How Much Does an Excavator Weigh? (Mini & Full-Size With Examples)

How Much Does an Excavator Weigh? (Mini & Full-Size With Examples)

The excavator is a powerful piece of construction equipment that has revolutionized the way construction projects are completed.

It is a versatile workhorse that can be used for a variety of tasks, from digging foundations and trenches to grading and loading.

But with such a wide range of uses, comes a wide range of weights. Depending on the size and type of excavator, the weight can vary significantly. 

A mini excavator, for example, is the smallest type of excavator and typically weighs between 2,000 and 8,000 pounds (907-3,629 kg).

On the other hand, a large backhoe excavator can weigh up to 50,000 pounds (22,680 kg).

The weight of an excavator is often determined by its size, with smaller excavators typically being lighter than larger models. 

The size of an excavator is not the only factor that affects its weight. The type and amount of material used to construct the machine also play a role.

Steel is often used as the primary material in construction, and the weight of the steel used will affect the overall weight of the machine.

In addition, the number of components and attachments used on the machine can increase its weight.

Understanding Excavator Weight And Size Classes

Understanding Excavator Weight And Size Classes

Excavators come in different shapes and sizes depending on the model.

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers has categorized excavators into three main size categories; mini, midi, and full-sized. 

How Much Does a Mini Excavator Weigh?

These are small-sized excavators that fit into tight spaces during operation. They range from 0-6 metric tons or about 13,000 pounds.

Mini excavators can be moved by a few Class 1 and Class 2 trucks without a CDL license, although you need to confirm with your state laws. 

Compact excavators are very common in construction industries and other commercial sites since they are quite versatile, and save lots of labor, and repairs that may not need a standard-size excavator. 

How Much Does a Midi Excavator Weigh?

Mid-sized excavators thrive so well in the construction, roads and bridges, and utility sectors.

They weigh between 13,000 and 22,000 pounds, depending on the design. Some models come with a standard tail design while others have a zero swing radius. 

Excavators this size provide almost the same capabilities as full-sized excavators, but they are compact enough to maneuver tight spaces and access challenging job sites. 

How Much Does a Full-Size Excavator Weigh?

This category places the largest spectrum of excavators as it includes several minimum swing radius excavators, although the most percentage falls on the full-sized ones.

Standard to full-sized excavators weigh between 41,800 lbs to 88,000 lbs. 

Loaded Weight Vs. Unloaded Weight

Loaded Weight Vs. Unloaded Weight

Loaded weight is the weight of an excavator when it is fully loaded with fuel, oil, and other necessary components, while unloaded weight is the weight of the excavator when it is empty.

Unloaded weight is usually higher than loaded weight because the excavator is carrying fuel and other components that add to its overall weight.

Loaded weight affects how much material the machine can carry, how fast it can move, and how much power it has.

For instance, if the loaded weight of an excavator is too high, it may not be able to move quickly or have enough power to perform certain tasks.

This sometimes may lead to toppling over uneven surfaces. If the loaded weight is too low, the excavator may be unable to carry enough material or have enough power to perform certain tasks.

Unloaded weight determines the size of an excavator, as well as its fuel efficiency. If the unloaded weight of an excavator is too high, it may not fit into certain spaces or be able to move quickly.

If the unloaded weight is too low, the excavator may not have enough power or fuel efficiency.

Factors Affecting The Weight of Excavators

Factors Affecting The Weight of Excavators

Excavators are typically placed in environments where there is a lot of digging. That said, knowing how weight affects the environment and purchase decisions comes in handy. Let’s look at some of these considerations. 

Ground Conditions 

The weight of an excavator is affected by the ground conditions it will be operating in, e.g. soil type, moisture content, and terrain.

Think of the excavator arm’s weight. Do they need to be longer or heavier? If you’re working on loose soil, consider choosing a lighter arm to avoid counterweight issues. 

Operating Environment 

The weight of an excavator must also take into account the operating environment it will be used in, such as whether it is working indoors or outdoors.

If you’re purchasing an excavator for your business, think of how long you’ll use it.

Five years? Ten years? A mid-sized excavator may be the fit for today’s project, but you don’t want to rent out a bigger or smaller one in the future. 

Load Capacity 

The weight of an excavator must be able to handle the load it will be required to lift. This machine is invaluable in handling lifting projects and understanding the maximum loading capacity is vital.

You’d also want to check the bucket capacity and know the optimal size for your excavator. There are plenty of bucket sizes available, so take time to find the ideal size for versatility. 

Size and Reach 

The size and reach of an excavator must be taken into account when considering its weight.

A particular project may require a full-sized excavator, but if the ground conditions are not favorable, you might have to choose a smaller size.

Some construction sites need longer arms, especially in demolition projects where standard excavators just don’t cut it. 

Weight of Attachments 

The weight of any attachments that the excavator will be used must be taken into account. The attachments widen the excavator’s versatility and efficiency to perform more tasks.

It is crucial to know the weight of the attachment you’re adding to see if it affects your counterweight. 

Here are some examples of attachments and their average weight. 

AttachmentMini Excavator Weight Standard Excavator Weight
Auger151 – 215 lbs 1,500 – 2,000 lbs
Trenching Bucket 140 – 290 lbs1,500 – 2,000 lbs
Grapple 400 – 650 lbs 2,000 – 3,000 lbs
Pallet Fork 200 – 500 lbs2,000 – 3,000 lbs
Hydraulic Breaker400 – 1000 lbs 1,500 – 2,000 lbs

Fuel Consumption 

The weight of an excavator affects its fuel consumption and therefore its running costs.

Generally speaking, heavier excavators require more fuel to perform the same task as lighter excavators because they require more power to perform the same job.

This is due to the fact that the heavier machine needs to move more material, and thus requires more power to do so. 

Additionally, the heavier excavator has to use more fuel to move the extra weight of the machine, thus causing it to consume more fuel.

So, the lighter the excavator, the less fuel it will require for the same job. The lighter excavator will be more fuel efficient as it is able to move more material with less fuel.

Popular Excavator Types, Weight, and Examples

Popular Excavator Types, Weight, and Examples

Apart from the model, the biggest differentiating factor in excavator weights is the brand and type of excavator.

Caterpillar, for instance, has one of the largest excavators, the CAT 6090 which weighs a whopping 2,160,501. A brand like Yanmar has the SV08-1A which weighs about 1,400 lbs. 

Below are different types of excavators and their various uses, along with examples. 

Wheeled Excavators

Wheeled Excavators

Wheeled excavators are construction machines used for digging, lifting, and moving materials.

These machines are equipped with a cab, engine, and tracks or wheels that give them mobility.

They come in a variety of sizes, ranging from small models that weigh around 3,000 pounds to large models that can weigh up to 100,000 pounds.

Wheeled excavators are used in a wide variety of applications, such as landscape construction, demolition, road building, and mining.

For example, the Hitachi ZX200W-6 wheeled excavator weighs in at around 51,000 pounds and is used for various construction tasks, including digging and lifting.

This model has a maximum digging depth of 19.9 feet and a maximum reach of 30.2 feet.

It is also equipped with a variety of attachments, such as buckets, rippers, and hydraulic hammers,

Crawler Excavators

Crawler Excavators

They are large, heavy-duty pieces of construction machinery used for digging and lifting heavy materials.

They feature a long arm, bucket, and cab on a rotating platform mounted on an undercarriage with a set of tracks similar to a tank.

Crawler excavators can weigh from 18,000 to 890,000 lbs depending on the model and size.

They are most commonly used for digging foundations for construction projects, digging trenches, dredging, loading and unloading materials, and demolition. 

An example of a crawler excavator is the Liebherr R 9800, weighing in at 890,000 lbs. The R 9800 is a mining shovel excavator that can move up to 8.8 million cubic meters of material in one hour.

It features a large cab with air-conditioning, a four-piece boom, and a powerful engine.

Its tracks are designed to minimize ground pressure, and it has a 360-degree swing radius for easy maneuverability.

Long Reach Excavators

Long Reach Excavators

Long reach excavators are heavy-duty construction machines used to dig and move dirt, gravel, and other materials.

They are designed to reach areas that are difficult to access with traditional excavators.

Long reach excavators are typically larger and heavier than traditional excavators, usually weighing in excess of 20 tons.

They feature a longer arm and boom, allowing them to dig and move materials over greater distances and at greater depths. 

Long reach excavators are often used in dredging projects, where they can be used to remove large quantities of silt, sand, and other materials.

They can also be used in mining, demolition, and forestry applications. An example of a long reach excavator is the Caterpillar 349FL, which weighs over 50 tons and features a boom length of 31 meters.

Dragline Excavators

Dragline Excavators

Dragline excavators are large heavy equipment machines used in a variety of civil engineering projects.

These machines are used to excavate and move large amounts of material such as earth and rock.

The dragline consists of a large bucket suspended from a long boom that is attached to a tractor.

The tractor is powered by a diesel or electric engine and is used to drive the dragline.

The bucket is controlled by the operator, who uses it to scoop up the material, move it, and deposit it in the desired location. 

The size of the dragline excavator can vary greatly depending on the type of material being excavated and the size of the project.

For example, a dragline excavator used for a small project may weigh around 65 tons, while a larger dragline excavator used for a large-scale project may weigh up to 1,000 tons.

Skid Steers

Skid Steers

Skid steers come in a range of sizes, from very small to large. The weight of a skid steer can depend on the size, but the average weight is between 1,500 and 2,500 pounds.

Smaller skid steers may weigh as little as 1,000 pounds, while larger ones can weigh up to 5,000 pounds or more. 

Skid steers are used for a variety of tasks, including excavation, grading, loading, demolition, and material handling.

In construction, they are often used to excavate earth and transport materials. They can also be used for landscaping and other tasks. 

For example, Bobcat’s S650 skid steer weighs 6,737 pounds and is equipped with a 74.0 horsepower engine.

This skid steer is perfect for larger tasks, such as excavation or grading.

Suction Excavators

Suction Excavators

A suction excavator is a type of heavy machinery that uses a powerful vacuum to suck up large amounts of dirt and debris.

The machine is powered by an engine that creates a vacuum, which is then used to suck up dirt, rocks, and other materials that are then deposited into a container.

The vacuum pressure of a suction excavator can reach up to 28,000 kilopascals, making it powerful enough to lift to 8000 kilograms. 

Typically, suction excavators are used in industries such as construction, mining, forestry, and demolition.

Suction excavators are used to digging deep trenches or break up rocks, dig ditches, and remove debris from construction sites.

In mining operations, they are used to collect ore, remove topsoil, and excavate underground tunnels.

The average weight of a suction excavator is between 10,000 and 22,000 kilograms. 

A typical example of a suction excavator is the Caterpillar 365C L Hydraulic Excavator, which has a weight of 21,000 kilograms and a bucket capacity of 1.2 cubic meters.

It is powered by a 6-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine and has a reach of 8.5 meters.


What size and weight is a mini excavator?

A mini excavator typically falls into the range of 1 to 8 metric tons (2,204 to 17,637 pounds) in weight. The size of a mini excavator is characterized by its compact design, which includes a relatively small chassis, bucket, and boom. These machines are known for their versatility and are commonly used in construction, landscaping, and utility work due to their ability to navigate tight spaces.

What is the weight of a mini excavator?

The weight of a mini excavator varies depending on its specific model and size. On average, mini excavators weigh between 1,000 to 8,000 kilograms (2,204 to 17,637 pounds). However, the weight can go beyond this range for larger mini excavator models.

How much does a full size excavator weight?

Full-size excavators, also known as standard or large excavators, can weigh anywhere from 8 to 100 metric tons (17,637 to 220,462 pounds) or more. These heavy machines are used in large-scale construction, mining, and excavation projects for tasks such as digging foundations, trenching, and moving large volumes of material.

What is a full size excavator?

A full-size excavator is a heavy construction machine designed for substantial excavation and earth-moving tasks. It typically features a larger chassis, a more powerful engine, and a larger bucket and boom compared to mini excavators. Full-size excavators are used in industrial and commercial applications where high productivity and heavy lifting capacity are required.