safely and efficiently is to know yourself, the job site, and your equipment. Even though the models of backhoes will vary, there are safety features with all of them that include steps and grab handles for getting on and off of the machine. Backhoes also feature frame lock levers and attaching levers to keep the backhoe securely fastened to the loader frame during operation as well as transporting. In addition to these standard safety features, there are some backhoes that provide a safety chain. The safety chain will prevent the backhoe mounting frame from rotating backwards and unexpectedly trapping the operator, which can result in serious injury or death. Therefore, it is always important to know and check all of the mounting and attachment points and the safety chain before you operate the backhoe. If you've attached the backhoe to the loader, you should take a moment to inspect it and perform any necessary maintenance. Check for broken or damaged parts, also making sure to check for leaks, cracks, excessive wear, and check the control levers. The warning and safety signs and instructional decals are very important and will help you to avoid injury. You should always take them seriously and replace any damaged or missing decals. Every 8 hours or so, you should grease all of the zerk fittings, and check the hydraulic fluid and oil and a daily basis. If the fluid is low, the backhoe will not operate. Therefore, you should always take the time to check your machine. Anytime you have to leave the operator seat of the backhoe, you should lower the bucket or attachment to the ground, turn the engine off, remove the ignition key, then exit the machine. When the time comes to drive to the next job site, you should always make sure that you have fully raised both the front and rear stabilizers and make sure you've put the backhoe seat into the "down" position for better visibility. Before you drive off, make sure that you've installed the transport locking pin. Here are some other things to keep in mind: - Always select the right size bucket for the job. - Stake out the work area that is going to be excavated and use flags to mark the area. - Never work in areas that have inadequate overhead clearances. Always make sure that you keep bystanders or other workers out of the swing area. If anyone gets in the way of the boom swinging, they can very easily get injured. The machine has no feelings, therefore you should always be aware of who is around you and where they are standing. Bulldozer The bulldozer is a very powerful crawler that is equipped with a blade. The term bulldozer is often used to mean any type of heavy machinery, although the term actually refers to a tractor that is fitted with a dozer blade. Often times, bulldozers are large and extremely powerful tracked vehicles. The tracks give them amazing ground mobility and hold through very rough terrain. Wide tracks on the other hand, help to distribute the weight of the dozer over large areas, therefore preventing it from sinking into sandy or muddy ground. Bulldozers have great ground hold and a torque divider that's designed to convert the power of the engine into dragging ability, which allows it to use its own weight to push heavy objects and even remove things from the ground. Take the Caterpillar D9 for example, it can easily tow tanks that weight more than 70 tons. Due to these attributes, bulldozers are used to clear obstacles, shrubbery, and remains of structures and buildings. The blade: The blade on a bulldozer is the heavy piece of metal plate that is installed on the front. The blade pushes things around. Normally, the blade comes in 3 varieties: 1. A straight blade that is short and has no lateral curve, no side wings, and can be used only for fine grading. 2. A universal blade, or U blade, which is tall and very curved, and features large side wings to carry more material around. 3. A combination blade that is shorter, offers less curvature, and smaller side wings. Modifications: Over time, bulldozers have been modified to evolve into new machines that are capable of things the original bulldozers weren't. A good example is that loader tractors were created by removing the blade and substituting a large volume bucket and hydraulic arms which will raise and lower the bucket, therefore making it useful for scooping up the earth and loading it into trucks. Other modifications to the original bulldozer include making it smaller to where it can operate in small working areas where movement is very limited, such as mining caves and tunnels. Very small bulldozers are known as calfdozers. History: The first types of bulldozers were adapted from farm tractors that were used to plough fields. In order to dig canals, raise earth dams, and partake in earthmoving jobs, the tractors were equipped with a thick metal plate in the front. Later on, this thick metal plate earned the name blade. The blade of the bulldozer peels layers of soil and pushes it forward as the tractor advances. The blade is the heart and soul of the bulldozer, as it was the first accessory to make full use for excavation type jobs. As the years went by, when engineers needed equipment to complete larger jobs, companies such as CAT, Komatsu, John Deere, Case, and JCB started to manufacture large tracked earthmoving equipment. They were very loud, very large, and very powerful and therefore earned the nickname "bulldozer". Over the years, the bulldozers got bigger, more powerful, and even more sophisticated. The important improvements include better engines, more reliable drive trains, better tracks, and even hydraulic arms that will enable more precise manipulation of the blade and automated controls. As an added option, bulldozers can come equipped with a rear ripping claw to break up pavement or loosen rocky soil. The best known manufacturer of bulldozer is CAT, which has earned a vast reputation for making tough and durable, yet reliable machines. Even though the bulldozer started off a modified farm tractor, it rapidly became one of the most useful pieces of equipment with excavating and construction. Dump Truck Dump trucks or production trucks are those that are used for transporting loose material such as sand, dirt, and gravel for construction. The typical dump truck is equipped with a hydraulically operated open box bed hinged at the rear, with the front being able to be lifted up to allow the contents to fall out on the ground at the site of delivery. Dump trucks come in many different configurations with each one specified to accomplish a specific task in the construction chain. Standard dump truck: The standard dump truck is a full truck chassis with the dump body mounted onto the frame. The dump body is raised by a hydraulic ram lift that is mounted forward of the front bulkhead, normally between the truck cab and the dump body. The standard dump truck also has one front axle, and one or more rear axles which normally has dual wheels on each side. The common configurations for standard dump trucks include the six wheeler and ten wheeler. Transfer dump truck: For the amount of noise made when transferring, the transfer dump truck is easy to recognize. It's a standard dump truck that pulls a separate trailer which can be loaded with sand, asphalt, gravel, dirt, etc. The B box or aggregate container on the trailer is powered by an electric motor and rides on wheels and rolls off of the trailer and into the main dump box. The biggest advantage with this configuration is to maximize payload capacity without having to sacrifice the maneuverability of the short and nimble dump truck standards. Semi trailer end dump truck: The semi end dump truck is a tractor trailer combination where the trailer itself contains the hydraulic hoist. The average semi end dump truck has a 3 axle tractor that pulls a 2 axle semi trailer. The advantage to having a semi end dump truck is rapid unloading. Semi trailer bottom dump truck: A bottom dump truck is a 3 axle tractor that pulls a 2 axle trailer with a clam shell type dump gate in the belly of the trailer. The biggest advantage of a semi bottom dump truck is the ability to lay material in a wind row. This type of truck is also maneuverable in reverse as well, unlike the double and triple trailer configurations. Double and triple trailer: The double and triple bottom dump trucks consist of a 2 axle tractor pulling a semi axle semi trailer and an additional trailer. These types of dump trucks allow the driver to lay material in wind rows without having to leave the cab or stop the truck. The biggest disadvantage is the difficulty in going in reverse. Side dump trucks: Side dump trucks consist of a 3 axle trailer pulling a 2 axle semi trailer. It offers hydraulic rams that tilt the dump body onto the side, which spills the material to the left or right side of the trailer. The biggest advantages with these types of dump trucks are that they allow rapid unloading and carry more weight than other dump trucks. In addition to this, side dump trucks are almost impossible to tip over while dumping, unlike the semi end dump trucks which are very prone to being upset or tipped over. The length of these trucks impede maneuverability and limit versatility. Off road dump trucks: Off road trucks resemble heavy construction equipment more than they do highway dump trucks. They are used strictly for off road mining and heavy dirt hauling jobs, such as excavation work. They are very big in size, and perfect for those time when you need to dig out roads and need something to haul the massive amounts of dirt to another location. Drag Line Excavator Drag line excavator systems are heavy machinery that is used in civil engineering, surface mining, and excavation. With civil engineering, the smaller types are used for road and port construction. The larger types of drag line excavators are used in strip mining operations to extract coal. These are among the largest types of mobile equipment and weigh upwards of 10,000 tons! The drag line excavator bucket system consists of a large bucket that is suspended from a boom. The bucket is moved by a number of chains and ropes. The hoisting rope, which is powered by either a large diesel or electric motor, will support the bucket and hoist coupler assembly from the boom. The drag rope on the assembly is used to draw the bucket assembly horizontally. Through skillful maneuvering of the hoist and drag rope, the bucket can be contr olled for many different types of operations. Operation: With a typical excavation cycle, the bucket is positioned high above the material that is being excavated. The bucket is then lowered down and the drag rope is drawn so that the bucket is dragged along the materials surface. Using the hoist rope, the bucket is then lifted. A swing operation is then performed in order to move the bucket to the place where the material is going to be dropped. The drag rope is then released which will cause the bucket to tilt, making the material in the bucket fall down, which is commonly known as a dump operation. With smaller drag line excavators, the bucket is thrown by winding up the jib then releasing a clutch on the drag cable, which swings the bucket like a pendulum. Skillful operators can make the bucket land about 1/2 the length of the jib further away than if it had just been spun or dropped. Limitations: The limitations of drag line excavators are the height and length of their boom, as this limits where the drag line can dump waste material. Being inherent with their construction, the drag line is most effective when excavating material below the level of their tracks. Drag lines aren't suitable for loading piled up material. Despite their limitations and high capital cost, drag line excavators remain very popular with several mines, due to their very low waste removal cost, performance, and reliability. They also have different cutting sequences. The first is the side casting method which uses offest benches. This method involves throwing the overburden sideways onto blasted material to make a bench. The second method is a key pass. This pass will cut a key at the toe of the new highwall and will also shift the bench further towards the low wall. This can also require a chopping pass if the wall is blocky. A chopping pass will involve the bucket being dropped down onto an angled highwall to scale the surface. The next method is the slowest, known as the blocks pass. This method will however, move the most material. The blocks pass involves using the key to access the bottom of the material to lift it up to spoil or to an elevated bench level. If required, the final cut is a pull back, which pulls the material back further to the low wall side. For construction, mining, or excavation, drag line excavators are great to have. They can move even the biggest of material, which is great for deep holes in the ground. If you've been looking for a great way to maximize mining or excavation productivity, the drag line excavator is just what you need. Compact Excavator The compact hydraulic excavator can be a tracked or wheeled vehicle with an approximate operating weight of 13,300 pounds. Normally, it includes a standard backfill blade and features an independent boom swing. The compact hydraulic excavator is also known as a mini excavator. A compact hydraulic excavator is different from other types of heavy machinery in the sense that all movement and functions of the machine are accomplished through the transfer of hydraulic fluid. The work group and blade are activated by hydraulic fluid acting upon hydraulic cylinders. The rotation and travel functions are also activated by hydraulic fluid powering hydraulic motors. Most types of compact hydraulic excavators have three assemblies -- house, undercarriage, and the work group. House: The house structure contains the compartment for the operator, engine compartment, hydraulic pump and also the distribution components. The house structure is attached to the top of the undercarriage via swing bearing. Along with the work group, the house is able to rotate upon the undercarriage without limit due to a hydraulic distribution valve that supplies oil to the undercarriage components. Undercarriage: The undercarriage of compact excavators consists of rubber or steel tracks, drive sprockets, rollers, idlers, and associated components and structures. The undercarriage is also home to the house structure and the work group. Work group: The work group consists of the boom, dipper or arm, and attachment. It is connected to the front of the house structure via a swinging frame that allows the work group to be hydraulically pivoted left or right in order to achieve offset digging for trenching parallel with the tracks. Independent boom swing: The purpose of the boom swing is for offset digging around obstacles or along foundations, walls, and forms. Another use is for cycling in areas that are too narrow for cab rotation. Another major advantage of the compact excavator is the independent boom swing. Backfill blade: The backfill blade on compact excavators are used for grading, leveling, backfilling, trenching, and general dozer work. The blade can also be used to increase the dumping height and digging depth depending on it's position in relation to the workgroup. The most common place you'll find compact excavators is in residential dwellings. When digging phone lines or other things, these pieces of equipment are very common for getting between houses. Due to their small size, they can fit almost anywhere. Over the years, the capabilities for compact excavators have expanded far beyond the tasks of excavation. With hydraulic powered attachments such as breakers, clamps, compactors and augers, the compact excavator is used with many other applications and serves as an effective attachment tool as well. Serving many purposes, the compact excavator is a great addition to any job that requires the use of machinery. Cranes A crane is a tower or derrick that is equipped with cables and pulleys that are used to lift and lower material. They are commonly used in the construction industry and in the manufacturing of heavy equipment. Cranes for construction are normally temporary structures, either fixed to the ground or mounted on a purpose built vehicle. They can either be controlled from an operator in a cab that travels along with the crane, by a push button pendant control station, or by radio type controls. The crane operator is ultimately responsible for the safety of the crews and the crane. Medieval cranes: Cranes of the Middle Ages were used to build the cathedrals of Europe. The crane was fixed on top of a wall as it was being constructed and was powered by men that ran inside of two large wheels on each side. Cranes were also used in medieval ports and in shipyards. Mobile cranes: The most basic type of crane consists of a steel truss or telescopic boom mounted on a mobile platform, which could be a rail, wheeled, or even on a cat truck. The boom is hinged at the bottom and can be either raised or lowered by cables or hydraulic cylinders. Telescopic crane: This type of crane offers a boom that consists of a number of tubes fitted one inside of the other. A hydraulic mechanism extends or retracts the tubes to increase or decrease the length of the boom. Tower crane: The tower crane is a modern form of a balance crane. When fixed to the ground, tower cranes will often give the best combination of height and lifting capacity and are also used when constructing tall buildings. Truck mounted crane: Cranes mounted on a rubber tire truck will provide great mobility. Outriggers that extend vertically or h orizontally are used to level and stabilize the crane during hoisting. Rough terrain crane: A crane that is mounted on an undercarriage with four rubber tires, designed for operations off road. The outriggers extend vertically and horizontally to level and stabilize the crane when hoisting. These types of cranes are single engine machines where the same engine is used for powering the undercarriage as it is for powering the crane. In these types of cranes, the engine is normally mounted in the undercarriage rather than in the upper portion. Loader crane: A loader crane is a hydraulically powered articulated arm fitted to a trailer, used to load equipment onto a trailer. The numerous sections can be folded into a small space when the crane isn't in use. Overhead crane: Also refered to as a suspended crane, this type is normally used in a factory, with some of them being able to lift very heavy loads. The hoist is set on a trolley which will move in one direction along one or two beams, which move at angles to that direction along elevated or ground level tracks, often mounted along the side of an assembly area. In the excavation world, cranes are used to move equipment or machinery. Cranes can quickly and easily move machinery into trenches or down steep hills, or even pipe. There are many types of cranes available, serving everything from excavation to road work. Cranes are also beneficial to building bridges or construction. For many years, cranes have proven to be an asset to the industry of construction and excavating. Crane operators make really good money, no matter what type of crane they are operating. Front Loader Also known as a front end loader, bucket loader, scoop loader, or shovel, the front loader is a type of tractor that is normally wheeled and uses a wide square tilting bucket on the end of movable arms to lift and move material around. The loader assembly may be a removable attachment or permanently mounted on the vehicle. Often times, the bucket can be replaced with other devices or tools, such as forks or a hydraulically operated bucket. Larger style front loaders, such as the Caterpillar 950G or the Volvo L120E, normally have only a front bucket and are known as front loaders, where the small front loaders are often times equipped with a small backhoe as well and called backhoe loaders or loader backhoes. Loaders are primarily used for loading materials into trucks, laying pipe, clearing rubble, and also digging. Loaders aren't the most efficient machines for digging, as they can't dig very deep below the level of their wheels, like the backhoe can. The deep bucket on the front loader can normally store around 3 -- 6 cubic meters of dirt, as the bucket capacity of the loader is much bigger than the bucket capacity of a backhoe loader. Loaders aren't classified as excavating machinery, as their primary purpose is other than moving dirt. In construction areas, mainly when fixing roads in the middle of the city, front loaders are used to transport building materials such as pipe, bricks, metal bars, and digging tools. Front loaders are also very useful for snow removal as well, as you can use their bucket or as a snow plow. They can clear snow from the streets and highways, even parking lots. They will sometimes load the snow into dump trucks which will then haul it away. Unlike the bulldozer, most loaders are wheeled and not tracked. The wheels will provide better mobility and speed and won't damage paved roads near as much as tracks, although this will come at the cost of reduced traction. Unlike backhoes or tractors fitted with a steel bucket, large loaders don't use automotive steering mechanisms, as they instead steer by a hydraulically actuated pivot point set exactly between the front and rear axles. This is known as articulated steering and will allow the front axle to be solid, therefore allowing it to carry a heavier weight. Articulated steering will also give a reduced turn in radius for a given wheelbase. With the front wheels and attachment rotating on the same axis, the operator is able to steer his load in an arc after positioning the machine, which can come in quite handy. The problem is that when the machine is twisted to one side and a heavy load is lifted high in the air, it has a bigger risk of turning over. History: The first 3 wheeled front end loader was invented by two brothers, Cyril and Louis Keller in their machinist shop in Minnesota back in 1957. The Kellers built the loader to help a nearby farmer clean turkey manure from his two story barn. The light and compact loader, with the rear caster wheel, was able to turn around within the length of itself, while performing the very same tasks as conventional front end loaders. Down the road, the Melroe manufacturing company in Gwinner ND, purchased the rights to the Keller loader in 1958 and hired the brothers to continue their loader invention. Resulting from the partnership, the M-200 self propelled loader was introduced at the end of 1958. The loader featured two independent front drive wheels and a rear caster wheel, a 12.9 engine and a 750 lb lift capacity. Two years later, they ended up replacing the caster wheel with a rear axle and introduced the M-400 loader, which was the first four wheel skid steer loader in the world. In 1962, the Bobcat name was added to describe the key features of the machine -- touch, agile, and quick. The M-440 was powered by a 15.5 HP engine and offered a 1100 lb rated operating capacity. In the mid 1960s, the skid steer loader progressed with the introduction of the M600 loader. Years later, the Bobcat skid steer loader experienced quite a few changes, including the development of a hydrostatic drive system, enforced cab structures, radius and vertical lift arm configurations, deluxe instrumentation, and even heating and air conditioning. In addition to the rubber tire skid loaders of today, there are now all-wheel steer loaders and even compact track loaders. Compact track loads offer less ground disturbance and feature better traction and control in soft, muddy, wet, and even sandy ground conditions. Forklift Sometimes called a forklift truck, the forklift is a powerful industrial truck that is used to lift and transport material by steel forks that are inserted under the load. Forklifts are commonly used to move loads and equipment that is stored on pallets. The forklift was developed in 1920, and has since become a valuable piece of equipment in many manufacturing and warehousing operations. Types: The most common type of design with forklifts is the counter balance. Other types of designs include the reach truck and side loader, both of which are used in environments where the space is at a minimum. Control and capability: Forklifts are available in many types and different load capacities. In the average warehouse setting, most forklifts have load capacities of around five tons. Along with the control to raise and lower the forks, you can also tilt the mast to compensate for the tendency of the load to angle the blades towards the ground and risk slipping it off the forks. The tilt will also provide a limited ability to operate on ground that isn't level. There are some variations that allow you to move the forks and backrest laterally, which allows easier placement of a load. In addition to this, there are some machines that offer hydraulic control to move the forks together or further apart, which removes the need for you to get out of the cab to manually adjust for a different size load. Another forklift variation that is sometimes used in manufacturing facilities, will utilize forklifts with a clamp attachment that you can open and close around a load, instead of having to use forks. Products such as boxes, cartons, etc., can be moved with the clamp attachment. Safety: Forklifts are rated for loads at a specified maximum weight and a specified forward type center of gravity. All of this information is located on a nameplate that is provided by the manufacturer and the loads cannot exceed these specifications. One of the most important aspects of operating a forklift is the rear wheel steering. Even though this helps to increase maneuverability in tight cornering situations, it differs from the traditional experience of a driver with other wheeled vehicles as there is no caster action. Another critical aspect of the forklift is the instability. Both the forklift and the load must be considered a unit, with a varying center of gravity with every movement of the load. You must never negotiate a turn with a forklift at full speed with a raised load, as this can easily tip the forklift over. Normally, to drive a forklift, you'll need to pass a basic test. They aren't difficult to operate, although you'll need to be safe when you operate them. Once you have operated one for a while, you'll have no problems being safe.
Hydraulic Machinery Hydraulic machinery are machines and tools that use fluid power to do the work. Almost all types of heavy equipment is a common example. With this type of equipment, hydraulic fluid is pumped to a high pressure then transmitted through the machine to various actuators. The hydraulic pumps are powered by engines or electric motors. The pressurized fluid is controlled by the operator with control valves and then distributed through hoses and tubes. The increasing popularity of hydraulic machinery is due to the large amount of power that is transferred through small tubes and flexible hoses. The high power density and wide array of actuators can make use of this power. Hydraulic power: The theory that lies behind hydraulic equipment is fluid pressure. 1. A force that acts on a small area can create a bigger force by acting on a larger area by hydrostatic pressure. 2. A large amount of energy can be carried by a small flow of highly pressurized fluid. Pumps: A hydraulic pump will supply the fluid to the components in the system. Pressure in the system will develop in reaction to the load. Pumps have a power density of around ten times greater than an electric motor. The pumps are powered by an electric motor or engine, which is connected through gears, belts, or a flexible elastomeric coupling to reduce the heavy vibration. The common types of hydraulic pumps for hydraulic machinery applications include: 1. Gear pump -- the gear pump is cheap, durable, and simple. It is less efficient, simply because it is constant displacement and suitable for pressures that are below 3,000 psi. 2. Vane pump -- vane pumps are cheap, simple, and reliable. They are good pumps for higher flow low pressure output. Hoses and tubes: A hydraulic hose is graded by pressure, temperature, and compatibility of fluid. A rubber interior is surrounded by multiple layers of woven wire and rubber. The exterior of the hose is designed for resistance against abrasion. The bending radius of the hydraulic hose is designed very carefully into the machine, since a hose failure can be deadly, and violating the minimum bend radius of the hose can also cause failure. A hydraulic pipe is thick enough to have threads cut into it for connections. It's rarely used for high pressure systems though, which prefer to have tubes or hoses. The pipe itself lends to weldings and can also be used to fabricate the manifold. Hydraulic pipes on the other hand are preferred over hoses whenever possible, as they are simply more durable. Tubes are also preferred over pipes, as they weigh a lot less. Hydraulic tubes will normally have flared ends and captive nuts to make connections. They can also be steel welded with floating nuts and face seal fittings on the ends. Both tubes and pipes for hydraulic applications traditionally haven't been plated or painted, since the temperature and oil they operate under drive away moisture and reduce the risk of rust. Fittings The fittings with hydraulic machinery serve several purposes: 1. To bride different standards, such as the O-ring boss to JIC or pipe threads to the face seal. 2. Allows proper orientation of components, as a 45 or 90 degree, straight, or even swivel fitting will be chosen as it is needed. They are designed to be positioned in the correct orientation and then tightened as needed. 3. To incorporate bulkhead hardware. 4. A quick disconnect fitting may be added to a machine without having to modify hoses or valves. How The Equipment Has Changed There are many different opinions as to what machines should actually be classified as earth moving equipment. There are many different types of equipment that fall in this category, such as excavators, backhoe loaders, dump trucks, and even loaders. Other machinery that falls in between are articulated trucks, wheel and track tractors, and even scrapers. The thin line is normally drawn at motor grades, which are more than capable or light duty excavation, although they are mainly used to level lots and grade roads. If you take a glance at any equipment literature from leading companies such as CAT, Komatsu, or Case, you'll see right away that they believe the biggest and most important change over the last several years is increased productivity. This is normally followed by greater comfort and safety. The increase in productivity is the result of many different advancements. CAT (Caterpillar) cites that more powerful engines with a faster rise in torque which allows machines to respond faster to increased power demands. Even though this new generation is far more powerful, it has a reduced impact on the environment as well. Electronics: Most of the newer machines have electronic control systems that will optimize both engine and transmission performance, as well as fuel consumption and hydraulic system performance. Take for example the CAT mid sized G series wheel loaders that feature electronically controlled powershift transmissions. Each and every transmission offers autoshift capabilities that ease the pressure on the operator, and an electronic clutch pressure control that smooth shifts the gears for longer life. Comfort: In the industry, good operators are getting harder and harder to find. Manufacturers find themselves stressing that operator comfort and convenience need to be taken into account not only to make the job easier, but also more efficient and productive as well. The new cab designs offer better visibility, reduced noise and vibration, and improved comfort as well. The new control systems will require low operator effort while also improving the control of the machine for both the experienced as well as the in-experienced operator. Easier maintenance: Almost all new machinery offers electronic monitoring systems that will provide constant information on the health of the machine for the operator. These types of systems provide information to technicians, including service modes that will help them to diagnose conditions quickly. Now days, machines are designed to make routine maintenance easier. With CAT's wheel loaders, regular service points are easy to access from ground level, with site gauges making it easier to check the fluid of the radiator, hydraulic oil, and transmission -- without having to use dipsticks. Changes for the better: If you compare the excavation equipment of today with the machines of the past, you'll notice that the changes are better. The machines of the past relied more on operator skill and technique, as very few of them had electronic features. Today, almost all types of heavy machinery offer electronic features. Electronics are a great thing, as they can make the life of an operator easier than ever. You don't need to get out and check the fluids anymore, as all you need to do is take a look at your instrument panel, which can help to save you a lot of time. Operators who have a lot of experience know first hand that machines of the past can't begin to compete with machines of today. With technology always getting better, it just makes you wonder what is in the future for heavy machinery. Years from now, one can only begin to wonder just great heavy machinery will get -- and what other features will make the life of an operator even easier than it is now. Harvester The harvester is a type of heavy machinery that is employed in cut to length logging operations for felling, buckling, and cutting up trees. Normally, a harvester is employed alongside a forward that will haul the logs and trees to a roadside landing. Harvesters were developed in Sweden and Finland, and today they do nearly all of the commercial felling in these countries. They work best for less difficult terrain for the clear cutting area of forest. For steep hills or removing individual trees, chain saws are normally preferred. In the nordic countries, small and agile harvesters are used for thinning operations and manual cutting is only used during extreme conditions or by self employed owners of the forest or wooded area. The leading manufacturers of harvesters include Timberjack (which is owned by John Deere) and Valmet, which is owned by Komatsu. Normally, harvesters are built on a robust all terrain vehicle, which can either be wheeled or tracked. Sometimes, the vehicle can be articulated to provide tight turning around obstacles. A diesel engine will provide power for both the vehicle and the harvesting mechanism through a hydraulic drive. An articulated, extensible boom that is similiar to that of an excavator, will reach out from the vehicle to carry the head of the harvester. There are even some commercial harvesters that are adaptations of excavators with a new harvester head, while the others are purpose built vehicles. The normal harvester head may consist of: 1. A chain saw to cut the tree at the base and also to cut it to length. The saw is hydraulically powered rather than using a 2 stroke engine of a portable version. It offers a more robust chain and a higher output power than any saw carried by man. 2. Two curved de-limbing knives that can reach around the trunk to remove branches. 3. Two feed rollers to reach out and grasp the tree. The wheels will pivot apart to allow the tree to be embraced by the head of the harvester, and pivot together to hug the tree tight. 4. Two more curved knives for de-limbing. All of this is controlled by an operator who sits in the cab of the vehicle. A control computer is used to simplify mechanical movements and keep the length and diameter of trees that have been cut. The length is computed by counting the rotations of the gripping wheels. The diameter is computed from the pivot angle of the gripping wheels that hug the tree. Harvesters are normally available for cutting trees up to 900 mm in diameter, built on vehicles that weight up to 20 t, with a boom that reaches up to a 10m radius. The larger, more heavier vehicles do more damage to the forest, although a longer reach will help by allowing more trees to be harvested with less movements required by the vehicle. Excavation Excavation is most commonly and best known for a technique within the science of archaeology. The individual types of excavation are known simply as digs to those who participate, with this being an over literal description of the process. An excavation concerns itself with a specific archaeological site or connected series of sites, and may be carried on over a number of years, since the work is normally seasonal. Within the industry of excavation, many more techniques may be utilized, with each dig having its own particular features that may necessitate differences of approach. Resources and other practical issues don't allow archaeologists to carry out excavations whenever and wherever they choose, as many known sites have been deliberately left alone and non excavated. Initially, excavation involves the removal of any topsoil that is uncovered by machine. What is dug up may be examined by a metal detector for stray finds but unless the excavation site has remained untouched for a long period of time, there is a small layer of modern material on the surface that is of limited archaeological interest. In rural areas, any type of archaeological features should be visible beneath the surface. With urban areas, they may be thick layers of human deposits and only the uppermost will be visible to the naked eye. With either case, the first task is drawing a scaled site plan that will show the edges of the excavation. This plan can be composed using tape measures, or as it is more common these days, an electronic total station. A grid is normally set up, to divide the site. Excavation is also useful for digging out houses and trenches. When clearing dirt out for roads or sub divisions, excavation is what takes care of things. Even though there are a few means, the term excavation is used anytime that the earth or dirt is disturbed. Heavy machinery is also very common with excavation, such as excavators or backhoes. Excavating crews run the equipment and dig up soil and rocks for whatever the purpose may be. Excavators are the most used machinery, as they can move a lot of dirt in a little bit of time. Anytime you are taking part in excavation, you should always use common sense and be safe. If you plan to get down into a hole or trench, you should always use a trench box. Even though the hole may not be that deep, excavation sites can always cave in and at that point -- things are very dangerous and possibly even deadly. For digging up rare artifacts or putting in houses or roads, excavation is something that has been around for years and years. There is a lot to learn with excavation, as you'll need to know how to run machinery, shoot grade, and how to properly dig holes and trenches so they won't cave in. Skid Loader The skid loader is a rigid frame, engine powered machine with lift arms that are used to attach a wide variety of labor saving tools or attachments. Skid loaders are normally four wheel drive with left side drive wheels that are independent of right side drive wheels. With each side being independent to the other, the wheel speed and direction of rotation of the wheels will determine which direction the loader turns. Skid loaders are capable of turning in their own tracks, which makes them very maneuverable and valuable for jobs that require the use of compact, agile loader. Unlike conventional front loaders, the lift arms lay beside the driver with the major pivot points located behind the shoulders of the operator. Due to the operator being in close proximity to moving booms and buckets, earlier models of skid loaders weren't as safe as conventional front loaders, particularly during entering and exiting. Skid loaders today have fully enclosed cabs and other safety features that will protect the operator from injury. Just like other front loaders, the skid steer can scrape material from one location to another, carry material in a bucket, or load material on a truck or a trailer. Operation: A skid loader can sometimes take the place of a large excavator by digging a hole out from the inside. The skid loader will first dig a ramp that leads to the edge of the hole. Then, the loader will use the ramp to carry material out of the hole. The skid loader will then reshape the ramp by making it steeper and longer as the excavation gets deeper. This method is very useful for digging under an overhead structure where the overhead clearance doesn't allow for the boom of a large excavator, such as those situations where you are digging a basement under a house. The bucket of most types of skid loaders can be replaced with several specialized buckets or attachments, many of which are powered by the hydraulic system of the loader. Trenching And Plowing Equipment When trenchers were first introduced to the residential and commercial contractors, they rapidly became the backbone of the crew. The time and labor trenchers saved when they replaced the pick and shovel was simply incredible. The contractor was able to double the number of jobs his crew could complete in the same amount of time -- or less. The standard types of trenchers, whether dedicated units or attachments, they are versatile machines for contractors to have with them on the job. They can be used for many different purposes, from digging valve box holes to trenches for drain pipes. In areas that contain rocky soil, large roots, or other problems where the other machinery can't access the soil, the trencher will minimize downtime that was once spent digging by hand. The many types of vibratory plows will offer even more labor saving options. These plows eliminate the hand labor of having to lay the pipe and backfilling on numerous jobs. Even though vibratory plows have taken their market share and are great for pulling pipe, trenchers are still very important for many different types of applications. The impressive company Bobcat offers three different trenching attachments that are designed for use on the smaller skid steer loaders. The attachment models LT102, LT203, and LT304 all have digging depths from 2 -- 4 feet. Mini trenchers The mini trenchers have been re-designed and finely tuned from the same concept that made standard trenchers so popular. As the name suggests, they are lightweight, with the largest models weighing less than 400 pounds. They are also compact, allowing you to put them in the back of an average pickup truck. They will also dig a trench around 4 inches wide, and up to 13 inches deep, neatly laying the soil on side of the trench. Without any trouble at all, you can cover pipe with the backfill, leaving a barely visible seam in the soil. With time being money, these types of mini trenchers are the answer when working in tight or small areas, or on jobs that have a lot of trees or shrubbery. Mini trenchers have a turning radius of less than two feet and they will easily fit through most garden gates. Jobs that would normally need a lot of manual labor will now save you a lot of time and man power. If you do construction or excavation work, even gardening, you'll find trenching and plowing equipment to be essential to your work. If you've never used these types of equipment before, you'll be amazed at just how much time you can save. If you are just starting up your business, you'll find this type of equipment to be just what you need. You won't need a lot of labor with a trencher, as you can do most of it yourself. For saving time, money, and effort, trenching and plowing equipment is the way to go. Trench Digging Digging: trenches is one of the oldest types of work with both construction and excavating. Prior to World War 2, trenches were dug by hand. As workers dug the trenches deeper, the sides needed to be shored or supported, to keep the walls of the trench from caving in. Following the World War, several innovations were made in backhoes, and trench digging seemed to fade away as a profession. By 1950, hydraulically actuated backhoes were developed, which make it possible to rapidly dig very deep trenches. Resulting from the innovations with backhoes, and because there were no workers inside digging the trenches, the walls no longer needed to be shored. All types of trenches have what's known as a stand up time. This time is the amount of time that elapses from the time the ditch is dug until the time the trench walls start to collapse. The stand up time is dependant on many factors, which include the type of soil, water content, trench depth, weather conditions, and whether or not the soil has been disturbed. The stand up time can be as short as zero seconds or as long as several months, as they are very difficult to predict. Before the trench can be dug, someone must take soil samples as way of estimating the stand up time. Keep in mind that the soil conditions can be dramatically different only a few feet from where the sample of the soil was taken. After the trench has been dug, workers will go down into the trench, and perform whatever work is needed, such as laying pipe or installing telephone lines, welding pipe, or installing valves. If the trench walls aren't supported, there is the possibility of the walls collapsing and trapping the workers in the trench. Throughout history, there have been 100 -- 300 people killed in the U.S. each year due to trenches collapsing. The public has become very aware that industrial progress will often have negative side effects as well. The place of engineers protecting the public from these types of side effects is a very controversial issue. The use of trench boxes on the site, will help to ease this debate. The trench box, also called a trench shield, may be placed in the trench to prevent failures from injuring workers. The trench box consists of two large plates, normally made from steel, which are parallel to the walls of the trench, and horizontal cross members which will hold the two plates apart. The lower edge of the trench box rests at the bottom of the trench, with the top edge of the box extending above the top of the trench. The workers will stay between the plates of the trench box, so that if the trench does collapse, the dirt will be stopped by the outside of the trench box. As the work progresses, the trench box is pulled along in the trench with a backhoe or other machine. When a project calls for a large excavation such as digging the foundation for a tall building, the supporting structure for the excavated walls will be specified in the plans. The big problem with not using trench boxes occurs in cities, when water or sewer lines are being installed or repaired. The engineer doesn't specify for the trench box in the plans, but instead leaves it up to the contractor. Anytime you are going to be digging trenches or working in them, you should always use comm on sense and take your time. Trenches can be very deadly, especially if trench boxes aren't used. To be on the safe side, you should always use a trench box if you need to be in the trench. If you don't need to be in the trench -- do the smart thing and let the machines do all of the work. Comparing Trenchers To Compact Excavators Both of these machines are affordable, popular, highly productive, and they both have helped lay a lot of cable and pipe in the ground. While they both can do the work, there are differences as to how they perform when stacked up against each other in residential utility installations. Size and price: The average dig depth for utility installations in residential applications is between 40 and 48 inches. The basic trencher that digs to the above depth will boast a 20 -- 30 horsepower engine and cost around 40,000 dollars. The most popular type of compact excavator is the 2.5 metric ton size class, and it uses a 30 HP engine and costs around the same price. The biggest difference in the two surfaces when you need the trencher to dig deeper. The 2.5 metric ton excavator has no trouble at all digging to 8 feet or more, although a trencher that can dig that deep will require an engine with around 100 horsepower and cost upwards of 90,000 dollars! Life costs: Not counting the bucket teeth and the replacement of the rubber tracks at 2,000 hours, fuel and routine maintenance are your only daily costs with a compact excavator. The digging chain, teeth, and sprockets on the trenchers are considered wear items and need to be replaced often. Even with the high consumable costs of trenchers, the differences will tend to even out when productivity is taken into effect. Productivity: For straight line trenching at an average depth, trenchers will flat out lead compact excavators. Under reasonable conditions, a trencher can work three to four times faster than that of a compact excavator. Another area where trenchers really excel is wooded areas, where tree roots and logs can make for slow and sloppy digging when using a bucket. Versatility: When it comes down to it, compact excavators can do a lot of things that trenchers can't, especially when they have attachments on hand. If you are digging with a compact excavator, you can't go anywhere near as fast as you can with a good quality trencher. Keep in mind that a trencher isn't a single minded machine either. Most styles of trenchers can be outfitted with a backhoe attachment that attaches to the front end. Whenever concrete, rocks, or asphalt stands in the way, the boom and chain can be replaced with rock teeth and a wheel. In soft soils, you can set up a trencher with a plow attachment and plow in cables faster than using any other available method. When it comes down to choosing, keep in mind that it all depends on your needs. There are some cases where the compact excavator is best to choose, while there will also be jobs in which the trencher is going to do the best work. Caterpillar Equipment Caterpillar Incorporated, also known as CAT is a United States based corporation that is based in Peoria, Illinois. The company commonly known as CAT is known around the world as the largest manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, and industrial gas turbines. Well known and famous for their products that feature the Caterpillar track and distinctive yellow paint, CAT produces a wide range of heavy equipment for all types of jobs, including the very popular Ca terpillar D9 bulldozer. History: The story of CAT dates back to the late 19th century, when Daniel Best and Benjamin Holt were experimenting with different ways to fulfill the promise that steam tractors held for farm work. Prior to 1925, the Holt family had pioneered track tractors and gasoline powered engines. After the companies of Best and Holt were merged, the company went through several changes then at the end of World War 2, they began to grow at a very fast pace, launching the first venture outside of the country in 1950, which marked the beginning of CAT development into a big corporation. CAT equipment ranges from track type tractors to hydraulic excavators, backhoes, motor graders, off road trucks, wheel loaders, tractors, diesel and gas engines, and gas turbines. CAT equipment is used in construction, excavation, building roads, mining, energy, forestry, transportation, and material handling companies. Sales Over half of CAT's sales are to customers in overseas areas. CAT products are sold in almost 200 different countries. The company has a worldwide network of over 200 dealers -- 63 in the United States and over 150 in other countries. CAT equipment and components are manufactured in 42 plants in the United States and 58 plants in Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, England, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, and several other countries. Labor CAT almost went down in the early 1980s due to the massive union strikes and a down turn in product demand. At the time, several news reports indicated that products were piling up so high in facilities that temporary workers hired to work the lines could barely get to their stations to perform their jobs. In the 1990s, CAT suffered yet another long strike in which the company hired what it deemed to be permanent replacements for union workers that were on strike. During both strikes, jack rocks were placed in the home entrances of many of CATs top executives and employees, puncturing the tires of their vehicles and making things worse for the company. Not long after the strike of the 1990s ended and the economy started to get back up again, CAT adopted the "6 Sigma" quality management program, to help reduce costs and inventory and identify and correct the defects in processes and products. Caterpillar D-11 The D-11 from Caterpillar is among the series of tracked type tractors are among the largest conventional bulldozers in the world, second to the Komatsu D575. It comes in two variations, the standard D-11R and the bigger and heavier D-11R CD. The D-11 bulldozer is among the upper end of Caterpillars track type tractors, which range in power and size from the D-3 (77 HP) to the D-11R (935 HP). The primary use for the D-11 is for moving large quantities of rock, dirt, etc. short distances in confined spaces. The D-11 is often times used in quarries. The price, size, power and weight of the D11 dictate that they are used primarily for major products. You can normally find the D11 used in forestry, mining, excavation, and quarry operations. The D-11 is high known and favored for its amazing power and ability to rip into the earth, making them ideal for agricultural and rock ripping type work. The ripper is the long claw like device you can find on the back of the D-11. Rippers come in single shank or in groups of two or more, known as multi shank rippers. Normally, a single shank is all you need for heavy ripping work. The ripping of rock will allow the ground surface rock to be broken up into small, easy to handle and transport rubble which can then be removed so that you can grade the area. The agricultural ripping feature will allow rocky or very hard ground to be broken up so that otherwise unarable land can be put to use with agricultural applications. The blade on the front of the D-11 comes in 3 varieties: 1. A straight blade which is short and has no lateral curve, no side wings, and is ideal for fine grading. 2. A universal blade which is tall and very curved, and has large side wings which can carry more material. 3. A combination blade that is shorter, has less curvature, and smaller wings on the side. The nearest competition for the Caterpillar D-11 is the Komatsu D-475. The Caterpillar can best be distinguished from the Komatsu by the elevated drive sprocket or high drive system that results in a triangular, rather than oval, shaped caterpillar track. The D-11 is a fine testament to the superb products Caterpillar offers. They are great for excavation and clearing dirt, as they can push large piles of dirt. They are also good for rock, as they can move even the biggest of rocks from the ground without breaking a sweat. If you've wanted a bulldozer with uncanny strength and abilities, the D-11 is just what you need on your job site. Caterpillar D Series The CAT (Caterpillar) 420D and 430D backhoe loaders are the high performance machines in the D series lineup. The 420D boasts 85 HP and a backhoe digging depth of 14 feet when equipped with a standard stick. The 430D offers 94 HP and a backhoe digging depth of 15 feet when it is equipped with a standard stick. By using an extendible stick, you can push the digging depth of the 420D to 18 feet and the depth of the 430D to 19 feet, which is very impressive to say the least. Both D series machines are available in IT (Integrated Toolcarrier) configurations for applications that benefit from a parallel lift loader linkage and the versatility of quick work tool changes through the use of a versatile hydraulic quick coupler. Applications include the use of pallet forks, material handling arms, brooms, and even buckets. The new and improved pilot operated hydraulic backhoe and IT loader controls will help to ensure smooth, precise operation with reduced effort on behalf of the operator. These backhoes use excavator type joystick controls, and an optional pattern change valve which allows you to select the patern of control. The 205 degree rotation that is offered by the backhoe bucket linkage will make it easier to dig vertical walls and clamp material when loading trucks. The rotation with the D series is 40 degrees more than with the C series. Now, the backhoe buckets feature a single pin position, with the bucket link featuring an integrated lifting eye as well. The optional quick coupler you can get for the backhoe will allow fast changes of working tools for increased versatility and flexibility in almost all applications. Both of the D series backhoe loaders use the turbocharged, direct injection, four cylinder diesel engine, with a displacement of 4.0 liters. This engine offers superior lug performance which is mostly due to the responsive fuel injection system. The standard power shuttle transmission provides four forward speeds and four speeds in reverse as well. Fully synchromesh in all gears will permit on the go shifting, while the forward and reverse electric power shuttle will provide instant direction changes through powered clutches. The auto shifting feature will automatically shift between second gear and the highest gear selected for ease of operation. The auto shift feature has five forward and three reverse gears, with a transmission kick switch on the lever of the loader control. With D series loaders, you'll also have the choice of standard two wheel drive or all wheel drive, which you can engage easily on the go, under heavy load, by pressing a switch that is located on the front console. The D series loaders from CAT are very fast and versatile as well, as they will move faster than most types of backhoes on the market. The diesel engines are very fast, while the machine has enough traction and control to keep you moving even in wet or muddy conditions. The variable load sensing hydraulic system will adjust the flow and pressure of the machine to meet the demands of work with an increased pressure of 3,300 PSI. The hydraulic system is tuned to work efficiently with the engine, and it provides full hydraulic force to the working tool on hand at any engine speed you desire. Unlike other backhoe loaders, the D series will reduce demands on the operator, cut fuel consumption in half, reduce wear on the engine, and allow for quieter operation. To make a long story short -- the D series from CAT are among the best backhoe loaders that money can buy -- bar none. Case CX700 And CX330 The company of Case has done it again, by introducing yet another spectacular excavator, the CX700, which weighs in at 70 metric tons and represents a new size for Case, fitting perfectly between the CX460 and CX800 models. Case has also taken advantage of Tier 3 technologies and upgraded the CX330, increasing the power and improving fuel economy, all while adding features that will enhance comfort for the operator and simplify maintenance. Power: The CX700 is a powered by a high performance, fuel efficient Isuzu engine that is completely Tier 3 certified. With an operating weight of 153,400 lbs. and over 400 HP, the CX700 is capable of digging to 31 feet 11 inches with reaches up to 46 feet 11 inches. The frame for the CX700 is based on the larger CX800 to ensure optimum durability and reliability, especially given the powerful performance specs the machine calls for. New to the Case CX700 is a switch that will allow you to give priority to either the boom or the swing functions. The CX700 also offers retractable side frames and an optional counterweight removal device, which makes transporting easier than ever before. More durable The Isuzu engine that powers the CX700 is fully electronic and uses a high pressure rail system that provides a 5% increase in HP and also gives the excavator 10% better fuel economy. Several enhancements have been made to the CX330 upon releasing the CX700, including the overall reliabilty and durability of the machine, which includes the strength of the front idlers by beefing up the thickness and design of the center hub and improving the track seal design for increased life. Upgrades: Several of the features that come standard with the CX700 are upgrades for the CX330 that will also be applied to other large Case excavator models that move forward. The key upgrades include ease of maintenance and servicing. Both the CX330 and CX700 models feature an easy maintenance system, lubricated bushings throughout the boom and arm, which provides extended lube periods of up to 1,000 hours. The engine oil filters are now mounted vertically in the pump house access area, which allows for easier access and servicing. The addition of a modified oil drain plug with a check valve will make it easier than ever to change oil. Both the CX330 and CX700 both offer finer fuel filtration, up to four microns, which provides increased uptime and improved fuel performance. The upgraded cooling system features a design that reduces the stacking of coolers for better cooling efficiency and also improves access to ease the removal of debris. In addition to this, the Case CX700 also features a hydraulically driven, thermostat controlled reversible fan for improving the cooling of the engine and easy cleanout of the materials. Case CX330 As you may know, the CX330 is the upgrade to the 9050B model from Case. The CX330 is quite an upgrade, being much bigger than the 9050B. In standard form, the CX330 is almost 5,000 pounds heavier than the 9050B. This added weight comes from a larger counterweight and from a redesigned carbody that will now completely enclose the swing system. These added pounds will also contribute to the boost in the CX330s over-front capacity, and in combination with higher hydraulic pressures the travel circuit, give the excavator a very impressive 16% boost in draw bar pull, which means more power for negotiating poor underfoot conditions and very steep grades. In addition to the new features, the CX330s digging linkage has been enhanced in many ways. The boom and arm, deeper in cross section to accommodate higher digging forces, now incorporate V-groove type welds that are placed by robots and 100 percent ultra sound inspected. The boom foot and boom to arm pivots use improved bushings, new plated pins, and new dust seals that combine to make a more durable and easier to take care of assembly. The newly hardened chrome pins will also contribute to the overall digging linkage durability. Even though the basic 6 cylinder, 8.3 liter engine in the CX330 has been used in Case products since 1985, continual refinement over the years has changed nearly 85% of the original engine's part numbers. The CX330 features 259 net HP with an air to air intercooler and a free breathing 24 valve cylinder head. The electronic logic that controls the new engine's fuel system tracks the machine's operating parameters and keeps the system continually armed to respond instantly and precisely to the fuel requirements of each individual cylinder. The total electronic design of the engine will also eliminate cable and step motor controls from the fuel system, with a large gain in reliability. Even though modest changes in the CX330s digging linkage geometry will contribute to the higher forces of digging, the big guns here are the refinement of the trench with it's open center hydraulic system. The main pressure in the implement circuit is up almost 8%, with the hydraulic cylinder diameter up 7% as well. Hydraulic power: The increase in hydraulic power combines with the more efficient linkage geometry to yield almost 20% more bucket digging force and 15% more arm force. With 19 more HP, the CX330 can drive it's main hydraulic pumps with much better force. In addition, the new pumps will produce about 6% more flow for increased hydraulic speed at much lower system pressures. The new PCS (Pro Control System) will manage the hydraulic system and interface with the 6TAA-830 engine, and does it with more electronic genious than the 9050B did. Similar to the 9050B, the CX330 does have manually selected working modes, although it departs from previous designs by adding a new automatic work mode. By working in the new automatic mode, the CX330 can analyze load demands and operator input at the joystick, then adjust the engine and hydraulic pumps to balance power and speed with efficiency and even with the economy. Other PCS features include a high speed assistance system, which will speed up boom and arm functions, and an automatic power boost system as well. The power boost system will increase main pressure by 10% for 8 seconds if the implement system reaches the standard relief pressure for more than 1 second in tough digging conditions. With everything the CX330 from Case offers, it's truly the best excavtor in years. Case has outdone themselves this time, doing their part to make excavating both fun and exciting. If you've been looking for the perfect upgrade from the 9050B, the CX330 is all that and a bag of chips.
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