Excavators are an amazing tool that is at our disposal. They greatly speed up the pace of a landscape project and puts within reach many jobs that used to be too difficult. They have awesome power to rip out roots, pick up boulders, and move tons of earth. So why not go for the cheapest smallest models right? Here are 3 reasons why size matters.
1. Power and Weight
Not all excavators are equal in power. Though they are all far more powerful than any human, there is a big range of difference between the smaller ones and medium ones. You see one of the major problems with smaller excavators is they just aren't that powerful. They don't have the internal capacity for a powerful engine. They are lower cost as they target an entry level market. So by virtue of these factors there needs to be some cost saving factors as well. The engine is a component of such cost saving factors.
The other thing is smaller excavators just don't have the weight to counter balance big jobs. You simply cannot lift large heavy loads without tipping the excavator over. In the landscaping world, 3000 lbs can be too light.
Larger excavators tend to have more reach. Why does this matter? Well when you are digging you have to reach further and further down into a hole or trench to scoop more dirt out. At some point you just can't do it anymore due to physical limitations. Larger excavations by virtue of being larger, have longer arms and thus can reach far deeper. If you look at the stats of common models of excavators, it will tell you maximum dig depth.
3. Bucket Size
Larger excavators have larger buckets. The differences are not trivial either. One excavator may be 33% more bucket volume than the next level down. This means that excavator can work a lot faster than the smaller model. It means when you're trying to move yards and yards of material, having a larger bucket can speed that up significantly. Simply put, there is a linear relationship between larger machines and larger buckets. Larger buckets means faster job speed because you can move everything faster.
When looking to rent an excavator or buy one, don't go for the cheapest smallest model. They may look the same but there are major consequences to the difference in their abilities. Consider these carefully before moving ahead or if you want someone else to take care of it, hire a landscaper.