Dealing with international machinery can be difficult because of all the varying components and usage instructions required for proper functionality. However, there are typically international standards for the various excavator types, which have universal terms that allow operators worldwide to utilize them efficiently. 

Working with different types of excavation equipment might vary in terms of their degrees of complications, but instructions are similar when the terminologies are studied. Operators typically have their own names for these as they become more familiar with the equipment handed to them, known by various teams that work around a job site. If you’re wondering about the basics, here are some of the popular terms that surround the use of different excavator types:

1. Backfill Blade

This term is similarly known as the dozer blade, which is a blade that doubles as an anchor for wheel-based excavators to remain in-place. This component can also help push excess material and flatten it out to ensure that the unit can move freely and effortlessly in uneven terrain. 

2. Boom Arm

The term “boom” involves the angled arm that connects the excavator to the component used to clear out debris. The cockpit usually controls these to extend and raise to move material from one side to another. Some workers refer to this piece as the “dipper” or a “stick.” Knuckle boom arms can move left and right alongside the machine, which puts them at an advantage over the traditional variant that only moves up and down. 

3. The Bucket

The bucket is typically an attachment at the end of the boom arm of some excavator types. The different types of excavation equipment can have buckets mounted to the arm and even on the front to push debris out of the way. There are also variants for special uses, such as general-purpose buckets and those made for rocks or mud for more efficient usage. 

4. Ground Weight Pressure

Since the different types of excavation equipment have varying weights and movement methods, their ground weight pressure matters. Subsequently, ground weight pressure is a measurement of the weight an excavator has spread through the undercarriage. 

5. Ground Clearance

In terms of vehicles and other machines, ground clearance matters because this affects excavator types’ movement and navigation. Some excavators like tread-based ones will have little to no lift with the ground between the treads, while wheel-based ones will have a slight distance between these. Choosing the right equipment for the job depends on the site, as some will require a machine with higher ground clearance to solve the problem. 

6. Grousers

Excavators that run on tracks will typically be built with rib-like protrusions called grousers to provide grip and traction on unstable terrain. These are essential in most job sites, as mud and gravel can quickly shift and cause instabilities. 

7. The House

If you’ve ever seen an excavator’s cockpit, this is usually called the unit’s house. Not only does it house the operator, but it is home to the fuel tank, hydraulic fluid tank, engine, and even the counterweights. The house is commonly known as the cab, which sits above the undercarriage where visibility and operation are improved. 

8. Maximum Bucket Forces

Not all excavator types are created equal, as some have a maximum bucket force that is lower than others, meaning less pressure can be applied to excavate heavy materials. There is a recommended range of use for each machine, and overexerting the maximum forces can cause issues, accidents, or other damages to the equipment. 

9. Operating Weight

The different types of excavation equipment’s operating weight are the machine’s total weight with an operator and a full set of fluids like fuel and hydraulic fluids. This measurement will determine what excavator type is right for a job site or construction environment. 

10. Swamp Pads

During operations, when the job site’s ground is soft, a swamp pad will be used to keep the tracks or wheels of an excavator from sinking into the ground and getting stuck. These pads are typically made of wood and are large enough to fit the machine. 


International machinery may come in many variants, but similar terms bring them together. The different types of excavation equipment are easily used with the right knowledge and the best operators handling the machines. Study these terms to determine what you need for the job site at hand. 

Heavy Duty Direct is a premium supplier of excavators, trucks, trailers, heavy machinery, and industrial operations equipment. With a wide variety of different kinds of excavators and international machinery in Canada, there is always something ready for all entities who wish to get into industrial work. Contact us to learn more about our products and services.