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Does this include the draglines used in strip-mining coal? If so, the largest buckets are much bigger than 4.5 m³; some of those are over 70 m³ (95 yd³). Gene Nygaard 18:22, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)

A dragline doesnt 'scoop' like these machines. In a mine, they can be called Mass Excavators, or stripping shovels (or just a Shovel). more commonly you will find a shovel in a mine. The difference is that a shovel 'scoops' in a foward direction, so they can use the highwall as a material retainer, and the shovel bucket is heaped as it is elevated.

The largest masn-made machine was a Marion 6360 stripping shovel called "The captain". It worked from 1965 to the late 80's for the Southwestern Illinios Coal corp. It got its name from the "Captain Mine" it worked. It weighed 28 million pounds, and possessed a 180 cubic yard bucket.

Thie Marion 6360 was larger than the NASA transporter, Big Muskie, and any of the Bagger machines. It receives little credit and has been, almost, virtually forgotten.

This article has become strictly about hydraulic excavators. Unless you are in the mining industry, most people have never seen nor heard of excavators that are not hydraulic driven. Typically in construction, and in many small mine operations, there are only hydraulic excavators and therefore the name Excavator is strictly used for hydraulic excavators. Caterpillar and many other US manufactures also market them with this name as well (marketing almost always uses the common name, rather than complete name, for sales reasons). Edwiki2005 (talk) 14:49, 30 March 2016 (UTC)


I work in as a supervisor with a construction company, we use a cat 375, and we have 2 12yd³ buckets and a 9yd³ one. This being different than what’s indicated on Caterpillars webpage, and is not in my Spec book. It’s a 3rd party bucket, but I know we are not the only contractor using larger buckets. Zath42 22:07, 8 May 2005 (UTC)


On Caterpillars webpage for there 385C L they have the Operating Weight of 187360 lb / 84980 kg this being larger than what was indicated I updated it. Zath42 22:07, 8 May 2005 (UTC)

What are these things?[edit]

"Bucket wheel excavator", apparently - Omegatron July 5, 2005 00:00 (UTC)

That would be machines that dig out relatively soft materials (often coal) from open mines. In one end it has a large wheel with buckets that do the digging, and as the wheel rotates, the buckets will empty themselves to a conveyor belt as they are turned upside down. The materials are then sorted and the unuseable (is that a correct word?) items are put on another belt to form a pile in the other end of the machine, while the useable parts are transported to a production/handling facility by trucks, trains or conveyor belts. G®iffen 16:29, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

What is this tool called?[edit]

Warsaw Excavator 006.jpg

At the end of the machine a unit is mounted in order to hammer concrete to small pieces, but what is the english/american word for it? In Denmark it would probably be "betonhammer", which translates to "concrete hammer", but I assume that especially americans could nickname it a bit more exotic than that? G®iffen 16:19, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

We call that a Hydraulic Hammer or Breaker.

or sometimes more crudely a 'bullprick'Rvannatta 07:00, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

In the UK they are often called a Pecker. Yevad (talk) 14:44, 2 July 2019 (UTC)

Rubber Duck[edit]

I've heard excavators described colloquially on construction sites in Ireland as "rubber ducks", but have no knowledge of why or how widespread this usage is. I'd add a link from Rubber duck (disambiguation), but I have no reference. Has anyone else any more information? jlang 14:38, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

"Rubber ducks" we call just wheeled excavators. Like Kamatsu PW160. Roso (unregistered) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:30, 22 April 2008 (UTC)


I have removed some vandalisation but I would guess there is some text missing in the gallery at the bottom of the page. Anyone care to rescue? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Gregpalmerx (talkcontribs) 13:49, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

Bucket and attachment expansion?[edit]

Was looking to find out what a 'frost bucket' was. Found it was a type of bucket for excavators - wonder if the attachments section could be massively expanded/made into its own article? (talk) 14:52, 6 April 2009 (UTC) (lionfish)

Hello, Just wondering is this just a cat page or is it the excavator wikipedia section, Please do not use this as a advertising tool, every ref relates to cat. As we all know there is a manufactures list available of excavators both old and new, so please respect all user's of this encyclopedia.

Thank You. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Joemac90 (talkcontribs) 16:29, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

List of manufacturers[edit]

I happened across this page and saw the section on "Major manufactures" and realized it had issues. It was unsourced, dependent on POV (what defines "major"?), and a probable spam magnet. I've taken the liberty of renaming it to "Notable manufacturers" and pruning the list to companies which already have a Wikipedia article.

My theory is this: If the manufacturer doesn't meet Wikipedia notability guidelines for articles, it almost certainly doesn't warrant mention here, either. If a manufacturer does warrant an article but doesn't have an article yet, then one should at least create a valid stub article first. (If you can't be bothered to create a stub, then why are you bothering here?)

For justification, I refer you to a variety of Wikipedia guidelines:

Respectfully submitted, —DragonHawk (talk|hist) 00:22, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

DragonHawk your assertion that people should create stubs for companies first often runs into new page patrol editors using the same notability clause to delete them or that all articles about companies (even defunct historic ones) are corporate advertising and should be speediy deleted, under a variety of 'wikipedia polices', ignoring wikipedia:Good faith and wikipedia:Don't bite the newbies for a start.
Most Wikipedia Policies can be 'cherry picked' to suit arguments for and against most items.
In my opinion several of the current list of links are for companies that are not 'Noted' as excavator manufacturers and the linked articles dont appear to assert any notability in that area of their business,(or if they are even an excavator builder in some cases). Notable companies also depend on were an editor is and the editors field of expertise / background. So Id suggest a separate list class article may be more appropriate containg past and present names that can then lead to the creation of the missing articles, rather than debate who and what is notable repeatedly and just so just list the common or major 'brands' here, as is the case with a lot of other product group related articles. I shall leave others to review/update the current articles list but this is is my opinion on the above assertion for removing and keeping entries on the articles page in reply to earlier suggestion by DragonHawk. - BulldozerD11 (talk) 17:20, 15 February 2010 (UTC)


Joemac90 keeps adding "HY-MAC" as a synonym for "Excavator". I've done some Google work and can't find anything to justify that. I see they exist as a company, but that's about it. Please cite a reliable source indicating the currency of "HY-MAC" as colloquial slang. Thank you. —DragonHawk (talk|hist) 19:49, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

Sorry I can't provide a written reference but I know it is a very common name here in Southland. As in I don't think I've ever heard them referred to as anything but a Hi-Mac or Hy-Mac.Falcon5nz (talk) 10:06, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

Scope needs to be discussed[edit]

There are so many different types of excavators, yet this article focuses almost exclusively on hydraulic excavators. I would suggest creating Hydraulic excavator and moving/associating Compact excavator and Long reach excavator there / with it as they are purely hydraulic excavators of slightly different proportions. Excavator should be a more general article about excavators and maybe give a brief introduction to the other types of excavators currently linked from this article.

Opinions? Jenser (talk) 01:40, 4 September 2011 (UTC)

They have lots of names around the world, and even in the same country, that's part of the trouble. For example, here in the UK they get called digger, excavator, 360 degree excavator, 360, machine. Also, not all throughout history have been hydraulic, older machines using steel ropes and pulleys and operated more like a mini drag line. Yevad (talk) 14:49, 2 July 2019 (UTC)

Excavator or Trackhoe?[edit]

I have a project that I am in charge of and we are using federal money to pay for this which means this is a davis bacon job. When I look at the pay scale we have it calls out various groups for equip operators including trackhoes-hydraulic type. Then later down the sheet it calls out a excavator operator with a different scale. When I google trackhoe and excavator I get the same pictures (which is the same kind of equipment we are using). So it appears that the federal goverment doesn't know which is which. Can anyone explain this and prove which pay item the goverment intends to use for this equipment know as a trackhoe/excavator? Ankagem (talk) 21:32, 9 November 2011 (UTC)Ed


I notice that this article need a major overhaul I will begin the process in a day if no one objects. you can see my progrees and plans in my sandbox here. thanks! --Jeffrd10 (talk) 15:33, 26 November 2013 (UTC)

Control of tracks[edit]

While the article describes the control of the house, boom, stick, and bucket, it does not describe the control of the tracks. Would someone who could cite a reliable source please add that information?

John Link (talk) 11:01, 22 June 2014 (UTC)

Proposed Rename[edit]

This article almost exclusively talks about hydraulic excavators. This is most likely due to the fact that in the civil and construction industry almost exclusively use hydraulic excavators (in fact I have never seen any other kind of excavator used other than on mine sites) and so they are colloquially (common name) referred to and marketed as simply "excavators". However, there are many kinds of excavators current and no longer used. An excavator is any large equipment made for the purpose of excavating rock and material, a hydraulic excavator is a type of excavator that uses hydraulic power as the force/mechanic for excavating and consists of a house, boom, ect. The easiest thing to do to correct this issue of nomenclature and colloquial usage is to change the title of this article to "Hydraulic Excavator", notate its common name, and remove the references to Power Shovels.

Opposed In my opinion the term Excavator relates almost entirely to the hydraulic variety; so does not require any changes. It could also create confusion then it comes to likes of mini excavators and long reach excavators which are at the end of the day Hydraulic Excavators also. FNQ (talk) 12:25, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Good Point I Agree and Disagree. There appears to be no consistent naming convention and convention may in fact change by industry (i.e. mining and construction) and company (i.e. CAT and Komatsu). I have removed the title change statement above until the below statements are addressed. Edwiki2005 (talk) 15:25, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Mini excavators are small compact hydraulic excavators. They are simply a size classification of zero-turn excavators. A "long reach" and "high reach" are descriptions of the boom and arm assembly attached to the excavators. You can take a long reach boom off of a excavator and reattach a backhoe, shovel, high reach, etc boom to the excavator and they will function. Long reach excavators are marketed separately since due to the reach they need a very good hydraulic system as well as more substantial counter moment and weight displacement (larger counter weight/disc and larger track area/width). Without these upgrades, if you were to attach a long reach boom to an excavator designed for a backhoe boom, the excavator may tip over if improperly sized during heavy operations or damage the hydraulics. Reference the Komatsu model numbers here: (long and regular reach booms) and for excavators that have shovel or backhoe attachment configuration options reference here (click the standard tab). Edwiki2005 (talk) 15:25, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

If we were to classify hydraulic excavators by boom and arm (stick) type, then all the images shown, except for the steam hoist excavator, are backhoe excavators. However, due to the fact that backhoe is often in the field a short reference to backhoe loader, I am wary of saying backhoe excavator because a lot of people think that backhoe is a type of equipment rather than a type of boom and arm configuration. Which brings me back to the original issue of name convention. To me it will always be a hydraulic excavator regardless if you have a backhoe, shovel, hammer etc. since the boom, arm, and bucket are interchangeable, but you are right also since the boom and arm type completely effects the function of the excavator and other articles reference by boom or size.

I have deleted the parts about a name change and added brackets with (hydraulic excavator) in them to clarify.Edwiki2005 (talk) 15:01, 30 March 2016 (UTC)

Merge proposal with Backhoe[edit]

-Lumber Jack- (talk) 10:56, 16 March 2016 (UTC)

A Commons file used on this page has been nominated for deletion[edit]

The following Wikimedia Commons file used on this page has been nominated for deletion:

Participate in the deletion discussion at the nomination page. —Community Tech bot (talk) 01:07, 3 August 2019 (UTC)