Civil and access machinery

The Rolling Revolution: Unlocking the Potential of Wheeled Excavators

October 17, 2023
minute read

In the world of heavy machinery, where power and accuracy meet, the wheeled excavator stands as a versatile machine. Surprisingly, while these machines have gained worldwide recognition, they’re not widely used in New Zealand yet. With their ability to negotiate diverse terrains and perform a wide variety of tasks, the wheeled excavator has become a necessary tool for construction in many parts of the world.

Wheeled excavators excel on site where there is distance between locations. Their ability to quickly move from one location to another, combined with their high mobility, means they can efficiently tackle tasks like digging trenches and clearing debris. Being able to relocate to different sections of a site increases productivity over tracking an excavator. In this blog we will cover their functionality, where they can be most useful and a few operating tips.


Functionality and best use:

·      Roading and bridges: Perfectly suitable for roading and bridge projects. Their ability to move swiftly from one location to the next. They can effectively dig trenches, clear debris, and perform grading works. Additionally, their wheeled configuration reduces the risk of damaging road surfaces.

·      Landscaping and earth moving: Wheeled excavators have found their niche in landscaping and earthmoving. They can manoeuvre in tight spaces and with their precise control allows for tasks such as stump remove, quickly relocating materials and terrain shaping.

·      Demolition: While not traditionally the first choice, they are starting to become more popular in this area. Their manoeuvrability makes them a good choice for demo tasks where precision is required. They can navigate through debris and tight spaces to carefully dismantle structures.

·      Urban areas: Their manoeuvrability and compact design allow them to easily navigate through tight and congested areas. This makes them ideal for road repairs and utility install in urban locations.

·      Railway projects: The mobility of wheeled excavators make them a good choice for railway projects. They can easily move along tracks, making tasks such as maintenance much more efficient.

Wheeled excavators excel at material handling tasks due to their impressive lifting capacity and the versatility offered by various attachments, such as grapples and buckets. This combination enables them to load and unload materials with remarkable efficiency, making them indispensable for tasks like stockpiling, sorting, and loading trucks.


Top operating tips:

Operating a wheeled excavator requires skill and attention to safety and efficiency. Here are some top tips for operating a wheeled excavator:

·      Familiarise yourself with the machine: Before operating any heavy machinery, it's essential to thoroughly read the operator's manual and get hands-on training from an experienced operator or trainer.

·      Perform a pre-operation inspection: Always inspect the machine before use to ensure it's in good working condition. Check for any leaks, loose parts, or damage. Click here for a link to an example of a civil machine pre-inspection.

·      Proper PPE: Wear appropriate personal protective equipment, could include a hard hat, safety glasses, ear protection, high-visibility clothing, and steel-toed boots. Site specific.

·      Check the environment and surrounding: Survey the work area for any potential hazards, including obstacles, overhead obstructions, and underground utilities.

·      Seat belt on: Always wear your seatbelt when operating the wheeled excavator. In the event of a rollover or sudden stop, the seat belt can save your life.

·      Smooth movements: Make smooth and precise movements with the boom, arm, and bucket. Avoid sudden jerky motions, as they can damage the machine or lead to accidents.

·      Respect load limits: Be aware of the load capacity of your machine. Overloading the bucket or arm can lead to tipping or structural damage.

·      Watch for overhead hazards: Pay attention to overhead wires, branches, and structures when operating the wheeled excavator. Maintain a safe distance.

·      Stay away from edges and trenches: When working near edges, excavate parallel to the trench or edge to prevent the machine from tipping over.

·      Communication: Establish clear communication with ground personnel and spotters. Use hand signals, radios, or other means to ensure everyone is aware of your movements.

·      Avoid unstable ground: Avoid working on soft, muddy, or unstable ground that could lead to the machine sinking or tipping over.

·      Safety first: Always prioritise safety. If you encounter any problems or unsafe conditions, stop work, and address the issue before continuing.

Remember, safety should be your top priority when operating a wheeled excavator. By following these tips and maintaining the machine properly, you can ensure efficient and safe operation.


Wheeled excavators have emerged as a versatile tool in the construction industry. Their mobility and adaptability in a variety of settings makes them a machine for a wide range of projects. Through landscaping, to demolition to materials handling these machines are proving their worth.


Check out Equipt's wheeled excavators here: 5t Wheeled Excavator and 14t Wheeled Excavator


You might also like...