Looking at the downtown landscape, it can be hard to believe that at one time all the condos, single family homes, and lofts were non-existent. In fact, nothing stood on the site except acres of land; some of it rolling meadow, some of it beach, some of it rocky hills.

What is even more impressive to consider is that when most of the downtown area was first developed, people lacked the heavy machinery that makes projects so easy today. They had to break up all that earth by hand or, if they were lucky, with inefficient and somewhat primitive equipment like the steam shovel.

Today, of course, construction at every step is made easier by the number of incredibly powerful machines at our disposal. Much of today's real estate development would not have been possible without the use of our modern industrial construction machines, one of the most important being the excavator.

Excavators are used most often to dig holes and trenches for foundations, pipe systems, and other important sub-ground level parts of construction projects. The long arms attached to a huge bucket give their use away to anyone coming across the site of a future home; these machines were clearly meant for digging!

The buckets on excavators almost always have jutting teeth of varying shapes and spaces. These teeth help the bucket to dig into the ground, allowing the traction needed to remove large chunks of earth from their former position.

Buckets are not the only attachments used on excavators in their manifestation as construction vehicles, however. The booming development of hydraulics has meant that the bender of the excavator can be fitted with tools including augers, breakers, or grapples. Obviously all of these attachments have the purpose of breaking ground, but the ability to use them on an excavator means that the machine can be used for a lot more than just digging.

Excavators can be used to do minor jobs usually performed by other machines when they build real estate. Web site information such as we provide here might be the only way you would have found out that excavators are often fitted with a blade similar to that found on a bulldozer; therefore, they can be used to move small piles of the very earth they brought up in the first place!

Just as the idea for the steam shovel eventually evolved into the excavator, the idea of the excavator itself is now evolving. We mentioned the hydraulic attachments which allows the excavator to be used for several purposes other than purely digging, but the machine itself has seen an important shift in makeup over the last decade.

Prior to the 1990s, excavators used a counterweight in order to provide more digging force and lifting capacity. This weight generally hung off the back of the machine, making it impossible to turn the excavator the whole way around in tight sites. Tail swing excavators first appeared in the early 1990s. The cumbersome counterweights were done away with altogether, and the machine could now complete its radius even in tight spots.

Sponsored by: McLennan & Company Licensed Insolvency Trustee and Consumer Proposals. View their website here.

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Friday, June 25, 2021