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Four Advantages of Wheeled Excavators vs. Truck-Mounted Excavators

Updated: Apr 6, 2020

When customers look for cost-effective equipment, they commonly ask how wheeled excavators compare to truck-mounted excavators. There are pros to each product, but wheeled excavators offer several advantages when it comes to road work and municipal projects.

1. Two-Piece Articulating Boom

A wheeled excavator with a two-piece articulating boom lets your operators stretch farther, dig deeper and closer to the machine, and reach higher. Operators have more flexibility to go up, around, and under obstacles like mailboxes, guardrails, and bridges.

Additionally, a two-piece boom can give you extra lift capacity in tight quarters, a significant advantage over truck-mounted excavators when it comes to lift capacity and breakout force.

2. 360-Degree Rotation and Visibility

Volvo wheeled excavators' 360-degree rotation increases convenience, safety, and productivity. An operator can really take advantage of the full rotation with short radius models, which are great for road work because operators do not need to close down a second lane of traffic.

The Volvo cab offers full visibility from the operator’s seat into the trench, and outrigger pads provide added stability and prevent damage to the asphalt, while truck-mounted excavators do not have the same visibility capabilities.

3. Attachments

Wheeled excavators can be the Swiss Army Knife of your fleet and prevent you from investing in multiple machines because they can utilize the same attachments as crawler excavators.

A significant attachment differentiator in favor of wheeled excavators is the Steelwrist tiltorotator, which you can see in action here. This game-changer allows the operator to spin the bucket 360 degrees and tilt +/- 45 degrees for greater flexibility. The Steelwrist can power everything from buckets, compactors, and grapples to sweepers and a variety of work tools.

Wheeled excavators can also adeptly unload and set jersey barriers, as seen in this demonstration clip.

4. Total Cost of Ownership

The wheeled excavator cost-savings go beyond the initial purchase of the machine and continue throughout the excavator’s lifespan.

No commercial driver’s license (CDL) is required for the wheeled excavator, meaning the same person who operates the machine can drive it. Truck-mounted excavators may require support from both a driver with a CDL and a machine operator.

With a wheeled excavator, you can fit a hitch to tow a trailer with multiple attachments and other jobsite equipment, eliminating the need for a separate tractor and low-boy to transport the excavator and attachments.

Wheeled and truck-mounted excavators have a place in the market, but the wheeled excavator offers more ways to promote productivity, safety and cost savings. To learn more, check out Volvo’s lineup of wheeled excavators, and contact your local Highway sales representative to add this versatile machine to your fleet today.

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