The excavators are considered as very important machines, especially for the construction and mining sector because they are used to dig or excavate large amount of ground from the surface. There are many excavator models on the market. Every excavator comes with specific configuration and it is used for specific excavating task. One particular model that has been widely used is the long reach excavator. This machine is designed with a long boom which is commonly known as the arm. The long reach excavator is most commonly used for digging deep holes or trenches. Very often, the long reach excavator is used for digging into a river or into a lake while being placed on a floating platform or barge. Some long reach excavator models are equipped with over sized counterweight with a purpose to offset the leverage of the boom. When equipped with jackhammer and other similar attachments, the long reach excavator is used for reaching heights. Furthermore, when equipped with mechanical thumb attachment, this machine can be used to lift and move pipes, poles and other similar objects. There are many long reach excavator brands on the market, but the Caterpillar excavators which are designed with a long boom are considered as the best.
A long reach excavator is actually a tracked machine that is designed with a bucket and a stick for digging trenches and holes. Just like the tracked backhoe loader, the long reach excavator can be seen on every major construction or mining site. Although it is ideal machine for digging deep holes and trenches, the long reach excavator however has limited digging capacity. The main part is the boom, while the stick can be extended all the way down to the bucket. Special hydraulic cylinders power the three main components: the stick, the boom, and the bucket.
Designing a long reach excavator is more demanding task and requires more than simply connecting a long boom and a stick to standard excavator. Longer and bigger cylinders are needed for longer reach and efficient components movement. The long reach excavator needs to be designed with appropriate counterbalance in order to offset not only the weight of the boom but also the added leverage as well. This added leverage is created when the bucket is full. Not including additional counterbalance may lead to tipping over when the excavator attempts to raise the loaded bucket.
One disadvantage of the long reach excavator is the transportation issue. The transportation of the long reach excavator from and to a job site is a difficult task because of its size. Because of that, the long boom and the stick are usually removed from the machine and are transported by a separate vehicle. Also, the counterweight needs to transported separately because of its enormous weight. The transportation issues and other similar problems are the main reasons why the companies are deciding to rent a long reach excavator when they need it instead of purchasing one.