Heavy Machinery Transport Hacks: Different Types of Excavators and How to Transport them.

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Transporting Excavators Cross Border

A quick google search will show you that an excavator is a piece of heavy machinery equipment that is commonly used in construction. Featuring a dipper (or stick), bucket, boom, rotating cab, and movable tracks, an excavator has become quintessential for contractors and builders alike. Its absence will leave any construction expedition tragically handicapped, which is why it is so important for us to acknowledge and appreciate the excavator for the wonder machinery it truly is. 

Incredibly popular for earthmoving on construction sites, an excavator can lift substantial amounts of soil in no time, making it a top-shelf product for construction work. 
This article gives a quick overview of the different types of excavators that exist in the market and shows you how to efficiently transport them to different locations. To learn how to ensure safe passage for construction and mining equipment transportation, read on.

Types of Excavators

Different Types of Excavators

Bob the Builder: a trending cartoon series in the 1990s first popularized construction equipment on television. Children would ravish one episode after another admiring the dexterity of Bob – the builder who used excavators and cranes to get his construction work done. Interestingly enough, the world of excavators is as enchanting as it is on TV shows. 

If you’re on the market looking for the perfect excavator for your building or mining projects, read on. Here’s a list of the top six excavators that you should look for if you haven’t already:

  • Crawler excavators
  • Dragline excavators
  • Skid steer excavators
  • Vacuum excavators
  • Long reach excavators

Crawler Excavators

A Crawler Excavator is radically efficient and built uniquely differently. Unlike many others, this type of excavator utilizes tracks for mobility. The weight of the tracks plays a crucial role in maintaining balance by lowering the tipping point and stabilizing the excavator.
Commonly used in heavy-duty construction projects such as mining, this type of excavator comes with a unique chain wheel system that allows it to scale hills efficiently, making it highly suitable for landscaping uneven terrains that are harder to dig into.

Dragline Excavators

A heavy equipment used in civil engineering and surface mining, dragline excavators do a fantastic job at lifting and moving debris. Using a rope system, these excavators connect one side of the bucket through a hoist coupler and attach the other side of the bucket to a dragline that connects the bucket to the machine’s cab. 
Being one of the most competitive heavy hauling companies, we provide construction and mining equipment transportation services across the USA, Canada, and Mexico. With us, safe and efficient transportation of your dragline excavator is guaranteed.

Skid Steer Excavators

Unique in look and appeal, the skid steer excavators look different from other types of excavators. Often used in building pools, residential applications, and debris clearance, the boom, and bucket of these excavators meticulously face away from the cab. Intuitively designed to allow drivers to efficiently lift the debris over the booth, making them a useful choice in narrow areas.

Vacuum Excavators

Infamously known as suction excavators, a vacuum excavator is an engineering marvel that has revolutionized the face of construction. The excavator loosens the ground using a water jet and the pipe is fitted with sharp teeth to further break up the debris. Such excavators are typically less damaging to the surrounding soil than other excavating machines.

Long Reach Excavators

Featuring a longer and more extended arm and boom than most conventional excavators, the long-reach excavator is best-suited for locations that are difficult to reach. The extendable arm can operate with extreme precision and easily reach over 100ft horizontally. This machinery is ideal for industrial demolition projects where more precision control is required.

Different Types of Excavators

How to Transport an Excavator Safely and Efficiently

Moving heavy-built mining equipment transportation can be extremely difficult and unsafe if you don’t take the right precautions. On average, a standard-sized excavator weighs between 7 to 45 metric tons, and transporting it could be difficult if you’re not equipped with the right resources.

As efficient as it is for construction and heavy hauling, transporting these machines is extremely challenging and needs some professional guidance. That’s where we come in. 

Here are a few steps you should follow to efficiently transport your excavator system:

  • Secure the excavator
  • Choose an appropriately sized towing vehicle
  • Follow recommended loading procedures
  • Run and document compliant inspections while en route
  • Immobilize the wheel components for extra safety

Secure the excavator

You cannot safely and efficiently transport heavy machinery excavators without securing the equipment in the first place. Taking the right precautions for securing your excavator will help you safeguard it against potential damage from mishandling by transportation workers who may not be experienced or well-versed with risk-free mining equipment transportation.
Lower the boom, arm, bucket, and blade to the trailer’s floor before traveling offsite. Doing something as basic as this will help facilitate well-defended large equipment shipping and transportation. Additionally, you can chain the front and rear of the excavator using the machine’s tie-down points to prevent movement during transit. Taking this precautionary measure will save you thousands of dollars in potential damages, especially if you don’t have a warranty to turn to.

Choose an appropriately sized towing vehicle

A mini-sized compact excavator weighs about 6 tons, which is the equivalent of approximately 13,227 lbs in weight. A standard excavator can weigh anywhere between 10-45 tons whereas a large excavator will weigh about 45 tons. While the smaller variants are easier to transport, transporting a large excavator to the desired location is comparatively more complex. You need oversized trucks/trailers and appropriate-sized towing vehicles to effectively transport them to the worksite.
For those of you who are keen on inter-country transportation of your excavator, large equipment shipping can be a walk in the park if you take the right steps. Doing something as straightforward as ensuring that the trailer can support the weight of the excavator can go a long way. Similarly, finding an appropriate-sized trailer prevents excessive overhang. While smaller excavators can be shipped on a trailer capable of supporting 10,000 lbs of weight, you may need a trailer that can bear approximately 20,000 pounds of weight or more on its axles if you own a larger excavator.

Follow recommended loading procedures

Safety hazards and unwarranted accidents are a byproduct of irresponsible shipping and transportation. To ensure that you securely oversee the smooth transportation of your excavator, follow the recommended loading procedures. Treat it like gospel and follow the prescribed steps to securely load your excavator into the desired destination. Add blocks or supports to the rear of the trailer to prevent it from rising during the loading process.

For safety and hygiene, clean the undercarriage of the machine to keep it free of dirt, mud, and sand. Prioritize the heaviest end of the excavator when loading it up the trailer ramp. In most cases, the front end of the machine will be the heaviest part if the excavator comes with fitted attachments. All you have to do is ensure that the workers efficiently load this part of the machine first.

Run and document compliant inspections while en route

To ensure the safe and legal transportation of heavy machinery excavators, conduct check-ins and inspections while en-route, especially when traveling long distances. According to the industry safety standards, these inspection benchmarks are highly recommended:

  • Conduct an inspection once during the first 50 miles of transporting your excavator.
  • Inspect the condition of the excavator once every 3 hours or once every 150 miles — whichever comes first for long-distance hauls.
  • Get your excavator inspected at every change of duty or change of driver station. Let the new driver run a full inspection and document the findings in a transport log.

Following the above-mentioned steps will ensure that you are compliant with the industry safety standards at all times. The timely inspections we have suggested above will ensure that you’re compliant with the safety standards stipulated by the industry standards.

Immobilize the wheel components of the excavator for extra safety

Safety has its worth in gold. Paying so much money to transport your excavator across the country or onto the other side of the continent can be counterproductive if the excavator is stolen from you. 

It is better to be safe than sorry, and we believe that immobilizing the excavator’s wheel components can safeguard your machinery from the savviest of robbers. It may take more time and effort, but the security you get from doing it is worth it. You don’t have to get the wheels of your excavator removed. Instead, you can consider using wedges, chocks, or cradles against the wheels to prevent them from rolling on the deck. This simple activity can keep your excavator well-defended from the weight distribution forces that naturally occur during transportation.

Excavator Hauling


In this article, we have given a brief overview of the different types of excavators available in the market, and how you can efficiently and safely transport them. While there is no such thing as a “perfect” excavator, you can always find one that is useful for you. Go through the products we have covered to get a sense of what the right choice for you can be. Follow the insights we have shared in this article to conduct effective heavy machinery transport to your choicest location. Smoothly executing heavy machine transport to the USA, Canada, Mexico, or anywhere else in the world becomes easy when you do your due diligence and take active steps to safeguard your machinery. 

As one of the best heavy haul companies for all types of machine equipment, we are committed to providing the most competitive services for construction and mining transportation. Whether you require services for heavy hauling in Texas or any other city in the United States or Canada, we can help. You can also avail our crane transportation service in  Canada. Write to us at [email protected] and we will get in touch  at your earliest convenience.

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