The Difference Between Zero Swing and Conventional Excavators

5 tonne excavators

You may have heard or read on the internet that excavators do come in various configurations like zero tail swing, reduced tail swing, and conventional tail swing. But like many others, you don’t know the difference between such configurations and are now wondering what impact such configurations have on your job.

Well, construction projects are unique and every project has some limitations. In a similar context, a type of excavator suitable for one project may not be feasible for another project. So, manufacturers, keeping in view the difficulties during operation, have introduced these three different types of configurations in excavators to enhance efficiency, reduce the hazard, and increase overall productivity.

As a contractor, you obviously would like to enjoy all such benefits. But to decide which type or configuration will be suitable for your project, it is crucial to have an overview and specific benefits of all three.

Let’s first see some of the basics of an excavator’s tail swing.

Conventional Swing Excavator

In a conventional excavator, the housing extends way beyond the tracks or the undercarriage. This extended housing increases the overall radius of rotation or swing radius. Such machines obviously will have maneuverability issues especially on urban area projects or where space is limited. Like if you’re working on a road or highway project you may have to close two lanes during maintenance because of conventional swing.

Anyhow, such a configuration does offer an enhanced counterweight that not only increases the lifting capacity but also increases the arm breakout force. Plus, in such excavators, you do have a bigger operator’s cab that’s comfortable and easy to work with. So, if you’re after greater flexibility and strength in operation the conventional excavator is a recommended pick. It is ideal for general applications and being a hefty investment it is not wise to limit your options.

In terms of maintenance and servicing, a conventional configuration does offer more room for mechanics and services people which is an added plus.

Zero Swing Excavator

In contrast to a conventional excavator, the housing of a reduced tail swing extends only a few inches out of the undercarriage. While in zero tail-swing, no portion of the housing extends beyond the undercarriage. Zero swings come in a variety of weight classes, from as low as 1.7 tonnes to 30 tonnes, the most common of which being the 5 tonne excavators. Such type of configurations is ideal for job sites that are confined have adjacent buildings or structures, or you just want to minimize the chance of property damage. Zero swing excavators are compact and have less length compensated with more weight outback.

With construction sites getting smaller and tighter, a lot of contractors prefer to go with such configurations. One of the biggest pros of these excavators is for road projects where you want to work while closing only a single lane. Projects like road construction, utility services, and maintenance all have such limitations and goals to perform work with minimal interference. So, in such an area of works, it is safe and convenient to go with zero or reduced tail swing excavators.

Anyhow, such excavator hire machines are only recommended if you’re dealing in such projects in tight areas and don’t need some extraordinary lifting capacity.