Mini Excavator Spec Guide

Excavators are the ultimate digging tools, and compact excavators are the ultimate digging tools when it comes to urban areas and confined jobsite applications. Compact excavators (also called mini excavators) are defined as excavators under 6 metric tons (although we cover a few bigger ones in this section too), fitting into cramped worksites while still giving big dig power. These are small excavation machines, engineered with an undercarriage and tracks, a long digging arm and a cab or ROPS enclosure. Typically with a dig depth between 5 and 20 ft and an operating weight between 2,000 and 20,000 lbs, compact excavators can fit into cramped worksites and still give big dig power.

These mini excavators began to catch the attention of American contractors and manufacturers in the early 1990s. Soon major equipment companies were invading the market with machines — Bobcat, Caterpillar, Yanmar, Volvo, John Deere, Komatsu, Kubota and more. As urban areas grow and the housing industry continues to recover, excavation work in tight jobsites has been increasing. With a small size, long reach and light footprint, contractors are turning more and more to mini excavators.

The 3.5- to 4-ton class will continue to drive the compact hydraulic excavator market. Also, conventional style compact excavators continue to share space with the minimum and zero tail swing designs. Zero tail swing or ZTS continues to be a hot feature (excavators that are designed to keep their cabs within the width of their tracks). Helming the two joystick controls, construction crews, utility contractors, landscapers and homeowners can make quick work of large tasks with these mighty minis. In addition to an excavator’s many features (enclosed cabs, backfill blades, extendable sticks, retractable undercarriages), a plethora of attachments are readily available to take on tasks beyond digging (hydraulic thumbs, breakers, specialty buckets, augers, grapples, mowers and more). To learn more, we suggest you get to know each of these following manufacturers and their products before you put your crews in a new mini ex.

Gehl Compact Excavators

Five Units Celebrating Four Generations of Innovative Digging  

Gehl introduced its first compact excavator range in 1987. The fourth generation Gehl excavator product offering provides key market focused models with customer-driven features. During its 25 years in the excavator business, Gehl has acquired a wealth of industry knowledge and market experience. Over the years, the company’s excavators have become more user-friendly, with key features like zero tail swing for operation in tight places and large comfortable cabs. Longer-lasting components, paired with high performance engines and hydraulics, make Gehl excavators a popular choice in rental, landscape and construction fleets.

Today’s Gehl compact excavator range consists of five models: the Z17, Z27, Z35 GEN:2, Z45 and Z80. Each model is built around a powerful and reliable Yanmar Tier 4 Interim engine. The hydraulic system is designed to enhance engine performance, resulting in a more efficient system, says Gehl. These models are true zero tail swing machines, eliminating cab overhang beyond the tracks in all directions. This allows the machine to operate directly against a wall or other obstruction without causing damage to the structure or machine.

The hydraulic system incorporates two variable pumps and two gear pumps. The pump oil flows are efficiently combined, redirected to where it is needed and allows for simultaneous operation without loss of hydraulic power. The Z80 excavator adds the Eco Mode feature. This mode reduces engine rpm by 10 percent without sacrificing power when activated, saving fuel when full speed is not necessary. The mode is easily activated and deactivated with a simple toggle switch.

The Z27, Z35 GEN:2, Z45 and Z80 are equipped with a hydraulic quick-coupler, making attachment changes as simple as flipping a switch. Plus, the universal-style coupler works with a wide range of excavator attachments, putting tools you already own to use. An integrated boom light on all models mounted under the boom illuminates the area being excavated, extending the work day when necessary.

Rugged, high-strength booms are constructed with a single boom-pin design and thick side-plates with internally routed hydraulic lines. Heavy-duty cylinder guards protect exposed cylinders from damage. Longer, offset crawler tracks enhance stability and provide smoother travel. Tracks are short-pitched to reduce wear, fatigue and damage. The angled crawler frame reduces soil buildup on the undercarriage. The large, walk-through operator’s stations on canopy units increase operator safety and comfort and enhance productivity.

Easy-to-remove side covers and a large rear access door allow access to all daily inspection and major maintenance points. In addition to the above features, the Z17 is equipped with a variable undercarriage which extends from 3 ft, 1 in. wide to 4 ft, 2 in. wide. This allows the machine to access narrow, hard-to-reach areas and also gives it the ability to increase stability on uneven terrain. The dozer blade easily expands to the same width for further stability and improved backfill capability.

As a complement to the Gehl line of compact excavators, a full line of EDGE attachments are available, including buckets, hammers, breakers, thumbs and more.
Gehl Specs

Advice to Buyers

“Purchase a unit that best fits the majority of applications that you work in. In most cases, excavator designs are very similar across brands, and it is the performance, design and comfort that separates them,” explains Brian Rabe, manager of product development for Gehl. “Once you have selected the best unit for your type of work, attachments are a great way to customize the unit to your application. For one-off jobs that require more dig depth or higher performance, look to rent a unit to best fit the application.”

Contact Info

Gehl Co.
One Gehl Way
West Bend, WI 53090
(262) 334-9461

Hitachi Compact Excavators

Five Models from the Innovator of Hydraulic Excavators  

Hitachi has had a long history with compact excavators. In 1965, the very first hydraulic excavator Hitachi ever made with its own engineering and technology was the UH03 — roughly a 6-metric-ton machine — a compact. The EX60 was introduced in 1987. The EX27, 35U and 50 were introduced in 2000 and the EX17 in 2001. The 60 was an ultra short radius machine when launched in 2008. Hitachi compacts have progressively gotten more rugged, durable and comfortable, says the company, as well as smoother to operate and easier to maintain. Hitachi makes a wide variety of excavators ranging from super-small compacts to massive machines used in mines and quarries.

Whether it’s productivity, fuel efficiency, reliability or control, Hitachi’s excavators set the benchmarks in the industry, says the company. Loaded with numerous customer-driven features, these excavators deliver productivity and durability, while keeping operating costs low.

Hitachi’s compact excavator lineup includes the ZX17U-2, ZX27U-3, ZX35U-5, ZX50U-5 and ZX60USB-5. The ZX17U-2 and ZX27U-3 are the smallest excavators Hitachi sells in North America. These tiny titans are nimble, powerful and designed to keep their tails close to their tracks rather than bashing into fences or walls. The company has reduced the size and footprint without sacrificing the Hitachi qualities customers have come to expect — long life, high productivity, multifunction operations, smooth hydraulics and easy maintenance.

The ZX35U-5, ZX50U-5 and ZX60USB-5 are the newest compact excavators to join the Zaxis Dash-5 lineup by Hitachi. This cutting-edge line of compact excavators delivers the same reliability, performance and operator comfort as the preceding Dash-3 Series, with numerous customer-driven enhancements. Their nimble yet durable design makes it easy for operators to squeeze in and out of small spaces. This makes the machines particularly well suited for rental, commercial/residential building, landscaping, underground and site development segments.


Hitachi SpecsAdvice to Buyers

“When it comes to purchasing a compact excavator, we recommend you contact your nearest dealer to discuss what kind of jobs you want to use a compact excavator for and get their input,” says Mark Wall, product marketing manager for Hitachi Construction and Mining Products. “Then, ask to demo the agreed-upon machine on your jobsite. Get it equipped the way you want it — including arm length, bucket size, angled blade and so forth. That will give you the chance to determine if the machine will work for you.”

Contact Info

Hitachi Construction & Mining Products
1515 5th Ave.
Moline, IL 61265
(866) 973-0394

JCB Compact Excavators

Ten Compact Earth Movers from the English Equipment Giant   

JCB has been producing both full-size and compact excavators for many years. All of JCB’s weight classes of compact excavators are popular in construction applications, but as their weights increase, the machines become more popular for excavation, sewer and pipeline work. Machines in the 2- to 4-ton weight class are most popular in landscaping applications, and about 25 percent of the machines under 3 tons are sold to rental firms.

JCB currently offers 10 different compact excavators ranging from the smallest model, the 8008, to the largest, the 8085. The range spans from 1 to 9 tons. According to the company, JCB’s advantages include: excellent visibility due to large front, side and top glass areas and a narrow boom and dipper for maximum forward visibility and enhanced productivity. The machine’s hydraulic system design includes double-acting pipe work standard on all package builds on machines larger than the 8008. The excavators feature a heavy-duty, fully-welded X-frame for a solid, rigid structure. This design also minimizes dirt buildup to maximize component life. Track components are sealed for life. The machines offer auto-kick down tracking, which automatically changes driveline gear to suit the working conditions. Gull-wing doors on machine sides make access to engine and hydraulics simple and easy, thereby decreasing machine downtime when servicing is necessary.

The newest additions to JCB’s compact excavator family are the 8065 and 8085. These new 6.5- and 8.5-ton machines are targeted at construction applications, including excavating, pipe work and sewer work. The 8055 and larger machines are now available with optional Bridgestone Geogrip rubber tracks that reduce lifetime replacement costs by allowing the replacement of a single pad rather than an entire track.
Features unique to JCB include the tilting cab on the 8018 model — an exclusive feature in its weight class, according to JCB. JCB’s patented dozer design allows the machine to roll material away instead of creating buildup. The operator’s environment on a JCB compact excavator is second to none, says the company, with class-leading visibility and comfort inside the cab. All of JCB’s compact excavators can be outfitted with a wide range of attachments, making them very useful for many different applications and able to generate a positive return on investment for their owners.


JCB SpecsAdvice to Buyers

“It’s important to consider what attachments you may use in the future when purchasing a compact excavator,” says Vincent Whelan, JCB product specialist. “Not only will the type of attachment you use impact the type of work you can perform, it will also dictate the size of compact excavator you need to effectively use that attachment. For example, a paving company may purchase a compact excavator initially for site preparation and breaking up asphalt or concrete, making a general purpose bucket a must-have. However, if that same paving company also installs basketball or tennis courts, using an auger attachment could make it far easier to dig the holes needed for basketball hoops or tennis net poles.”

Contact Info

JCB North America
2000 Bamford Blvd.
Pooler, GA 31322
(912) 447-2000

John Deere Compact Excavators

A Set of Five Units Focused on Power, Control and Peerless Productivity

John Deere has been manufacturing excavators for more than 40 years. Responding to customer demand for excavating equipment that can fit in small spaces, without sacrificing the power of larger scale models, Deere introduced its first line of compact excavators in 1986. Over the years, the company has worked to improve the muscle, control and productivity in each new model.

With more than two dozen models that have evolved over the years, John Deere’s current compact excavator lineup includes the 17D, 27D, 35D, 50G and 60G, allowing you to choose the size and horsepower you need to get the job done. Their compact sizes and reduced tail swing designs enable these small but mighty machines to specialize in close-quarters work. The highly fuel-efficient, EPA Interim Tier 4/EU Stage IIIB (EPA Final Tier 4/EU Stage IV on the 17D, 50G and 60G) direct-injected diesel engines are noticeably quiet so you can put them to work almost anywhere, anytime. Standard-equipped with backfill blades, mechanical quick-couplers and auxiliary hydraulics, many optional Worksite Pro attachments including rakes, breakers and augers can make a sizeable impact on your versatility.

The 17D, the smallest of the D Series, has a retractable undercarriage that enables it to squeeze through narrow openings for mechanized muscle in places where shovels used to be the only option. On all models, ergonomic low effort pilot controls allow you to easily maneuver the arm exactly where you need it. Need to reach further? An optional long arm allows you to do just that. A zero tail swing design allows Deere’s nimble compact excavators to rotate fully without banging a tail into something. Combined with independent swing boom and 360-degree rotation, they can slip into close quarters comfortably and work with ease around obstacles.

Deere’s largest and newest compact excavator, the 60G, is just right for landscaping, underground, utility or site development work. Like other compacts, it excels in close quarters and is easy to trailer. But with its powerful dig forces, impressive digging depth and spacious, comfortable cab, it produces and feels more like a small mid-size excavator.

John Deere

John Deere SpecsAdvice to Buyers

“Look for larger cabs with more legroom, adjustable seats and a wider range of visibility that can help make long days on the job less cumbersome,” explains Mark Wall, John Deere product marketing manager for excavators. “Technology upgrades like LCD monitors, navigation systems and monitoring tools provide an interactive user interface. With the right upgrades, operating an excavator isn’t much different, amenities- and comfort-wise, than driving your car.”

Contact Info

John Deere Worldwide
Construction & Forestry Div.
P.O. Box 8806
Moline, IL 61266

Kobelco Crawler Excavators  

Five Compact Units Get Reintroduced into the North American Market

Kobelco Construction Machinery USA recently relaunched its full line of crawler excavators in North America following the termination of a 10-year joint venture agreement with CNH. Since 1982, Kobelco has been offering its excavator line to contractors throughout the United States and Canada and have innovated many of the popular features in today’s excavators including a no-time-limit power boost, no-time-limit heavy lift, a blade runner excavator/dozer model, an independent travel system, hydraulically adjustable tracks, an intelligent total control system ITCS and an integrated noise and dust reduction system (INDR).

Kobelco currently offers a full range of 16 crawler excavators in the 3,000- to 180,000-lb classes for the rental, landscape, construction, aggregate, roadbuilding, material handling, site preparation, recycling and ancillary markets, including zero tail swing, standard, long-reach and compact models. Five of these models fall in the under-8-metric-ton range.

The smallest of Kobelco’s excavators is the SK17SR model. Perfect for working in tight spaces, this 3,640-lb mini has a compact footprint with zero tail overhang and tracks that retract to an overall width of 39 in., allowing it to fit through narrow openings. This model is popular with landscapers on jobs where they have to move their equipment through gates or between other obstructions. It comes standard with a blade for dozer operations. Auxiliary hydraulics and pattern changers are standard equipment.

The SK27SR and SK35SR models provide a bit more muscle for heavier-duty digging and lifting, while boasting a zero tail swing radius for jobs where space is limited. These 5,870- and 8,200-lb versatile machines have excellent stability and either steel or rubber track shoes. A dozer blade is included as standard equipment. An angle dozer is available for the SK35SR. The SK27 and SK35 models are often used for digging, loading and placing, as well as dozing across a wide range of applications. Auxiliary hydraulics and pattern changers are standard equipment.

Kobelco’s 55SRx, 12,295-lb, 39-hp compact excavator is a versatile, short radius excavator that provides full-size performance. Its compact size makes it agile on the jobsite without compromising stability, bucket size or lift capacity when compared to similarly sized, standard swing radius machines. Then come Kobelco’s midi excavators such as the SK75R, a 17,100-lb workhorse, and the boom swing version, the SK85MS. These 55-hp, short rear swing machines incorporate all of Kobelco’s fuel-saving technologies, including an ECO mode, to deliver greater work performance with less fuel, maximizing profitability on each job.  
All Kobelco excavators support a wide range of buckets and attachments and are designed for optimal productivity, comfort and safety on the job. Kobelco offers customer service and product support through its Houston-based North American headquarters as well as through a nationwide authorized dealer network.


Kobelco SpecsAdvice to Buyers

“Zero tail swing, tracks that retract and a petite footprint are popular features on compact excavators, particularly for contractors who will work or maneuver them in tight spaces and frequently transport them between jobsites,” explains George Lumpkins, product marketing manager with Kobelco Construction Machinery USA. “For those who move their equipment less frequently and who don’t have concerns about working in confined areas, weight, power and speed may be more critical. Once you’ve defined your needs and identified which brands you’ll consider buying, look a little harder at the company, as well as the local dealer.  Will they provide you with prompt, personal and professional service? Will they be able to quickly deliver parts and provide timely service to minimize downtime? In today’s competitive marketplace, you’ll want to be sure the equipment you buy is not only reliable and priced competitively, but also purchased from a company you can count on to stand behind it over the entire life cycle of the machine.”

Contact Info

Kobelco Construction
Machinery USA
4690 World Houston Pkwy.
Houston, TX 77032
(281) 888-8430

Komatsu Compact Excavators  

Seven Models from a World Leader in Earth Moving Machinery

Komatsu entered the compact excavator line in the mid-1990s. The series started as the  -7 and then -8 before going to the MR-1 Series. Komatsu utility excavators have evolved alongside their larger siblings with improvements aimed at addressing customer needs such as a dozer blade for back-filling and auxiliary hydraulics for powering attachments, says Komatsu. A power angle blade has been developed to further improve productivity during back-filling. Auxiliary hydraulic circuits which started with a foot pedal switch now have an option that moves the controls to a switch on the joystick. The introduction of the swing boom also greatly added to the versatility of the compact excavator line due to the ability to dig parallel to a structure such as a foundation or fence. Komtrax is also available on the PC18MR-3 and larger models.

Today, Komatsu has a full compact excavator lineup of seven models. The PC09 is a -1, the 18, 27, 35, 45 and 55 are MR-3, the 78 is an MR-8. Here’s how the lineup breaks down: PC09-1(1-ton); PC18MR-3 (1-2 ton); PC27MR-3 (2-3 ton); PC35MR-3 (3-4 ton); PC45MR-3 (4-5 ton); PC55MR-3 (5-6 ton); and the PC78US-8 (7-8 ton).

Common features include technologies like the HydrauMind hydraulic system (hydraulic mechanical intelligence), which works with the pressure-compensated CLSS to ensure each function works according to its control input, regardless of the size of the load, to give the operator precise control at all times. Pattern change valves are also standard on the PC18 through PC88, allowing operators to switch from ISO to backhoe control patterns, along with auxiliary hydraulics and dozer blades for back-filling. The Komtrax machine monitoring system (not on the PC09-1) allows managers to track their machines usage and fuel consumption. Komatsu compact excavators have construction size features, says the company, such as castings in key, high stress areas such as the boom foot and tip for long equipment life. The PC27 through PC88 have three track options available — steel, rubber and road liner.

Komatsu notes its excavators are distinguished by the Komatsu designed and manufactured components that maintain the quality and reliability Komatsu is known for. The phrase Komatsu Harmony means all major components are designed to work together.


Komatsu SpecsAdvice to Buyers

“A typical job’s needs should be taken into consideration, as well as any attachments that might be used,” explains Rob Orlowski, excavator product manager with Komatsu. “Certain attachments may require a larger machine due to attachment size and hydraulic requirements. Dig depth and lifting ability might determine size, but transportation requirements should also impact the decision. Small to mid-range compact excavators are useful in space-restricted areas or for shallow excavation. Larger compact excavators perform well where larger construction excavators are not appropriate due to space limitations. Maintenance should be simple and easy. Look for onboard monitors that display service intervals as well as ground level access to service points.”

Contact Info

Komatsu America Corp.
1701 W. Golf Rd.
Rolling Meadows IL, 60008
(847) 437-4419

Kubota Compact Excavators SKX-Series and KX-Series and U-Series Offer 12 Models of Mini Excavators

Kubota Tractor Corp. began marketing in the United States in 1972, with an initial introduction of a 12-hp compact tractor. Today, the company distributes compact excavators ranging from 10 to 70 gross hp.
Relying on combined maneuverability, power and reliability, the Kubota compact excavator lineup is versatile, with machines in the 8-ton range, models in the 1-ton-and-under weight class and virtually everything in between (including models with zero, tight or conventional tail swing). The full line of Kubota compact excavators includes the Kubota U-Series zero and tight tail swing models and KX-Series conventional tail swing models: U17, U25, U35-4, U55-4, K008-3, KX018-4, KX71-3, KX91-3, KX040-4, KX121-3, KX057-4 and KX080-4.

Kubota’s KX-Series compact excavators are equipped with features to maximize both power, stability and versatility. The KX-Series touts low sound level, which increases operator comfort and allows work in residential areas. The light lever action of the hydraulic pilot controls provides enhanced front work group control. An optional hydraulic angle blade with float for increased productivity is available on the U35-4, U55-4, KX91-3, KX040-4, KX121-3, KX057-4 and KX080-4 models. The KX121-3 features a float, six-in-one blade option with 25-degree angle left and right and 10-degree tilt in both directions.

Kubota’s U-Series zero and tight tail swing excavators are an ideal choice for productivity. Available in four models, the U-Series excavators come equipped with a Kubota E-TVCS diesel engine. Features include large-capacity variable displacement pumps, strong bucket breakout forces, two pattern selection systems for switching between ISO and SAE patterns, double-flanged lower track rollers, V-shaped lugs and a variable width track frame on the U17. Depending on model, available implements and accessories include hydraulic angle blade, ROPS/FOPS cab or canopy, pin-on and quick-attach buckets, quick coupler, spark arrest muffler, steel tracks, travel alarm, hydraulic auger and hammer and thumb.

Kubota has introduced the Eco Plus on its new “dash four” excavators, KX040-4 and larger. Eco Plus allows customers to select eco mode when fuel conservation is a priority, with fuel savings up to 20 percent. For applications that require full power, switch to standard mode and still experience improved efficiency, plus lower fuel consumption than the prior models.

Kubota’s newest compact excavators feature digital display panels, conveniently located for clear view and easy access, to provide vital information at a glance, even notifying the operator when maintenance is due.


Kubota SpecsAdvice to Buyers

“First, you should determine the size of machine you need,” says Keith Rohrbacker, Kubota product manager. “This includes digging depth, dump height, lifting capacity, overall weight and whether zero tail swing or conventional tail swing fits your application needs. Also consider functionality, comfort, responsiveness, visibility and ease in performing routine maintenance. Consider the reliability and durability of the brand of machine you are purchasing. The dealer should be an authorized compact excavator dealer and be able to fulfill all of your service and parts needs in a timely manner.”

Contact Info

Kubota Tractor Corp.
3401 Del Amo Blvd.
Torrance, CA 90503
(888) 458-2682

LiuGong Mini Excavators

Three Compact Diggers from the Chinese Mogul of Construction Equipment

LiuGong started to develop excavators in 1992 and kicked off the R&D of mini excavators in 2001. The mini excavator plays an extremely important role in LiuGong’s comprehensive solution in the North American market, notes the company. Understanding market trends, customers and key market players, LiuGong developed its most recent C Series products, which inherited many of the merits of last generation mini excavators.

LiuGong says that its machines maintain superior horsepower, high efficiency, low fuel consumption, reliability, durability, easy maintenance, low noise and improved visibility and operator comfort. Currently, LiuGong has set up testing grounds to ensure its equipment quality around the world, with tests ranging from exacting heat balance to metal fatigue on machines.

LiuGong has three units in its mini excavator line, the 904, 906 and 908.  These units are all built for efficiency through excellent fuel consumption combined with great operator comfort and the machine options customers want, says the company. The 904 has 8,818 lbs of operating weight with rubber tracks and a backfill blade standard. The 906 also has rubber tracks, the blade as standard and weighs 13,228 lbs. LiuGong’s 908 has the option of rubber or steel tracks and weighs 16,976 lbs. This unit also has the backfill blade standard.

All three units are extremely operator friendly and come standard with cab, air-conditioning and heat, says LiuGong.  These machines also have two-way auxiliary hydraulics to the end of the arm and standard pattern changers. The lineup of LiuGong mini excavators has world-class components, says the company, including Yanmar engines.  These machines are built to work and offer the operators a good environment to be extremely productive on the jobsite.

Built for efficiency, LiuGong compact excavators also include (according to the company): low fuel consumption engines with excellent power; boom anti-drift function, which stabilizes boom for precise operations; minimal kick-back during swing function for comfort, control and damage prevention; easy control pattern changes from ISO to SAE for maximum productivity; easy engine access and key placement of key maintenance items; air, fuel and pilot filters all checkable from ground level; an LCD monitor with essential diagnostic information for maintenance checks; and so much more.

Operator comfort and safety are also a priority with a well-designed cab using ergonomically placed instruments, ROPS cab with standard adjustable suspension seat, sound suppressing and air conditioned environment, excellent all around visibility and durable and easy to clean floor mats.


Advice to Buyers

“Look for an excavator built with low fuel consumption engines and equipped with a boom anti-drift function to bring precise operation and high productivity,” says Marcus Menough, regional sales manager for LiuGong. “When choosing a machine, ensure it is designed for easy monitoring and maintenance to make your daily work go smoothly. You must also dig into components and the hydraulic systems to ensure that there are no sacrifices in machine reliability and toughness. And of course, a safe and comfortable cab should be standard on all units and provide an excellent operator environment.”

Contact Info

LiuGong Construction
Machinery N.A., LLC
20823 Park Row
Katy, Texas 77449
(281) 579-8882

Mustang Mini Excavators

The Midwest Equipment Magnate Markets Five Zero Tail Swing Units  

Mustang excavators were first introduced in 1999. Thirteen years of industry knowledge and market experience has produced the third generation of Mustang excavators — the Mustang zero tail swing excavators. The evolution of the Mustang excavator line over the years has led to more user-friendly features and exclusive zero tail swing designs for operation in tight places. Longer-lasting components, paired with performance based designs, make Mustang excavators a popular choice in rental, landscape and construction fleets.

The Mustang zero tail swing excavators consist of five models: the 170Z, 270Z, 350Z NXT2, 450Z and 800Z. The machines are designed around a powerful and reliable Yanmar engine to enhance engine performance and increase efficiency. Mustang excavators are true zero tail swing machines, with no cab overhang beyond the tracks in any direction. This allows the machine to operate directly against a wall or other obstruction without causing damage to the structure or machine. The Mustang 270Z, 350Z NXT2, 450Z and 800Z excavators are equipped with a hydraulic quick-coupler. This feature makes attachment changes as simple as flipping a switch. Plus, the pin grabber-style hydraulic coupler works with the majority of excavator attachments, putting tools you already own to use.

The hydraulic systems on the Mustang zero tail swing excavators incorporate two variable pumps and two gear pumps. The pump oil flows are combined and redirected where needed, allowing for simultaneous operation without loss of hydraulic power. An operator can save fuel when full performance is not necessary by reducing engine rpm by 10 percent using the Eco Mode on the 800Z. The mode is easily activated and deactivated with a simple toggle switch.

Mustang zero tail swing excavators are equipped with rugged, high-strength booms constructed with a single boom-pin design and thick side-plates with internally routed lines. Heavy-duty cylinder guards protect exposed cylinders from damage. Longer, offset crawler tracks enhance stability and provide smoother travel. Tracks are short-pitched to reduce wear, fatigue and damage. The angled crawler frame reduces soil buildup on the undercarriage.

The large, walk-through operator’s stations on canopy equipped models increase operator safety and comfort and enhance productivity. An integrated boom light on all models illuminates the area being excavated, extending the work day when necessary. Easy-to-remove side covers and a large rear access door allow access to all daily inspection and major maintenance points.

In addition to the above features, the 170Z is equipped with a unique variable undercarriage which extends from 3 ft, 1 in. wide to 4 ft, 2 in. wide. This allows the machine to access narrow, hard-to-reach areas and also gives it the ability to increase stability on uneven terrain. The extension blade easily expands to the same width for further stability. As a complement to the Mustang line of excavators, a full line of EDGE attachments are available, including buckets, hammers, breakers, thumbs and more.


Mustang Specs Advice to Buyers

“The versatility of an excavator model needs to be considered during a purchase. Ensuring that you are selecting a model that will perform in all of the jobsite applications is key,” explains Nathan Ryan, Mustang excavator product manager. “Select a unit that has the dig depth, lifting capacity over the front and over the side and breakout force performance for your key applications.”

Contact Info

P.O. Box 179
West Bend, WI 53090
(262) 334-9461

New Holland Compact Excavators

Four Dedicated Diggers that Give Big Power in Tight Work Spaces

In 1999, New Holland Construction launched its construction equipment brand for the North American market, which included compact excavators. The company was one of the only manufacturers to offer an entire line of zero tail swing compact excavators for operation in the tightest of areas. In 2011, New Holland Construction added the 5.5-metric-ton E55Bx compact excavator. This was the first MTS (minimal tail swing) model offered and has won instant popularity in the market, says the company. It features an all-new cab and cutting-edge boom design that gives the operator the reach of a long arm machine, along with the digging strength of a short arm design.

The New Holland compact excavator product line includes the E18B, E27B, E35B and E55Bx. New Holland compact excavators are designed to be versatile and deliver the range of power you expect for your application, says the company. If your business involves residential construction, underground pipe/electric work, landscaping, demolition or commercial construction work, New Holland says it offers a model that’s tailor-made to meet your requirements. These machines offer reliable, fine-tuned engines and hydraulic performance that results in power and an increase in fuel economy, says New Holland.

The E18B has foldable wings to match the variable-width of the tracks, which are expandable from 39 to 52 in. In the fully expanded track position, the E18B provides zero tail swing, making it well suited to project bids. A four-way blade option available on the E35B provides 23 to 25 degrees of left and right angle movement for clearing, grading and backfilling. Designed for use with attachments, New Holland compact excavators include auxiliary hydraulics as standard equipment, making them factory-ready for grapples, breakers and other attachments.

The newest model in the New Holland compact excavator lineup is the E55Bx. The E55Bx delivers enough size and power for tackling various residential construction, underground pipe/electric, landscaping, demolition or commercial construction applications. With a cab height of 8 ft, 4 in., the compact excavator is easy to transport between jobsites. The E55Bx is also small enough for confined spaces, but has all the muscle, performance and productivity you’d expect from a mid-sized excavator. The boom, arm and swing bracket on the new compact excavator feature large cross-section segments for greater attachment strength. The lower structure extends to the sprockets, which reinforces the tracks and undercarriage at the optimal points. To match ground conditions, both rubber and steel tracks are available for the E55Bx excavator.
The E55Bx also includes a standard dozer blade — featuring an increased 38-degree approach angle for finish grading. For increased backfill and grading ability, an optional four-way dozer blade is also available. A variety of attachments are available as well, including buckets, hammers and augers.

Designed with the operator in mind, the E55Bx features individualized comfort settings, improved visibility to the front, sides and rear and ergonomically placed controls and gauges. The large ROPS/FOPS cab features a larger front window and wider rear window for superior visibility, says New Holland. Standard air conditioning provides all-day comfort for the operator.

New HollandNew Holland Specs

Contact Info

New Holland Construction
621 State St.
Racine, WI 53402

Takeuchi Compact Excavators  

Seven Mini Exs from One of the First Innovators of Small Diggers    

Takeuchi manufacturing began in 1963 and has been a pioneer in the compact equipment industry ever since. Takeuchi developed one of the world’s first compact excavators in 1970 and the company’s innovation continued again in the mid-‘80s with the introduction of one of the first compact track loaders. These two products have helped transform the North American construction equipment markets and have positioned Takeuchi as a leading provider of compact equipment.

Today, Takeuchi is a world leader in the manufacture and service of compact construction equipment, including track loaders, wheel loaders, conventional excavators and zero tail swing excavators. According to Takeuchi, its compact excavators are designed and engineered with superior power, strength and maneuverability and provide a high level of quality and performance. Takeuchi products are the result of extensive research, testing and refinement.

The company’s compact excavators come with a two-year, 2,000-hour full machine warranty as standard equipment. An optional P3 Power Protection Plan offers selectable coverage levels for powertrain, powertrain and hydraulics or no-deductible full machine plans.

Takeuchi compact excavators feature cast iron, wrap-around counterweights that protect the engine compartment from damage when working in confined areas, and a tilt-up operator’s platform combined with a fully opening engine compartment offers quick service access on most models. An automatic fuel bleed system eliminates the downtime and service calls required to bleed conventional fuel systems, and variable displacement piston pumps efficiently utilize engine horsepower while continuously adjusting power and speed for fast cycle times.

Takeuchi’s control pattern selector valve allows for quick change of operating controls between SAE and ISO patterns to accommodate operator preferences, and a progressive proportional slide switch is standard on all models except the TB108 and TB016. Because Takeuchi customers are looking for solutions, Takeuchi’s focus is to build machines that incorporate solutions into every component and feature. Takeuchi’s design philosophy is built around four pillars: performance, durability, serviceability and operator comfort. According to Takeuchi, these pillars are really the expectations that every customer has for the machine, no matter what the application.


Takeuchi Specs Advice to Buyers

“When choosing a compact excavator, we always recommend that buyers look at performance, durability, operator comfort and serviceability,” says Michael Kibler, Northeast regional business manager for Takeuchi US. “Excellent arm and bucket power can provide the perfect combination of power, speed and versatility at an operator’s fingertips. Dual pin position buckets allow even more flexibility to adapt to the job conditions. Look for excavators that feature durable EPA-compliant engines with an auto-idle feature that provides power, fuel economy, low noise levels and long service life. Also, spacious, automotive-style cab interiors with intuitive switches and controls can offer superior operator comfort.”

Contact Info

Takeuchi US
519 Bonnie Valentine Way
Pendergrass, GA 30567
(706) 693-3600

Terex Compact Excavators

Nine Units with a Long and Proud Hanix and Schaeff Heritage

The Terex compact excavator line was developed and made by Hanix and distributed by Schaeff in Germany. The first model was called the HR02. Terex purchased Schaeff in January 2002. Terex compact excavators are still engineered and manufactured in Rothenburg, Germany. Through evolution of the equipment, the Terex compact excavator line has been around about five generations. Terex engineers have focused on bringing a machine to market that has a high power-to-weight ratio, which equals an increase in capabilities in a smaller-sized machine.

According to Terex, the basic design of all Terex compact excavators ensures they can handle tough jobsite applications with the best performing machines in their size category. Terex has nine compact excavator models — TC16, TC20, TC29, TC35, TC37, TC48, TC50, TC60 and TC75 — ranging from 18 to 73 hp with operating weights from 3,900 to 16,535 lbs and a variety of attachments to match jobsite needs. All Terex models have two travel speeds standard — except on the TC16, where it’s an optional feature.

Design features, such as top-mounted boom cylinders, offer excellent cylinder damage protection. Also, these cylinders are inverse mounted so the seal is facing down, which prevents dirt buildup and protects it from the elements. The use of spherical bearings ensures the energy from torsional movement of the boom is not transferred to the cylinder, resulting in a strain free cylinder run. Replaceable tin-bronze bushings with precisely designed hole patterns in the boom bearing points store lubricating grease, which provides constant and complete coverage. This design reduces the washout of the lubricant and provides emergency lubrication properties.

In addition, Terex’s cushioned cylinders are end-position dampened to extend service life while minimizing inertia forces and reducing cylinder shock. The company’s articulating boom cylinders offer protection and permit operation while being located flush against objects. The linkage of many competing machines extends out further than the tracks, making them more susceptible to damage and negating zero tail swing technology, says the company. The linkage on the Terex machines is more flush with the tracks, better protecting these vital parts, leading to more uptime and an increase in productivity that results in reduced operating costs and an improved bottom line.

Additionally, the company’s axial piston, variable displacement hydraulic pumps and motors provide load-sensing and load independent flow division (LUDV) hydraulics for smooth simultaneous operation. With the LUDV design, oil flow is distributed to cylinders independent of the load. The main advantage of this system is that the compact excavator can be performing multiple actions at one time, without sacrificing flow. This makes for very smooth, efficient operation, says Terex.


Terex Specs Advice to Buyers

“Excavators can help increase productivity on any project requiring craning utilities into place overhead or burying underground. They can help with digging, compacting and backfilling trenches, breaking up concrete and digging postholes when paired with the appropriate attachment,” says Lance Schjenken, Terex attachment marketing specialist. “No matter what attachment an operator is using, the key to productivity is to make sure the machine’s hydraulic flow is matched to the attachment, and that it is easy for operators to change out and operate the attachment. For instance, quick coupler systems make it fast and easy to change attachments and auxiliary hydraulics offer flexibility in adding attachments.”

Contact Info

Terex Corp.
8800 Rostin Rd.
Southaven, MS 38671
(866) 837-3923

Volvo Compact Excavators

Seven Models Fill the Range with Four Zero Tail Swing Machines

Volvo currently has seven models of compact excavators and nomenclature denotes the approximate operating weight in metric tons — EC20C has an operating weight of 2 tons. Volvo compact excavators range from 2 to 9.3 tons. Volvo offers three models of conventional radius machines — the EC20C, EC35C and EC55C. Volvo offers four models of zero tail swing machines — the ECR28, ECR38, ECR58 and ECR88.
 Volvo’s X-frame undercarriage on compact excavators is similar to that of its general purpose and production equipment. With one of the thickest tracks and drive sprockets in the industry, says Volvo, this ensures long life and provides protection from harsh conditions. Another feature is the automatic kick-down in the drive system that automatically shifts to low range when making a turn or climbing a grade. Dozer blades are standard on all Volvo compact excavator models as well.

Volvo has one of the largest cabs in the compact excavator industry, says Volvo. The company also notes that safety and maintenance innovations in Volvo compact excavators abound. Cab and canopy units have ROPS/FOPS/TOPS safety-certified structures. The canopy version is the most common on the compact excavator. However if you want to increase the time you can use the machine, maybe cab heat and A/C would be a good feature to have. An operator is normally more efficient in a cab machine and also the cab protects the machine and can increase resale value.

Back to safety, the machine’s hydraulic and drive functions are disabled by raising the left control console when entering or leaving the cab to prevent accidental movement. Filters, fills and service points are all easily accessed from ground level. Retractable safety belts and reverse alarms are standard on all models, which continually reinforces one Volvo core value — safety.

Volvo also can supply a wide range of attachments that are properly sized for the machine and application. For use of hydraulic attachments such as augers and breakers, all machines can be fitted with auxiliary hydraulic circuits. Many mini excavator applications require special hydraulically-driven attachments like augers and hammers. Volvo offers single acting hydraulics (hammer) and double acting hydraulics (auger).


Volvo Specs Advice to Buyers

“Consider what you are doing today, but also, what you could be doing in the near future,” says John Comrie, utility product manager of Volvo Construction Equipment. “Maybe you need a larger machine or just as important — maybe a smaller machine would do your work. What main work will you do with the excavator? Will it be used mostly for bucket work? Would an attachment carrier be useful — hydraulic or mechanical? How deep will you be trenching?
“The type of ground surface you will be working on will determine what type of track system to use. Conventional one piece rubber tracks can be used in most applications, but can have a short life. Steel tracks are mostly used if your work is onsite and are not recommended for concrete or asphalt surfaces. Steel tracks generally have a long life.”

Contact Info

Volvo Construction Equipment
312 Volvo Way
Shippensburg, PA 17257
(717) 532-9181

Wacker Neuson Mini Excavators

Europe’s Compact Equipment Leader Brings Performance to North America

Wacker Neuson only began offering excavators to the U.S. market in 2008, but it was one of the first companies to introduce mini excavators to the European market more than 30 years ago. Wacker Neuson was the first manufacturer to launch an 8-ton “mini” with the typical mini excavator features like rubber tracks, a dozer blade and boom swing. Mini excavators have always been a core product for the company, and it just launched its tenth model into the North American market this past fall.

There are currently eight track excavators in the Wacker Neuson lineup in the 8-ton-and-smaller range. The smallest model currently available is the 1-ton 803 excavator. With a 13-hp Yanmar engine and the highest auxiliary flow rate in its class, this mini excavator delivers great digging and demolition performance in tight spaces, says the company. The next size mini excavator Wacker Neuson offers is the 1.4-ton 1404 for superior power and high performance in confined areas. The 1404 features an advanced hydraulic system for smooth operation, precise control and improved efficiency.

Wacker Neuson offers three zero tail swing mini excavators. The 28Z3, 38Z3 and 50Z3 all are available with the unique Vertical Digging System (VDS). The VDS system compensates for height differences on uneven terrain and quickly sets the operator in an upright position, greatly increasing productivity by letting the operator complete the job done instead of struggling against the terrain. This innovative system enables operators to tilt the excavator with a simple push of the button and results in up to 25 percent material and labor savings, improved stability and operator comfort. The VDS system is also backed by a tough 10-year warranty on all VDS components.

The 2.8-ton 28Z3 is popular with landscaping and residential contractors since it is light and compact enough to be hauled with a standard size pickup and trailer. The 3.8-ton 38Z3 is also highly maneuverable and compact, but offers more power and digging depth up to 11 ft.  The 38Z3 is also available with air conditioning for increased operator comfort. Taking on larger jobs is the versatile 5-ton 50Z3, which features the largest cab in its class for comfortable operation, says the company.

The 3.5-ton 3503 is a conventional tail excavator and is a powerhouse mid-range machine. This high-performing excavator has serious power for its weight class and is a contractor favorite in both performance and comfort because of its larger cab. The largest of the track excavators are the 6003 and 8003, which feature a short tail design. These larger machines provide increased productivity with more power, dig depth, dump height and the ability to handle large objects like concrete pipes. The 6003 is among the strongest machines in its weight class and delivers serious performance and comfort for the operator, says the company.

The Wacker Neuson wheeled excavators were just recently launched in North America and are available in a 6.3- or 9.8-ton model.

Wacker Neuson

Wacker Neuson Specs Advice to Buyers

“If you have never seen or used a compact wheeled excavator, we recommend you give one a try to see the advantages,” explains Adam Purcell, product manager for excavators and dumpers at Wacker Neuson. “They deliver mobility benefits that save contractors and municipalities transportation costs, operating costs and the hassle of dealing with a truck and trailer on busy streets. The advantages are endless when it comes to urban excavating and demolition.”

Contact Info

Wacker Neuson
N92 W15000 Anthony Ave.
Menomonee Falls, WI 53051
(262) 255-0500

Yanmar Mini Excavators

Nine Powerful and Efficient Models in the ViO and SV Series   

Since its inception in 1912, Yanmar’s core business has been the production of engines. Following the hugely successful introduction of the walk-behind dozer in 1967, Yanmar introduced one of the first mini excavators in 1968. These mini excavators proved popular, and since then, Yanmar has introduced a number of firsts to the mini excavator market including the first swing-boom excavator and the first zero tail swing excavator, says the company.

In 1993, Yanmar launched the ViO Series, which was the world’s first zero tail swing excavator and is currently marketing its sixth generation model. The ViO development objective of turning within the machine width has been successfully achieved, while still maintaining the stability and work performance of a conventional-style unit. No part of the housing extends beyond the track which allows efficient operation in tight spaces, access to more jobs, less damage to the machine and less damage to the site.

Yanmar produces nine models in the ViO, ranging from 3,836 through 18,268 lbs. For starters, the ViO17 is equipped with a 13.5-hp Yanmar diesel engine, 3,836-lb operating weight, 7-ft, 7-in. digging depth and variable width of 3 ft, 1 in. to 4 ft, 1 in. On the other end of the spectrum, there’s the ViO80, which is engineered with a 54.6-hp Yanmar diesel engine, 18,136-lb operating weight, 15-ft, 4-in. digging depth and a width of 7 ft, 5 in.

Yanmar has also introduced the most innovative, fuel-efficient excavator Yanmar has ever built. The advanced technology true zero tail swing ViO35-6 features an electronically controlled Tier 4 Final engine and dramatically evolved hydraulic system. It also comes standard with ECO and Auto-Deceleration modes for even more operational efficiency. All of which means the new ViO35 can now deliver up to 20 percent less fuel consumption than previous models, without sacrificing any of the legendary Yanmar power.

The new digital Smart Assist control system allows you to monitor up to three months of operational history. Because this state-of-the-art system centralizes control of machine operation information and maintenance support information, it’s never been easier to maintain a timely, efficient service process.

The ViO Series excavators utilize multiple variable displacement piston pumps and gear pumps. The load sensing pumps in combination with Yanmar’s innovative hydraulic circuitry design, allow fast, smooth and powerful performance even when combining functions of the boom, arm bucket and swing. The standard equipment hydraulic coupler expands the versatility of the ViO Series by allowing a variety of bucket sizes or attachments to be used, saving the contractor the expense of bringing other machines to the jobsite.

VICTAS is the ViO Crawler Technology for Advanced Stability, allowing Yanmar excavators to utilize offset track technology with outstanding results. Due to this technology, the ViO Series offers increased stability without increasing the undercarriage width and the short-pitch rubber crawler reduces vibration when traveling.

And let’s not forget about the SV Series of ultra-tight turning minis, which have minimal turning radii in both the front and rear. This smooth, tight turning radius adds versatility on a tight worksite. Yanmar has two models in its SV Series. The smallest model is the SV08-1A, with a 10.3-hp diesel engine, 2,348-lb operating weight, 5-ft, 2-in. digging depth and variable width of 2 ft, 3 in. to 2 ft, 9 in. The largest model is the SV100-1, with a 73.3-hp Yanmar diesel engine, 21,554-lb operating weight, 15-ft, 9-in. digging depth and a width of 7 ft, 7 in.


Yanmar Specs Advice to Buyers

“Contractors need to keep digging and downtime slows the pace for the next job they will move onto,” says Jake Jeffords, construction equipment product manager for Yanmar America Corp. “While searching for the right mini excavator, a buyer must put the time into research of downtime and warranty issues. If a buyer will look diligently over key features that create better return on investment, then they will find a machine that will work for them in the long run.”

Contact Info

Yanmar America
101 International Pkwy.
Adairsville, GA 30103
(770) 877-9894