The different types of excavators used in the construction industry

Home Improvement

No matter what type of construction project you’re venturing, the excavator is an essential piece of heavy equipment to have in your fleet. Famous for heavy-duty digging and hauling, they can boost your team’s efficiency and productivity. With different types of excavators available in the market, picking one seems a daunting task.

You need to consider a whole lot of factors into account while making your selection. You have to see how much area you need to excavate and what size of the excavator will be feasible to reach job sites. Factor in the power and digging depth required like a mini-excavator will be ideal for digging a swimming pool in the backyard but it will not be ideal for excavating the dam’s foundation.   

 With such, here’s a guide to different types and sizes of excavators used in the construction industry:

Crawler excavators

A crawler excavator is also termed a standard excavator. The undercarriage is mounted on two parallel tracks or chains that provide stability and traction on a slope or uneven terrains. A load of excavator in such a type is distributed vide chain on a wider area thus reducing ground pressure. They can easily maneuver in dirt or slushy conditions where wheeled excavators can easily be caught.    

Wheeled excavators

They are varied from standard or crawler excavators as they run on wheels instead of tracks. This allows the operator to easily switch between tasks on the project site as they have added mobility of wheels. But because the load is only distributed on the soil by four wheels, the ground pressure in type is higher and is thus not suitable for soft soils or hilly areas.


Excavators weighing between 7 and 42 tons are categorized as a standard excavator. They are quite common and are widely used for commercial and industrial works where power is a major requirement. They can supply enough power and hauling capacity to undertake tough digging and earthmoving. Standard excavators are used mostly on highway and road projects, tall building projects. These types of machines are often provided as excavator hire rental machinery.


Excavators weighing less than 7 tons are categorized as mini or compact excavators. They are perfect for tough sites where space is limited and mobility is an issue. With a limited footprint, they can maneuver easily in confined spaces and operators can comfortably undertake excavation work with zero or near-zero tail swing. Minis are easy to transport and require less fuel during operation. These characteristics make it ideal for small-scale earthmoving jobs like landscaping, snow-plowing, small-scale demolition, plumbing repairs, or other infrastructure works.  For more information you can visit the Scoop Hire Excavator Hire website.



As a variation of standard excavators, midi-excavators weigh between 7 and 10 tons. They are mostly used for projects where space is limited or confined but you also require power and strength. They derive the benefits of a mini-excavator without limiting the strength of the engine.

Long-reach excavators

As the name suggests, these excavators feature an extended boom and arm. They are ideal for situations where stationing a standard excavator is not possible and a longer reach is required. They can tackle large jobs with speed and efficiency. Long-reach excavators are ideal for demolition tasks where precision is required or when wrecking ball is not practical.