The excavator has become a staple in the utility construction industry. From digging and backfilling to moving and placing pipe, it’s the go-to machine to get the job done. To pay homage to these hard-working pieces of iron and the companies that construct them, we’ve gathered the histories, product offerings and specs for the biggest names in the marketplace.
Over the next 11 pages, learn all about the most popular excavator manufacturers in North America from Case and Caterpillar 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. So grab a drink, sit back and dig in.
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, 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 six metric tons and over. The company’s biggest excavator — the TB1140 Series 2 — weighs just over 34,000 lbs.
Product Spotlight: TB260
One of the newest machines in the Takeuchi compact excavator lineup, the TB260, weighs in at 12,125 lbs in the canopy configuration. The TB260 has an impressive standard feature set that includes: multiple working modes; first and second auxiliary hydraulics plumbed to the end of the arm; auxiliary detent on the primary circuit; boom holding valve with overload alarm; long arm with thumb mount; and blade float providing value and versatility. A new turbocharged 47.6-hp, Tier 4 Final compliant Yanmar engine provides power and performance. The TB260 is capable of traveling between 1.7 and 3 mph and features a fuel tank capacity of 21.3 gal. A new LCD color multi-information monitor in the cab configuration provides the operator with a great deal of information and improved functionality. It is also simple to adjust, making it easy to read in all lighting conditions.
“With their increased hydraulic capacities and extensive feature sets geared toward operating hydraulically powered attachments, excavators in this classification are extremely capable attachment platforms,” says David Caldwell, Takeuchi Product and Training Manager. “Today’s technology affords the operator greater convenience and functionality than ever before by providing a wide array of attachment presets that the operator can customize to his or her specific application and attachment requirements. Dual auxiliary circuits, detent on the primary circuit and high flow are additional features that only enhance the excavator’s capabilities.”