What Are the Parts of an Excavator?

by Elijah Clark
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excavator image by dinostock from Fotolia.com

Excavators are a common piece of construction equipment with an eye-catching silhouette. The boom rears above the other machines on the construction site, the tracks are wider and the dump trucks service the machine like a line of ants. Wherever it works, the excavator is the king of of the job site.

The Undercarriage

The undercarriage of an excavator must support the weight of the machine, provide traction on unstable surfaces such as mud and allow the machine to move. Variations include the amphibious swamp buggy pontoon-style undercarriage or the use of rubber tracks on small excavators.

Backfill Blade

The backfill blade is a rear-mounted bulldozer-type blade. It is used for the same purposes as on a bulldozer and adds some versatility to the excavator. It may also be used to stabilize the excavator when needed.

The House

The house sits on a pivot above the undercarriage. The pivot allows it to rotate 360 degrees. The engine, cab and the boom are all mounted on the house.

The Cab

For an operator who works all day running the excavator, comfort is important. Modern excavators can be equipped with tightly sealed cabins for noise and dust control, heated seats, ergonomic controls and other amenities.

The Boom

The boom is a large hydraulically-articulated arm. Operators fit different tools to the arm depending on the job. These tools include buckets, claws, thumbs, jackhammers, grapples, compaction wheels, tree shears and other tools specific to certain industries.

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