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Excavators – Are You Sure That’s A Real Attachment?

Excavators are doing so many functions these days that a comparison with 20, or even 10, years ago is almost impossible. Hammers, shears, thumps, and rotators – sounds more like characters from a kids cartoon series than a tool shed. But here is a quiz – which of those would you find in an excavator’s tool shed? Give up? Guess what, they can all be found in an excavator’s tool shed.

What has made excavating such an interesting career is that wide range of attachments. It goes beyond the attachments however. Think about what each of those attachments might do. Hammers hit, shears cut, rotators rotate and thumps, well let’s just say they thump. However, the action of each is very different. This means that over the years the excavators themselves have also changed.

Hydraulics has been one area of change but basic design has also changed with more emphasis placed on the sizes and size ratios of the booms and sticks. Human arms are a good comparison with the lower arm being proportional to the upper arm.

In fact, humans do make a good comparison. The cab is the human body, the boom represents the upper arm and is joined to the body at a shoulder like joint. The stick is like the lower arm and is joined to the boom with an elbow like joint, and the bucket or attachment is like the hand, joined to the lower arm at the wrist. Excavators also rely on muscles and tendons to do the work, the exception being the hydraulics that do the actual work.

If you can imagine a person with only one hand, their missing hand replaced, not by one, but by a wide range of attachments. The excavator has the same capability and the range of attachments is incredible – so too are the names. Undertaking a reliable excavator training program is worth while just to learn the jargon.

Being an excavator is a great career. You are operating a machine that is virtually an extension of your arm, only a thousand times more powerful.

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