From digging and backfilling to moving and placing pipe, the excavator is the go-to machine for utility contractors. To highlight these hard-working pieces of iron (as well as the companies that construct them), we’ve gathered the histories, product offerings and specs for the biggest names in the marketplace.
Over the next 10 pages, learn all about the product lines of the most popular excavator manufacturers in North America — from Caterpillar and John Deere to Komatsu and Volvo. Compare specs of different models or simply discover the beginnings of a brand you love. There are even insights and advice from industry insiders to aid in purchasing decisions and maintenance matters. Sit back, relax and dig in.
Pam Kleineke is managing editor of Utility Contractor.
Four Compact Machines Prove Big Productivity Can Come in Small Packages
Takeuchi was the first company to introduce the compact excavator, setting the stage for one of the highest growth product segments ever introduced in the compact equipment market. The TB1000 was the world’s first compact excavator, introduced back in 1971. The two-metric-ton class excavator was equipped with a boom swing mechanism capable of slewing 360 degrees.
Much has evolved over time, including greater digging depth and higher reach, along with performance, durability, cab comfort, ergonomic controls, bigger buckets and engine technology. The Takeuchi color scheme has also been updated with the current sleek red and grey look. The Takeuchi excavators are a key product line and will continue to evolve for years to come. Today, Takeuchi offers four models 6 metric tons and over. The company’s biggest excavator — the TB2150 — weighs just over 34,000 lbs and is newly released to the market.
Product Spotlight: TB2150
Takeuchi-US features the brand-new TB2150 hydraulic excavator. Completely redesigned from the ground up, the TB2150 replaces the Takeuchi TB1140 Series 2 excavator. The new model is the largest, most capable excavator in the Takeuchi lineup.
At 34,480 lbs, the machine delivers greater functionality, performance, comfort and serviceability than the previous TB1140 Series 2 model. The TB2150 offers a maximum digging depth of 18 ft, maximum dump height of 20 ft, 4.9 in., maximum reach of 28 ft, 8.9 in. and maximum bucket breakout force of 22,190 lbs.
Powered by a Tier 4 Final Deutz TCD 3.6-liter turbocharged diesel engine, the TB2150 produces 114 hp, a 10 percent increase over the previous version. It also delivers 339 ft-lbs of torque, a 19 percent increase. The engine utilizes a DOC+SCR diesel exhaust after-treatment system that requires the use of diesel exhaust fluid (DEF).
The operator’s station has been completely revamped with an automotive-style interior that is operator friendly. A spacious cabin features a heated, deluxe, high-back-air-suspension-seat, and the new color multi-information display keeps the operator informed of machine performance.
Serviceability and uptime have been improved by simplifying access to key maintenance. This includes a nearly 5 percent increase in fuel tank capacity, and the engine does not have a diesel particulate filter (DPF) to maintain. In addition, the machine comes standard with Takeuchi’s new telematics system, Takeuchi Fleet Management.
“Not all excavators are created equal, so it is important to determine what size machine and options the customer can afford while meeting the requirements of their application(s). A good idea is to field demonstrate machines from several manufacturers which allows the customer to make an informed purchasing decision,” says Michael Shebetka, product manager at Takeuchi-US. “This provides the opportunity to feel the difference in hydraulic operation as it pertains to power, responsiveness, smoothness and cycle times. Equally important is operator comfort, visibility and serviceability. After all, they are spending entire days/weeks on the machine; it is their ‘office.’ Look closely at the quality components and structure to help differentiate a superior product from an inferior one.”