Tips to Help You Choose Between a Standard or Large Size Excavator

July 5, 2021


Securing the bid for a construction job is just the first step of the process. Next, you need to survey the job site and determine the equipment that you will need to finish the job correctly and in a reasonable time frame.

An excavator is one of the most useful pieces of construction equipment out there. Its versatility makes it a real powerhouse to help your crew at every stage of the job. Excavators come in a variety of sizes, so choosing the best one for your needs is a necessity. Read on for some great tips to help you make the best selection.

Consider the Job Site

When you are considering excavator sizes, have a good understanding of the job site in mind. Go to the location and look around where the demolition and construction will take place.

A different type of excavator will be needed for a large open space compared to one that has a lot of slopes and hills. Whether the job site is urban or rural is another important consideration. If you will be working in a crowded area that has a lot of obstacles or nearby buildings, you may need to opt for a smaller machine so it can be delivered to the job site.

Also, keep in mind that the bigger the excavator is, the more damage it can do to the land. The weight could possibly tear up the ground, so you need to be prepared to manage this and make any repairs.

Factor In Transportation

Next, you should determine how far you would need to transport any equipment that you need to bring to the job site. Do you have your own excavator and trailer available or do you plan to rent? If you are renting, then the location of the facility will contribute to fuel costs and affect your overall budget. The condition and size of the roads that lead to the site may also limit your choices.

Determine the Machine Capabilities

One of the most vital questions to ask yourself when you are thinking about excavator types is what capabilities will you need? Most excavators have the ability to add attachments to the arm in place of the standard bucket to do a greater variety of jobs. You may need to drill or saw through rock or tamp down the loose ground.

Along with power and attachment capability, size can contribute to or detract from being able to do the job at hand.

A smaller excavator is better for mobility as it can get into tighter spaces and safely manoeuver around power lines. The standard size excavator, which ranges from 7 to 45 tonnes, is the most common type found on most constructions sites. These can handle most operations and have the power to manage the majority of terrains. They are simple to run and the enclosed cab provides the operator with comfort even in inclement weather.

Large excavators start at 45 tonnes and contain a vast amount of power. These are huge machines that aren't found in urban areas or job sites with rough terrain. They are best used for big industrial jobs. Larger-sized excavators are much harder to move and can even require a special trailer. Unless you have the need for a massive amount of power then a standard side excavator would be the easiest option to find and bring to the job site.

Check Availability

If you plan to rent the equipment that you need, make sure that the right machines are available for the expected duration of the job. It's best to factor in a cushion in case you run into any issues or experience delays and need to keep the excavator for longer than originally intended.


Having your own excavator makes it easier to schedule the work on your preferred schedule. When you do a lot of construction jobs, you may want to look for an excavator for sale. The upfront investment will be worth it for the convenience you will experience.

You should also check into the availability of the attachments that you need to do special jobs as well as how quickly and easily you can get access to spare parts and maintenance in case of damage.

Stay Within Budget

Staying within a set budget also has an impact on the types of equipment that you can and should rent for your job. Specialised or less common sizes of excavators may be more difficult to find and therefore they may cost more money. If you underestimate the cost of equipment rental or transportation, you may be forced to cut into your expected profits or run into issues with your client when the price is raised.

Selecting the right equipment is an essential part of any construction job. Be prepared to fulfill all the requirements and tasks that will take place on the job site by considering every possible need in advance. Having reliable machinery on-site is essential to doing good work and keeping your clients happy.



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