The Varied Use of Excavators In Civil Construction Projects

Excavators are almost instantly associated with the construction industry due to the fact that they were actually developed towards enhancing the operational element of construction jobs. Although initially the role of the excavator was confined to digging, technological developments applied to the functionality of excavators has transformed them into multi-purpose tools that make excavators of all categories fundamental to the success of construction project regardless of the size of the project. Below are the general uses of excavators that make them essential to construction projects.

Digging Trenches, Holes & Prepping Foundations

Among the most basic uses of the excavator is in its standard form without additional attachments and only the ‘bucket’ is to dig trenches for piping, cable laying or sewer prepping. Excavators are able to dig up hard surfaces easily and within given matrixes in straight lines and level depth which makes the laying of pipes, cables or installing sewer lines easy. Digging holes and prepping foundations is another critical function of the excavator for constructing buildings.

Demolition Tasks

The attachments used for demolition generally referred to as demolition buckets are heavy-duty clamps that could also be used for dozing, piling and pushing and come in different capacities ranging from 2 to 6 cubic yards. This demolition attachment is available for both wheeled and tracked excavators and is designed with guarded cylinders of high-strength material. Operators are easily able to attach them using either pin-on or coupler systems.

Crushing/ Pulverising

Attachments referred to as ‘crushers’ and pulverisers are used for managing concrete that need to be removed. Crushers are effective on any structure that mainly consists of concrete without rebar. These attachments are able to break concrete into chunks of the right size that will allow them to be easily sorted and recycled. Pulverisers on the other hand are better for handling reinforced concrete as they are not just able to break the concrete into smaller chunks, but are also able to cut through rebar which causes the concrete to fall off the metal reinforcements. Pulveriser are also often used during secondary demolition which generally involves cutting steel after crushing the concrete which is why contractors who take excavators for hire often request crushers that have both characteristics (cutting edges and teeth).


Excavators are used for loading and moving material within the construction site using an attachment known as hydraulic clamps which are available for both crawlers and wheeled excavators. These clamps are designed specifically to lift material and move them about within the construction site. The clamp attachment has closed edges that are able to keep objects in position securely which is a critical aspect for loading material precisely and general material handling.

Other Functions

Due to the development of attachments such as drillers and hammers, excavators are also used for drilling holes through hard surfaces or breaking hard surfaces which prior to the development of such attachments were done manually using jackhammers, picks and axes. Prices vary between agencies, you can visit the following link for excavator hire prices, including attachments. The role of the excavator has been extended far beyond its initial uses and has become a standard requirement for just about any construction project regardless of the project size.

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Written by Michael Curry

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