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As the most popular construction plant machine, you will always find all type of used excavators for sale on these pages. This means that a mini-digger will be shown alongside a huge tracked excavator. To help in your search you can filter using a specific sub-category.
Looking for a wheeled excavator? No problem, simply filter on the wheeled excavator category and that’s all you’ll see. Looking for a smaller excavator in the sub eight tonne bracket – then filter using ‘mini-excavators’.
After some buying advice? Read our report at the bottom of the page.
The choice of excavator size is almost mind-boggling, but it is important to get the right size for the job in hand. Sometimes this may involve compromises. If a machine is always on the move between jobs, then it needs to be easy to transport by the methods you have available. Broadly speaking, if the excavator is too large for the truck or trailer that you were hoping to use, then it might not be best for you, even if it is perfect for the digging job in hand.
This is a particularly important consideration when looking at mini excavators that you are hoping to tow behind a car or van. The issue applies equally to a large tracked excavator that requires specialist road transport with the increased associated costs.
This depends on the type of work to be carried out and the surfaces that the excavator will be spending most of it s time on.
Operating a tracked excavator on a tarmac surface, for example, will win over no friends at all. This means that a lot of road repairs and the final stages of road building will be carried out with a wheeled excavator. Similarly a lot of waste processing roles require the use of a wheeled excavator to move around site safely and with pace.
If the site surface permits the use of a tracked excavator then they are by far and away the best option thanks to their increased digging stability. A tracked excavator can simply move to a spot and then dig, whereas a wheel loader would need to deploy their rear dozer blade as a minimum, or use it in combination with front outriggers – or use four outriggers all round.
So, stability and resulting efficiency makes the tracked excavator the choice every time – this is why they hugely outnumber the wheeled variety on Plantpages.
All excavators can rotate 360 degrees when working. Consider the shape of the tracks or chassis and they are longer than they are wide. This means that, on a conventional excavator, the rear part of the excavator body (the heavy part where the weights are) will protrude from the side of the tracks when at 90 degrees to the tracks. This is fine on a large, open building site, but, if operating in narrower spaces, it means that the operator would have to consider the safety of the rear of the machine when moving the digging arm left to right.
A zero swing machine will not protrude from the width of the tracks, making it a safer alternative and easier to operate from the driver’s perspective. Most zero swing excavators will have a ‘Z’ somewhere in their model number.
All excavators ship with a standard length arm when sold to optimise lifting ability and breakout force, but you may have an duty cycle that requires a little more dig depth. You should look for an excavator that has been equipped with a long arm option.
Often combined with some additional counterweights, .you can do more with the excavator without having to keep repositioning
Make sure that you carry out a thorough machine inspection before parting with your hard-earned money. Start off with a simple walk around the machine. Check for any cracks, welds and rust. Start the machine and listen for any unusual noises from the engine and check for smoke on start up and under load. A visual check of the engine is also helpful. One that is covered in mud and dirt may not have received the best in terms of preventative maintenance!
Check the quality of all hydraulic joints and hoses – do any look wet?
Get in the cab and test every button and lever – if you don’t know what it is supposed to do then ask. If the seller doesn’t know either you should ask yourself why?
What about the attachments? Does the machine come with more than one bucket, for example?
What about the paperwork? Check for any service history to verify the hours shown.
Are the serial numbers in place and correct? You need to make sure the machine is a genuine item.
BCL Groundworks Operations Director Gary Caddick has demonstrated remarkable loyalty in using Hitachi construction machinery throughout his career. Working for a family business up to the launch of his own company in 2009, his love of EX and Zaxis excavators started with an EX135 in 1998. Since then, he has purchased every generation of Hitachi short-tail swing machines, from a ZX225USLC-1 in 2004 to a ZX225USLC-7 in 2021. In between he has owned and operated the ZX135US-3, ZX225USLC-5, ZX65USB-6, ZX85USB-6 and ZX225USLC-6. “When I started BCL from scratch in 2009, the first machine I bought was a used ZX135US-3,” says…>
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Combining traditional craftsmanship with contemporary designs, Rose Builders located in Manningtree, Essex, has earned itself a reputation for delivering the very highest standards of design and construction. With a sustainable business built on quality, a solid reputation, and a desire to improve the communities in which it works, this fourth-generation family-run house building company is clearly not your average construction firm. Having recently won a five-star award from the House Builders Federation for customer satisfaction, it’s clear to see that Rose Builders holds quality in much higher esteem than quantity. Part of that ethos can be attributed to the way…>