Long reach excavators, sometimes called long front excavators or extended reach excavators, are invaluable pieces of construction equipment used for digging and moving material on jobsites. With an extended boom and arm, these versatile machines can reach farther than a traditional excavator. We love long reach excavators for many reasons that make them a top choice for all kinds of projects.
One of the biggest perks of long reach excavators is their ability to be more productive on the job. According to one estimate, a long reach excavator can be 300-400% more productive than a traditional excavator. There are a few key reasons why they offer improved productivity:
- Wider working radius – The extended boom and arm provide a larger working envelope, minimizing the need to constantly reposition the base.
- Reduced machine movement – With a long reach excavator, there is less traveling back and forth across a jobsite to pickup and dump material. This saves significant time.
- Ability to work in tight spaces – The extended arm can more easily reach into confined spaces like between buildings or pipelines.
|Long Reach Excavator
|Up to 75+ feet
|Maximum Dump Height
|Up to 40 feet
In addition to improved efficiency, long reach excavators also enhance safety on jobsites. Some of the key safety benefits include:
- Keeping workers away from potential hazards – The long reach allows the operator to perform hazardous tasks from a safe distance.
- Increased stability – These excavators have added counterweights in the rear that improve balance.
- Reduced material handling injuries – With less manual labor needed, there is less risk of muscle strains or back injuries.
The next thing we love about long reach excavators is their versatility to take on all kinds of applications. Some examples include:
- Demolition – Knocking down walls or structures
- Excavating trenches – For pipelines, construction, etc.
- Loading trucks – Moving loose material to different areas of a site
- River dredging – Environmental remediation projects
- Forestry work – Moving logs and clearing land
- Slope work – Retaining walls, grading, stabilizing banks
And the list goes on! Having one long reach excavator on site can replace an entire fleet of equipment in some cases.
Today’s long reach excavators employ some of the most high-tech features in the industry. These include:
- Precise machine control – GPS, laser guidance and sensor technology allow for accuracy within inches.
- Cab comforts – Improved control stations enhance operator performance and safety.
- Diagnostic capabilities – Smart systems monitor machine health and performance.
- Electric/hybrid options – Provide a more eco-friendly solution.
These technological improvements make long reach excavators easier and more efficient to operate.
In line with the technology benefits, long reach excavators also offer environmental advantages:
- Electric/hybrid models have zero emissions and lower noise pollution.
- Remote operation reduces soil compaction from machine movement.
- Precision operation prevents accidental damage to surroundings.
- Less trucking required lowers transportation emissions.
- Improved efficiency consumes less fuel overall.
Despite the advanced capabilities and technology, long reach excavators remain a relatively affordable option. In many cases they offer a lower total cost of ownership than multiple standard excavators needed to accomplish the same tasks. Some factors that improve cost effectiveness include:
- Single machine replacing a whole fleet
- Reduced labor required
- Lower maintenance costs
- Higher residual value at resale
By investing in just one long reach excavator, companies can save significantly on equipment costs while benefitting from improved productivity – that’s a win-win!
Top manufacturers like Caterpillar, Komatsu, Qilu, Liebherr and others have developed robust long reach excavator models. Key aspects that ensure reliable performance include:
- Durable frames – Made of reinforced steel that withstand heavy loads.
- Stable bases – With counterweights and wide crawlers for secure footing.
- Smooth hydraulics – Proportional controls respond accurately to operator inputs.
- Rugged components – Booms, arms, and cylinders last through intense daily use.
While reaching farther than ever before, these machines maintain the reliability expected of heavy construction equipment.
Lastly, long reach excavators provide a comfortable environment for the operator which improves performance and safety. Features like spacious ROPS/FOPS certified cabs, air ride seats, ergonomic controls, and reduced vibration lead to an operator-friendly experience. Operators can work long shifts with ease.
Long reach excavators provide many benefits that make them a valued piece of machinery on jobsites across industries. With improved productivity, safety, versatility, technology, sustainability, cost-effectiveness, reliability, and comfort – it’s no wonder these innovative excavators are so popular!
If you’re considering adding a long reach excavator to your fleet, check out the models from leading brands like Caterpillar, Komatsu, Qilu, Liebherr, Link-Belt and others. Evaluate your specific application needs and terrain to select the right excavator specs in terms of reach, arm force, track length, swing mechanism, cab comfort and safety extras. With routine maintenance, a long reach excavator will last for over 20 years while providing excellent return on investment through improved jobsite performance.
What is the working radius of a long reach excavator?
The working radius (also called reach) of a long reach excavator can extend out to 75 feet or more from machine center. Standard excavators have a reach of about 15-25 feet.
How much farther can they reach than a standard excavator?
A long reach excavator can reach 2-3 times farther than standard models, with boom/arm configurations extending around 40-50 feet longer.
What size projects do they work best for?
Long reach excavators are well suited to medium and large-sized construction projects needing significant material handling/loading over long distances, demolition, dredging, slope shaping, etc.
Do operators require special certification?
Yes, in most areas operators need a long reach excavator endorsement on their heavy equipment operating license to legally and safely run this type of machine. Proper operator training is crucial.