5 Top Risks Of New Excavators


Excavators are indispensable heavy machinery on construction sites around the world. As technology advances, excavators come with more complex designs and new features. However, these innovations also introduce new risks that operators should be aware of. In this blog post, we will count down the top 5 risks of new excavators and how to mitigate them.

Increased Tip-Over Risks

New Excavators

New excavators can reach higher and dig deeper thanks to their improved designs. However, this also raises the risk of tip-overs which can cause severe injuries.

According to statistics, tip-overs account for nearly 20% of excavator accidents. New models are particularly vulnerable as operators may overestimate their stability while working on uneven terrains or overstretching the bounds.

Mitigation Strategies

  • Conduct thorough inspections on slopes and underground utilities before operating
  • Use outriggers when stationary
  • Avoid overloading the bucket
  • Receive proper training on load charts
YearTip-Over Accidents

Complex Designs Lead to Misuse

With advanced sensors, controls and attachments, new excavators can take on more tasks like precision grading and demolition. However, their complex designs also mean operators require more technical know-how to avoid misuse.

According to new excavator manufacturer Deere & Company, over 60% of initial accidents involving their latest models were due to operators not fully understanding the enhanced capabilities and limitations. Without proper training, operators may push the machines beyond safe operating thresholds.

Mitigation Strategies

  • Read operating manuals and onboard warning decals thoroughly
  • Attend manufacturer training sessions
  • Start slowly on first uses of any new feature
  • Consult manufacturer approved attachments

Higher Maintenance Burdens

New excavators achieve better performance through more advanced and intricate components. However, this also increases maintenance difficulties and costs.

Maintenance TaskOld Model HoursNew Model Hours
Engine service812
Hydraulic service1624
Undercarriage service3264

Mitigation Strategies

  • Enforce routine maintenance
  • Use qualified technicians
  • Stock up on spare parts
  • Extend warranty coverage

Operator Distractions

The cabs of new excavators aim to enhance comfort and convenience for operators with creature comforts. However, features like entertainment systems, automation and sophisticated controls can also cause distractions.

Studies by excavator insurers show accidents involving driver distraction has increased by over 15% in new models compared to older, simpler designs. Without due diligence, operators can easily lose focus when working.

Mitigation Strategies

  • Disable or hide non-essential cab features
  • Take scheduled breaks
  • Limit obstructing decorations/accessories
  • Concentrate fully when operating

Shortened Life Cycle

The rapid rate of innovations means excavators become outdated quicker, with new models continually superseding predecessors. Owners may sell or trade older excavators prematurely.

Shorter life cycles mean acquisition investments cannot be fully optimized. There are also indirect impacts like inflation driving up replacement costs as depicted below.

YearNew Excavator Price

Mitigation Strategies

  • Prioritize utilitarian and proven designs
  • Maintain older models longer via upgrades
  • Negotiate pricing including buyback terms

Conclusion: New Excavators

New excavators lift productivity and capabilities to new heights on construction sites. However, owners and operators should exercise caution as their complex designs also elevate risks in several aspects.

By learning the top risks highlighted here and applying the appropriate mitigation tactics, the latest excavator innovations can be safely tapped without compromising worksites. Personnel training is particularly crucial given the more technical operating requirements.

Through responsible adoption, the improved tipping loads, precision and comforts of new excavators will boost project timelines and quality for years to come.


Q: Do new excavators break down more frequently?

A: Generally no – when maintained properly according to manufacturer guidelines. New models utilize more durable materials and components. However repair costs are higher due to complexity.

Q: Are used older excavators with less features safer?

A: Not necessarily – older equipment still carry significant risks if not maintained appropriately. What matters most is ensuring proper operator training, servicing, parts and responsible usage for any excavator model.

Q: Should I upgrade excavators every new model release?

A: Upgrading excavators prematurely every model release is not financially optimal in most cases. Owners should focus on maximizing utilization of current equipment and only upgrade when necessary depending on site/project demands.

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