When you purchase an excavator, it is important to remember that there is not just one type of excavator on the market. For starters, you have variations in size—everything from a mini excavator to the largest option your manufacturer has available. You also have differences in the drive mechanism in that some excavators have wheels and some will have tracks. A final difference is that some excavators will have removable buckets that allow you to use different buckets and attachments for different jobs.
When it comes to buying an excavator, bigger is not always better. If you will be using your excavator to dig foundations for homes, then you need a standard excavator. On the other hand, if you have to dig footers for an addition to an existing house, or you have to work in cramped spaces, then a large excavator will be too large for the job. In this case, you should use a mini excavator, which should be small enough to fit through a garden fence.
If you do a lot of work in areas that don't offer good support for your excavator, then you will want an excavator that has tracks, because the tracks will spread the weight of the machine over a larger area. Dispersing weight in this way will help to prevent slipping and/or sinking. On the other hand, if you work in areas where you run into established yards, you can decrease the damage to the yard by using an excavator on wheels.
With the right attachment, you can turn an excavator into a forklift to help you lift materials onto the roof of a home. With a different attachment you can use your excavator to grab and manipulate pipes or tree trunks. Another attachment will turn your excavator into a jackhammer. By carefully choosing attachments to use with your excavator, you can increase its utility and decrease your need to buy separate pieces of machinery.
When you buy an excavator, it is important to know what your options are so that you don't create problems for yourself down the road. You don't have to buy or rent your excavator and every attachment you could ever need at the time of the initial purchase, but you should at least make sure that you purchase the right machine to act as the base for the attachments that you will purchase down the road.