Choosing the Right Excavator for Your Winter Projects

Excavators are essential during the winter, especially in the northern United States where freezing temperatures can lead to underground pipes rupturing or even gas leaks. Frozen grounds can make it nearly impossible for anything outside of an excavator to break through the dirt, that’s why having one available to your service team is so important.

At Art’s Truck and Equipment, we have been providing our customers with exceptional customer service and quality pre-owned construction equipment and municipal trucks for 50 years. We know how every season requires specialized municipal trucks and equipment, and we’re ready to deliver exactly what you need this winter.

If you are in the process of searching for an excavator, consider the following tips on how to choose the right one for your winter projects.

Choosing the Right Excavator

Choosing the right excavator for your project(s) can be a bit challenging but your experienced team at Art’s Truck and Equipment want to provide you with a few tips to properly guide you in choosing one that meets your specific needs.

1. Consider the hydraulic system.
You’re going to want a powerful hydraulic system that can help to make your crew efficient and productive. Knowing how much power will be produced and used throughout the day will help you to better understand how much work you’ll be able to get done.

Zero tail swing or zero house swing features are ideal as they allow the operator to move nimbly and work closely to the site while reducing the risk of crashing into another machine or vehicle.

2. Size and Type
Alongside power, you’ll need to consider your potential workload to determine what size of excavator you’ll need. These actually go hand-in-hand as the size of the machine generally determines its power.

You’ll also need to think about storage to keep it safe from the elements and thieves. Of course, the larger the excavator, the more room you’ll need.

3. Work Environment
You’ll need to consider your typical work environment and how you’ll be using the excavator. Will you be digging, lifting, or carrying heavy items? Consider the type of environment you’ll be using your machine; compact excavators work great for construction work while larger ones are better suited for industrial jobs.

If you’ll be using it heavily during the winter months, make sure that the cab has heating (and air conditioning) so that your operators can work comfortably.

4. Visual Inspection
If you think you have found the right excavator, make sure to perform a visual inspection if possible. Areas to keep an eye on include:

  • Hydraulic cylinder rods are generally exposed to the elements – like snow, ice, and salt – which can cause the chrome to rust.
  • The rubber on hydraulic hoses needs to be inspected to ensure it isn’t cracked or brittle.
  • See how fast the engine starts as a slow startup could mean an issue.
  • Check for fluid leaks and smoking coming from any components.
  • Oils and other fluids should be new.
  • Check electrical wiring to make sure that everything has been properly taken care of.

Do as thorough of an inspection as possible to double check that major components have not rusted or become damaged to the point that they are useless.

5. Attachment Options
A quality attachment connection system can make all the difference in the world and save you substantial amounts of operating time. Automated couplers can make it easier to swap out buckets or breakers if you’ll be performing heavy digging. Make sure you keep in mind the type of supporting equipment you’ll be using at the different jobs.

If you need to constantly switch out hydraulic flow attachments then you’ll need to make sure the excavator is fitted with the proper system to handle your needs.

6. Transportation
If you’re going to be moving your machine from site to site, then you’ll want to consider additional costs associated with this. For instance, will you need to purchase a new trailer (and related permits) to effectively transport the excavator?

Also, keep in mind whether you have the proper hauling truck to handle the job.

Last, but not least, keep in mind how the excavator will be moving around on job sites. Will you be using it on icy grounds or finished surfaces? Perhaps an excavator with wheels is better for you than one with only a tract.

7. Your Operators Matter Too
Don’t forget about your personal who will operating your excavator. You’ll need to make sure that they are comfortable in the machine and that it offers ergonomic chairs, controls, and plenty of space that can accommodate different operators.

As mentioned before – especially as we consider winter use – you’ll want to make sure that your excavator has a heating and air condition system to keep your team safe from the elements. While it might seem insignificant, your personnel’s comfort will play a huge role in their performance and ability to work for long periods of time.

Make this winter season as productive as possible. Art’s Truck & Equipment has the best in pre-owned work trucks and specialized equipment to help you get the job done right.

Our pre-owned vocational trucks have been used all over North America and South America – including Canada and northern American states where temperatures can easily fall below freezing.

We know what vehicles you need to get the job done this winter season.

Contact us today at (956) 686-2326 or (956) 618-4600 to find out how we can help you grow your fleet.

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