So you’ve read the manufacturer’s literature, visited their website and pored over machine specs. Now, you’re at the dealership and ready to demo compact excavators. While you’re digging, pushing and lifting, what should you be paying attention to in order to feel confident you’ve made the best purchasing decision for your operation?
- Performance. The most important way to determine an excavator’s performance is to feel the balance between the hydraulic system and the engine horsepower. The best-performing machines are equipped with advanced hydraulic components that maximize power, speed, predictability and control.
- Power. More power means more production, and more production means more profit! Machines with high-efficiency, torque-lifting piston pumps help advanced hydraulics deliver more usable power by continuously responding to loads. Matching force to demand, the workgroup maintains brute arm and bucket forces in demanding conditions.
- Predictability. As you check out the level of house, boom, arm and bucket control, watch for precise movements and predictable operation. After all, this is the difference between using your machine or two guys and a pair of shovels.
- Smoothness. There is a difference between smooth operation and just slow operation. You’ll feel it in machines equipped with control valve systems that deliver consistent oil flow to all functions. This delivers smooth operation without sacrificing cycle times. You’re looking for both smooth and fast — so you can get your work done more quickly.
- Speed. True cycle times are measured under load. Again, the fastest machines with industry-leading cycle times feature advanced hydraulics that match cylinder size to pump capacities.
- Attachment changes. Attachment capabilities make a big impact on your productivity. So, don’t just take the manufacturer’s word for it — try attachment changes for yourself. When attachment changes are simple, operators are more likely to use the proper-sized bucket and the best attachment for the job. That can mean fuel savings, less time spent backfilling, and less wear and tear on your machine. Consider an optional hydraulic attachment mounting system to reduce the time it takes to change attachments.
- Theft protection. When you make an investment, you want to protect it. Check to make sure the excavator you choose has the option of keyless starting that uses a numerical code to start the machine — no more hassling with keys and fewer security worries will be worth the small extra cost of this upgrade.