When you think of a wheeled excavator, you think of Europe. That's where you will often see excavators fitted with tires. But that is changing, as wheeled excavators are popping up more here in North America.
But what is the difference, and when is a wheeled excavator better than a tracked one?
Wheeled excavators can be used for the same type of work tracked excavators are used for. The perception is excavators on tracks are more stable than excavators on wheels.
“One lineup of compact wheeled excavators, known as MWRs, has been created with low centers of gravity though, enabling each excavator to be very stable without sacrificing operators’ ground clearance at all,” Geoffrey Andrews, Regional Sales Representative, Mecalac North America to For Construction Pro.
“The excavators can still work on uneven ground, however—without any damage occurring to their undercarriages.”
Mecalac says they wheeled excavators are also very stable when traveling uphill with loads.
In addition, the company says its patented hydraulic quick coupler enhances safety by allowing the operator to control it from the cab, while the bracket design makes it virtually impossible for the tool or bucket to detach while in operation.
For the most part, the wheeled excavators perform the same as its tracked counterparts.
“And just because the excavators have wheels, doesn’t mean they have to be solely operated with a steering wheel,” Waldron said. “After all, they feature Comfort Drive Control, which allows operators to control each of their excavators while using only the joystick, resulting in speeds as high as 12 mph.”
Besides moving faster than a tracked machines, wheeled excavators also provide more versatility around the worksite, cost less to maintain the undercarriage, reduce the need for transportation on trailers, and can actually tow other equipment too.
Mecalac says the machines performs like a skid steer.
"If you need something that’s versatile, it’s a high-speed excavator. Our machines already have a lot of functionalities built in (that North American customers are seeking," said Andrews.
Mecalac also has three crawler skid excavator models: 6MCR, 8MCR and 10MCR. The company says these models provide operators with a 360-degree cab rotation and a side-mounted, two-piece boom that offers high compactness, along with a high range of motion.
In many ways, the MCR series is like a CTL, excavator, and telehandler rolled into one machine.
The company says a side-mounted, two-piece boom decreased the amount of repositioning the machines so operators can complete ground engaging tasks faster.
“Due to the MCR Series’ performance and versatility, operators will also have high ROIs, along with fewer excavators on their job sites, enabling them to save space, too,” Andrews added. “This will be significant at urban developments as well, as operators especially need high ROIs and smaller excavators that can do more in these areas’ tight spaces.”
"If operators plan on buying an excavator in the short-term and a skid steer later, I’d recommend the MCR Series since they’ll receive the functionality of both immediately in a single machine,” Andrews said.