20 Aintree Road, Highlands, Harare, Zimbabwe | +263 8683005303 |

Menu Close

Using a long reach excavator in construction and agriculture

The long reach excavator is a model adaptation from the average excavator which has a standard length boom and arm. The option then becomes a choice of increasing the length of the boom and/or the arm. The standard excavator is an excellent addition on any job site due to the multi-tasking capability of the machine. A mono-boom provides good reach and a decent bucket size, providing a faster swing.

When seeking to use an excavator for access to tasks further away from the equipment, a long reach excavator with a longer boom and/or arm is the way to go.

Standard Boom and Extended Arm

%focuskw Using a long reach excavator in construction and agriculture

Many agricultural customers have found that using a tracked excavator with a standard boom and an extended arm with a small ditch cleaning bucket enables them to easily clean canals, ditches, and ponds.  With the longer arm, the excavator can keep its distance from the edge of the water source and thereby prevent the edges from collapsing under the excavator’s weight, or the excavator falling into the water source.

This modification is usually handled in South Africa by one of the contractors which Komatsu uses for machine modifications and bucket manufacture.

Super Long Front (Extended Boom and Arm)

This hydraulic excavator boasts a huge digging reach.  As with the above modification of an extended arm, an excavator with this attachment greatly improves working efficiency in projects such as river conservation, dredging a lake,  slope finishing and carrying materials. The downside to this extended boom and arm combination is that the bucket is significantly smaller than the modification where only the arm is extended.

%focuskw Using a long reach excavator in construction and agriculture

For the Komatsu long reach excavator, this modification can be carried out in South Africa by one of the contractors which Komatsu uses for machine modifications and bucket manufacture, but usually it is ordered directly from the factory in this configuration.

Why are buckets smaller on long reach excavators?

The general rule is that the longer the boom and arm combination, the smaller the bucket becomes.  If this rule is not adhered to, the machine will become unstable and will also lose digging power, resulting in a  drop in operating efficiency.  An excavator and its accessories are designed to take up the weight of loads gradually and steadily. If a situation occurs when the load applied to the bucket suddenly increases (called a shock load), there is a risk that the arm may break.  Long reach hydraulic excavators are designed for LIGHT DUTY work only and damage to the machine may result from heavy hoisting or excavating.

High reach excavators for demolition work

This development to the excavator has an especially long boom arm. Instead of ‘reaching down’ to perform a task, excavating ditches for example, the design of this excavator allows an operator to reach up to the higher stories of a building being demolished. The structure can now be brought down in a controlled manner, by comparison with a wrecking ball which has less finesse. It also means that this long arm works in a tough or extreme environment, providing an advantage over other excavators and adding reliability to handle a variety of construction jobs. In fact, high reach excavators are leading the demolitions sector with their contribution to productivity and safety.

High reach excavators can also be applied to civils or agricultural tasks.

Excavators with a Telescopic Arm (Upper Arm Sliding Type)

%focuskw Using a long reach excavator in construction and agriculture

Excavators with a Telescopic Arm (Upper Arm Sliding Type)

Thanks to the hydraulic sliding system in this model, the arm contracts and expands (‘telescopes’) speedily, providing high working efficiency.  Sliding mechanisms using rollers on the slide surfaces makes adjustment easy and prevents vertical and horizontal vibrations of the arm, which in turn minimises the wear which shortens arm life.

With the arm extended, the excavator can dig to the same depth as machines three (3) classes higher, so this becomes a useful attachment for restricted job sites where a wide working range is needed. In addition, slope-finishing work can also be done with ease.

For Komatsu equipment, the modification is usually ordered direct from the factory as it requires specialist parts for the hydraulic sliding system.

Specifications for the long reach Komatsu excavator

%focuskw Using a long reach excavator in construction and agriculture
 Sliding amount (mm)

Komatsu is a global leader in the supply of Japanese-engineered mining, construction, earthmoving and utility equipment in Southern Africa. The MoJo Motor Industries (MMI) Team comes with over fifty-four years of combined experience in automotive, construction and mining equipment sales and support. MMI is the official Komatsu dealer for Zimbabwe. Please direct all your pre-sales or equipment enquiries on long-reach excavators to our friendly staff.