Sunward Mini Excavator
The mini-excavator is also known as a compact excavator or a mini-shovel. Having first being designed in the 1970’s a mini-excavator was conceived as a miniature version of an excavator that could be used in tight places to replace manual labour.
Generally they are classified as under 12,000kg in operating weight with the smallest examples around 800kg. They consist of tracks for propulsion over rough ground, an upper structure that houses the working gear and operator compartment and a digging arm. Mini-excavators utilise the latest hydraulic technology to achieve the diverse functions: driving, digging, slewing (rotating the upper structure), boom swing, dozer blade and powering auxiliary attachments. For pictures, specifications and features on the Sunward range of mini-excavators visit www.sunward.com.cn.
Through the years development has allowed the machines to do more and has focused on fitting the complex hydraulic systems into a compact space. Some of the achievements that are considered standard in today’s machines are:
- Confluencing – the mini-excavator can operate three different functions at once through the hydraulic system design, for example, driving/slewing/digging. Confluencing allows the hydraulic power to be maximised when only one function is required, thus gaining the most drive or the most digging power.
- Boom Swing – The primary purpose of boom swing is for offset digging around obstacles or along foundations, walls or forms. A secondary use is cycling in areas too narrow for cab rotation. Independent boom swing is one of the major advantages of a compact excavator over other excavation equipment.
- Dozer Blade – The dozer blade is used for grading, leveling, backfilling, trenching, and general dozer work. Most importantly however, when in contact with the ground behind the mini-excavator it makes it much more stable when digging. The blade can also be used to increase dump height and digging depth.
- Expanding tracks – smaller mini-excavators (under 2,000kg) offer expanding tracks that mean the machine can fit through gates or doors and then expand the tracks on the other side to make the mini-excavator as stable as possible for digging.
- Zero-Swing – most manufacturers are now offering machines with a zero-tail design. This means that the upper structure can turn within the width of tracks allowing operators to work in confined spaces and not worry about hitting and object with the tail of the machine.