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Thread: Mini-Excavator stick length vs dig depth

  1. #1
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    Mini-Excavator stick length vs dig depth

    Hello, I have started to look at different mini excavators ( < 9000 lb ). I have noted that some have different dipper stick lengths. Should I just look at dig depth specs or is there an advantage to having a longer/shorter dipper stick?

    Pics of a Komatsu pc27 and a Yanmar vio35 attached to show relative stick lengths.Name:  Komatsu-pc27.jpg
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Size:  69.0 KBName:  yanmar-vio35.jpg
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  2. #2
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    A follow up... oddly enough the yanmar with the visually shorter stick has specs which are greater depth and height. Specs I found are:

    Yanmar vio35 = 7800 lb weight = 28 hp = 10+ dig depth = 17+ lift height
    Komatsu pc27 = 6500 lb weight = 25 hp = 9+ dig depth = 15+ lift height

  3. #3
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    Sorry for yet another of my posts to this thread - I can't figure out how to edit the old one...

    I guess my real questions is: For the same dig depth why would someone choose a machine with a shorter (or longer) dipper stick? Does this even matter?

  4. #4
    Senior Member Nige's Avatar
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    Not so much a case of dig depth as "dig envelope". I'm sure if you compare the graphic of the 2 machines you'll probably find that although they both dig to the same depth the actual curve that the bucket follows at full extension will be different in both cases. It could also have a lot do do with the mechanical design of the control linkage (boom, stick, bucket, & their respective cylinders) to get the correct amount of digging force. Could be 2 manufacturers approaching the same challenge from slightly different angles.
    I'd love to see things from your perspective but unfortunately....... I find it impossible to get my head that far up my a$$.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nige View Post
    Not so much a case of dig depth as "dig envelope".
    I had a chance to dig with a "short stick" machine. It seemed to work well for rooting out a tree stump but for peeling back some topsoil for a walkway it was annoying. As I raised the boom to allow the bucket to come closer it quickly got to where the bucket wasn't in the dirt. My longer stick backhoe allowed me to work up closer to the machine before moving it again (more of a pain with my backhoe than an excavator).

    Nige, your "dig envelope" term describes the difference well.

    Long stick, short stick, they both beat using a shovel !

  6. #6
    Senior Member roadrunner81's Avatar
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    The Komatsu you have pictured is equiped with the long stick option. To add to your observation about the shorter stick machines I myself have never liked or felt truly productive on a short stick machine(mini). Always moving, take a scoop and move again and so on.

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