One of the more innovative machines available, suction excavators are essentially large vacuums mounted onto a truck weighing up to 32 tons. Also known as "vacuum excavators" and "hydro excavators" (when incorporating water), they make excavation highly controllable in space-restricted environments such as residential neighborhoods, stadiums, and business campuses. Crews simply swing the pipe on a boom over the work area and suck up dirt, rock, and all other debris.
Read more on excavator attachments and types.
Choosing a brand
As you narrow down your list of excavators, another dependable method of choosing the best one is by comparing dealers. Known for incorporating proprietary technology and features into the equipment as well as offering a host of post-sale support plans, excavator manufacturers are often the key component to a solid ROI.
Reviews. While this shouldn't be the sole basis of your decision, what other buyers are saying about a brand can tell you a lot about how they do business. Watch out for red flags related to service and warranty replacement. Most manufacturers are great where this is concerned, but individual dealers may vary.
Awards and recognition. Many of the awards in this category are often given out for the incorporation of new technologies. In particular, look for developments related to improved controls, lower emissions, and hydraulic system efficiency.
Help and support centers. Look for phrases like "solid partnership" and "advisor." These often indicate the dealer is focused on your long-term growth, not just an immediate sale. Quality dealers will offer an extensive range of support services from dedicated service reps to streamlined parts replacement and warranty claims.
Training and maintenance agreements. While maintenance agreements keep the internals operating reliably, heavy equipment operators are ones who can have a real impact on the lasting efficiency of the machine. With training, operators learn health and safety standards, proper operational procedures, and even preventative maintenance. Most major brands offer some form of operator training and certification, often provided at a local dealership or manufacturing facility. And they tend to book up, so reserve your space early.