The Constructor

Types of Soil Excavation Tools and Machines in Construction

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There are different types of soil excavation tools and machines used in construction. Excavation of soil is necessary in construction point of view and it should be done by hand tools or machineries based on the area of the land or depth of excavation. By the process of excavation, the land is cleaned from tree roots, strums, organic impurities etc., which should harm to the foundation.

Types of Soil Excavation Tools and Machines:

Now a days, for the soil excavation there are so many equipment’s are there and these are classified into two types. 1. Hand tools 2. Machineries

Hand tools for Soil Excavation:

These are generally used for smaller depths of excavations in small areas. Man power is required to operate these tools. The tools come under this category are explained below.


Spade is a tool which consists metal plate having sharp edges, the plate is attached to long handle which is generally made up of wood. Because of its sharp edges the soil can be dig easily. The metal plate having less curvature in the spade so, we cannot lift the soil by spade.


Shovel is tool which is used for the purpose of lifting of excavated soil. It is also similar to spade the difference between spade and shovel is the difference in leading edge. The curvature of metal plate of shovel is generally higher when compared to spade so we can hold the soil easily and lifted it. Shovel can also be used for digging purpose in case of soft soils, sand etc.


Hoe is an excavating tool which consists a metal plate attached to a long handle with acute angle. The plate having sharp edge is used to excavate the soil. For small work of excavation it is widely preferred tool. Sometimes metal plate is replaced by fork type plate.


Trowel is hand sized tool which is generally used to dig the small trenches in soil or to remove the shallow roots in soil.


Rake is a tools which is having a horizontal rod having metal teeth and is used to remove the small layers of soil.

Pick axe

Pick axe consists hard spike attached perpendicular to handle. They are used for excavating small trenches in soil. Pick axe can cut the soil even if the soil is of hard type. The metal spike is pointed on one side and wide blade is provided on the other side.


This looks like pickaxe. But serious digging is not possible with mattock. Generally it is used as lifting tool because of its curve shapes metal at its bottom.

Machinery Tools for Soil Excavation:

These are the tools which are operated by mechanical force and are used for the larger depths of excavations. There are so many types of machine tools with ease of operation are designed in this modern day period.

Tracked Excavator

This is also called as track hoe. It consists of cabinet and long arm. Long arm again consists of 2 parts. The first part which is closure to cabinet is called as Boom and the other part is called as Dipper-stick. Digging bucket is attached to the end of dipper. This entire system can rotate 360 degrees. In this case Vehicle is moved by traction, so we can use this equipment in mines, forestry, pipeline industries etc. the function of excavator is done by hydraulic fluid so, it is also called as hydraulic excavators.

Wheeled Excavator

This whole arrangement is similar to the tracked excavator except that the movement of vehicle is done by wheels. It can move quickly when compared to tracked excavator but it is not suitable for uneven grounds or hilly areas because of slippery nature. So these are generally used for road constructions etc..

Back Hoe Excavator

In case of back hoe excavator, the hoe arrangement is on back side and loader bucket is arranged in front of the vehicle. So two operations digging and loading or lifting is done by hoe and loader. This is widely used equipment nowadays because of its small size and versatility. This is moved with the help of wheels. so, moving from one workstation to another is quickly done.


Bulldozer consists of hard steel plate with sharp edge at its front. This sharp edge is helps the plate to cut the soil and for excavation. The metal plate can be raised and lowered with the help of hydraulic arms. The bulldozers are available in both tracked and wheeled form. These are widely used for the works of soil excavations, weak rock strata removal, lifting of soil etc.

Dragline Excavators

Dragline excavators consists large length boom. A cable is hanged from the top of the boom and digging bucket is suspended to the cable. Generally dragline excavators are used for larger depth excavations like port construction, under water sediment removal etc. These are heavy equipment with greater economy.


Trenchers are the equipment’s used to dig trenches in the ground. These are also available in many sizes based on our requirement. The trenches dug are generally used for drainage purpose, pipeline laying, cable laying. The trenchers are generally available in two types. Chain trenchers Chain trencher consists of a fixed arm called boom around which digging chain is arranged. The chain is very hard and consists sharp tooth. Whenever it is driven into ground the chain rotates around boom with rapid force and cuts the ground. By adjusting the angle of the boom we can manage the depth to be excavated. It cuts the soil with hard strata which cannot excavate by bucket type excavator. In case of smaller chain trenchers wheeled vehicles are available and for larger chain trenchers are available in tracked form. Wheeled trenchers In case of wheeled trencher, toothed metal wheel is used as trenching tool. This equipment is available in both tracked and wheeled form of vehicles. When compared to chain trencher the wheeled trencher can cut harder soil strata. It is also used to cut pavement surface while road repair works. Economically also wheeled trencher is better than the chain trencher.
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