Usually performed as a part of earthmoving operations, excavation is one of the numerous equipment-driven activities associated with heavy civil works such as dams, bridges, and highways. It involves using heavy construction equipment to remove soil that is considered to be unsuitable for the construction of a proposed structure. The excavated material can either be transported to a different location or kept onsite to serve other purposes.

Depending on the purpose of the work, different types of heavy equipment may be used during excavation. Check out the common factors that are considered when deciding on which type of excavation equipment to use on a construction project.

The type of excavation required

While some civil works only require the removal of the topsoil and any vegetation that makes the soil compressible, others may require breaking apart hard rocks to reach the minimum depth required to lay the foundation of the structure to be built.

Different civil construction projects require different types of excavations to meet project specifications. As a result, the type of equipment needed for excavation operations will depend on the type of excavation that is to be carried out. 

The size and scope of the job

Because excavation jobs vary in size and scope, excavation machines come in a wide range of sizes and configurations to match the requirements of each job. To match an excavator to your job, you will need to consider several variables, including the following:

  • Horsepower: the machine's engine should be powerful enough to provide the power and torque needed to execute your job to the desired speed and level of precision
  • Maximum operating weight: the machine's combined weight, including the weight of the machine itself, the operator, and any attached tools should not be so heavy that it damages your site
  • Dimensions of the equipment: excavation machines come in a variety of dimensions so they can be used on worksites of varying sizes. The right excavator should move around your site without difficulty.

Other construction tasks to be performed

Depending on the requirements of your project, you may need to use heavy construction equipment that can tackle multiple tasks in addition to excavation. For example, it's possible to bring in an excavator for a messy job like demolition and still use the same equipment to do excavation for laying the foundation of the new structure.

Today, the use of heavy equipment in civil construction is not uncommon. In fact, it is essential to complete specific construction tasks in a fast and efficient manner. To learn more about excavation and the various types of equipment used in excavation operations, contact a professional.