Ten Tips for Buying a New Excavator
When it comes to purchasing a new excavator, there are many important items to consider. Understanding the right specs and knowing what to look for will have the greatest impact on the productivity of your business. Here is a list of ten important considerations for buying a new excavator.
1. Operating weight/size, Application
It’s important to match the right size machine to the tasks at hand. Crawler excavators are generally grouped into three size-classes; compact/mini (0 – 6 metric tons; or <13,227 pounds), mid-size (6 – 10 metric tons; or 13,227 – 22,046 pounds) and standard/full-size (10 – 90 metric tons; or 22,046 – 198,416 pounds).
Knowing your applications, the spec requirements for the job (bucket capacity, etc.) and what size machine you need is the first step towards making a buying decision.
Consider the attachments you plan on working with, and understand the hydraulic flows required for each. Equipping your excavator with the right attachments will give you versatility to get the most out of your investment. Also, be sure to ask about the machine’s coupler options. This will often help determine the scope and variety of attachments you can use with the machine.
As it pertains to how the central hydraulic system boosts machine performance, D Series excavators feature the CASE Intelligent Hydraulic System (CIHS), a larger control valve and new solenoid valves, which help boost breakout force, increase lifting strength and improve responsiveness, enabling the machine to work faster throughout the work cycle. The D Series also comes standard with a Free-Swing feature that allows the carriage to spin freely while operating the boom and arm, providing improved control when craning, pipe laying or lifting offset loads.
When purchasing a new machine, transportation is always an important consideration. Depending on your current fleet, a larger trailer may be needed to haul your new excavator. You may also need to consider traveling on weight-limited roads bridges, as well as the necessary certification for your drivers.
Buying the right sized excavator for your application and region is critical, as there are ancillary transportation and owning/operating costs that go with the purchase of a new machine that vary from state to state.
Consider the needs of the operator when purchasing a new excavator. Most operators have a strong preference between ISO or SAE control patterns. To make things easier, many new excavator models—including the CASE D Series—offer an easy pattern control selector that allows the operator to adjust the machine to their preference.
5. Operator Comfort and Ergonomics
When you’re in the cab of an excavator for ten hours a day, comfort and ergonomics are critical for productivity. Look for features in the cab that will keep your operators comfortable and focused on the job.
The CASE D Series features best-in-class cab space, as well as an optional fully adjustable large heated air-ride seat with independently adjustable arm rests, adjustable lumbar system and 65-degree tilt-back, adjustable foot pedals, a Bluetooth stereo and a climate control system that responds to sunlight.
6. Tracks and undercarriage
It’s important to understand the many track options available to you, as well as the impact that they can have on the productivity of the machine. Most compact excavators will come standard with rubber tracks, which are designed to minimize surface damage during travel and operation in the residential, street and in-building applications that they are often used. Rubber tracks wear out more quickly than steel, so there are a large variety of aftermarket track types available with varying widths and tread depth.
Mid and full-sized excavators are typically equipped with steel tracks, and also come in varying sizes, widths and depths. When discussing track options with your equipment dealer, be sure to consider the ground conditions and the type of applications in which you intend to utilize the machine. Wider tracks with deep grousers offer the most traction for heavy digging in softer ground conditions.
Also, be sure to look for a rugged undercarriage with features that will make it easy to keep clean and maintain. The undercarriages on the CASE D Series excavators are larger than their predecessors, providing increased durability, and an innovative one-side slope designed track covers ensures there is less material build-up between the frame and the track chain. This design also allows material to easily slide outward in one direction, which saves time when cleaning the undercarriage.
7. Tier 4 solutions
Today’s Tier 4 Final excavators are equipped with a variety of engine types and after-treatment technologies, and knowing the differences, as well as the impact that they can have on your operation, is essential when making a purchasing decision.
CASE has adopted Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology for use in its D Series excavators. SCR lowers harmful emissions through a simple chemical reaction by introducing Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) into the exhaust stream. These systems do not require any kind of regeneration, filter replacement or other maintenance practices found in other systems. SCR allows the engine to run at peak performance, which provides faster throttle response while also maintaining lower temperatures and greater fuel efficiency over other solutions. It also helps the engine run at lower temperatures, which ultimately extends the service life of engine components.
Ask your equipment dealer about the benefits and maintenance procedures associated with the different types of Tier 4 Final engines.
8. Additional features
Today’s excavators are loaded with additional features, so make sure that you are aware of what’s available to you when you decide to make a purchase. Features like selectable power modes and auto-idle can have a real impact on fuel savings and overall operating costs.
Look for available options like LED lighting kits and rear and side-view camera packages. It’s also important to take a look at where the access points are for daily maintenance procedures—CASE D Series excavators are designed to provide easy ground access to service ports and other key service items.
Finally, consider advanced technologies like telematics and machine control. Some manufacturers—CASE included—now offer telematics hardware standard from the factory on their new models. If you’re interested in a machine control system, it will be more cost-effective to have it installed as part of the initial purchase as opposed to taking the machine out of service for installation at a later date.
9. Choosing the right dealer
Choosing a dealer should be a long-term commitment. Your dealer is who you will rely upon throughout the lifetime of your equipment when you need parts, service and repairs.
Look for a knowledgeable dealer with a robust service department, who has partnered with manufacturers that have reliable parts distribution networks. The best manufacturers provide regular training for their dealer technicians and sales staff, and have training resources available at all times.
10. Maintenance contracts/Warranties
When you’re ready to purchase your new excavator, be sure to talk to your dealer about machine warranties and available extended maintenance contracts. When it comes to purchasing new equipment, protecting your investment is one of the most important considerations. Most manufacturers offer standard warranties on their equipment, but a premium service/maintenance program will make a significant impact on your overall cost of ownership.