Mini-Excavators Are Go-To Machines for Tight Spaces

High-value properties with extensive landscaping call for compact tracked excavators

Mini-Excavators Are Go-To Machines for Tight Spaces

Dave DiGregorio of Delaware Valley Septic, Sewer & Storm backfills after excavating to perform a stormwater perc test for a client having renovation done to their home. 

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When installing replacement onsite wastewater treatment systems, Delaware Valley Septic, Sewer & Storm encounters home sites with tight spaces around pools, tennis courts, decorative plantings and other amenities.

To work on such properties, many with homes worth more than $1 million, the Springfield, Pennsylvania, company has switched from backhoes to mini-excavators as the go-to machines. Partners Dave DiGregorio and T.J. Dell’Arciprete favor Komatsu PC35 models — the company owns 2014 and 2017 models. Both run on ground-friendly rubber tracks. 

“We used to run everything with backhoes,” DiGregorio says. “But with the excavators, it’s much easier to work in tighter spaces. We need an opening 6 feet wide to get into the site with them, and they weigh about 8,000 pounds. When we need larger machines, we rent them.” 

The PC35s are equipped with a diesel engine that complies with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Tier 4 emission regulations. The latest-model engines use technologies such as an exhaust gas after-treatment system, an electronically controlled and cooled exhaust gas recirculation system and an optimum fuel injection system using a common rail. These, along with Komatsu’s electronic control system, minimize environmental impact and improve fuel economy. 

The engine and hydraulic system are optimally controlled according to operating conditions. Hydraulic loss reductions help limit fuel consumption and environmental impact. A multifunction monitor displays various alerts and machine information in a simple format. This includes data such as operation records, machine settings and maintenance data.

A small swing radius with near-zero rear protrusion from the tracks allows the operator to concentrate on work in confined areas. An enhanced working environment includes a midback, suspension operator seat and an integrated rollover protective structure cab design.

Large service compartment doors and a tilting cab platform simplify daily inspection and maintenance. The operator platform tilts forward to provide unimpeded access to hydraulic and engine components for maintenance or repairs.


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