What Kind Of Equipment Is Useful At Large Dig Sites?

digging machine

Huge digging machines are used for digging trenches and holes and can prepare surfaces for mining operations and for some other purposes as well. These machines can vary greatly based on the purpose they are used for and can go from mini-excavators to huge mining draglines. Before we start with the basics of machines typically used at digging sites, let us explain a couple of terms. Digging, also known as excavation, is the act of using machines or even tools to remove different materials such as sand, dirt, gravel, and some others. The diffusing process consists of two steps: breaking the surface and moving the material to another location. For the sake of digging different holes, we are using the machines that are most commonly found at most construction jobs, since the surface needs to be prepared for the foundations and the new structures. Here are some of the most basic digging machines used at huge digging sites.


Excavators are used for breaking the surface and creating holes. These are common and very versatile pieces of large digging equipment that can be found at almost any digging site. The excavators are driven by the track or wheels, and the track excavators are used more since they can move on uneven surfaces where the tracks successfully outperform wheels. These machines have a hydraulically controlled arm that is also attached to the pivoting cab, allowing them to rotate back and forth. The operator of the machine sits in the cab and controls the arm or bucket as they drive. The bucket is the most common part of the equipment for the excavators, which are used for digging. This attachment can extend a lot and break the ground surface, which later scoops the material and lifts it to places such as some other location or within a truck bed. The best thing about excavators is their flexibility, and they can be used with a variety of attachments. 

digging machine

Water Pumps 

Before we focus on some other types of equipment, let us review this very useful machine that prevents a lot of damage. It goes without saying that huge holes and troughs collect water. Sometimes, even during excavation, the workers find springs and underground water, which can pose a lot of problems if not addressed properly. Hence, dewatering applications or water pumps specially designed to drain the water or control their levels are the ones keeping the site safe from various disasters such as ground caving or some other scenarios. Also, these pumps are specially made to deal with trench flooding and the regulation of water levels at the bottom of the trench, if we take into consideration that the water collected at the pit bottom is used for some other purposes as well. 

Mining Shovels 

This is a specially designed machine used for digging large amounts of ore and overburden. First things first, these machines are very expensive, and their usage is restricted exclusively to above-ground mining operations. Just a couple of interesting details with regard to these machines: some Caterpillar models are the largest on the market and have a dipper payload of more than 120 tons; the dipper capacity is estimated at over 80 cubic yards; the working weight for this monster is over three million pounds. 

The Largest Machines in the World: Draglines 

Dragline excavators, also known as draglines, are some of the largest machines ever constructed. Just as shovels, these are very expensive; their price goes over tens of millions of dollars, and they are most usually found in large mining operations. Draglines have the ability to operate for more than a decade. This giant consists of a bucket system and can include a huge bucket suspended from a boom with a combination of wire ropes. One of the largest buckets in the world is used and moved with a whole bunch of ropes and chains. In order to depict the size of this absolute game-changer, here are some statistics. Draglines are undoubtedly the largest machines, and they are capable of moving 150 cubic yards of material, and the boom can extend over 400 ft. The very weight of the machine reaches 16 million pounds. 

Digging is a very complex and expensive process if we take into consideration the prices of the machines and ground planning. Depending on the type of digging, different machines are used, and their purposes can vary based on so many different factors. Sometimes, you do not use a full-blown excavator, but a mini excavator and dragline are used solely for mining actions. We hope this article revealed some interesting facts about these valuable pieces of equipment.