The first hydraulic excavator was originally developed for the construction of the Hull docks in 1882. Over the last century it has become the Swiss army knife of construction, demolition, mining and forestry job sites just to name a few. In this comparison, we assess excavators fitted with thumb attachments, tree shears, circular saws, and mulcher/mowers to adapt them for cutting trees, shredding limbs or mowing dense undergrowth.
Why invest in the 718 tree handler to perform these same duties as an excavator with attachments? The answer is simple. An excavator was not purpose built for the tree industry but was adapted for it.
Main Differences Between 718 & An Excavator With Attachments
An excavator was originally designed and built for digging operations. The strength of an excavator is working over the front of the machine in line with the tracks pulling towards its frame.
A 718 is built upon Sennebogen’s platform of material handlers with design characteristics that focus on lifting up and out, far away from the center of the equipment, with controlled precision for cutting and stacking trees in any direction.
A final unique feature of the 718 is the dedicated hydraulic pump supplying power to the attachment of choice at the end of the stick. This allows the 718 operator to drive the machine and adjust the boom/stick while having full functionality of the attachment.
Detailed here are the most common challenges for excavators when used for tree cutting tasks.
- Limited reach and lift capacity further away from the machine
- Lacks 360-degree operating ability
- No standard dedicated hydraulic supply to end of stick attachment
Additional Benefits of the 718
Precision Handling and Reach
The 718's telescopic boom will reach further than an excavator's attachment - up to 45 feet and has a lifting capacity of 12,000 pounds. Combined with its grapple saw attachment, the operator enjoys precision-controlled movement similar to a human hand, with a 280 degree rotation and a tilting angle of 180 degrees. This amount of control allows the operator to dismantle trees over structures, near power lines and along roadsides with increased safety.
Self-Cleaning and Self-Cooling
Both machine maintenance and all-day operations are kept at the forefront with the 718 designed to have the operator in mind. Its three-micron continuous filtration system keeps internal components clean and efficient. This makes for much cooler operating systems and extends the life of the engine components.
Its advanced thermostat-controlled cooling system works to prevent overheated conditions with three cooling units that will pull debris off the radiator fins for increased air circulation and cooler operating.
Reduced Operator Fatigue
The 718 is built to provide operator comfort, with suspension seats for reduced vibration, absorbing shock, along with a climate control system featuring heated seats for an ideal workspace in any season.
No matter what the terrain, weather conditions, or time of day, the 718 operator enjoys a totally enclosed, comfortable cab that allows full visibility along with two standard cameras and space for two more. Equipped with a cab that elevates up to 18 feet and can tilt back at a 30 degree angle, the operator will experience less back pain or fatigue which can occur from looking up from the seat of an excavator.
Simplified Hydraulics and Troubleshooting
Sennebogen engineers have thought of potential problems and have implemented a hydraulics system that makes troubleshooting fast and simple. All circuits and ports are clearly identified and easy to access - in one central location.
To reduce breakdowns in the field, the 718 continuously lubricates every bushing and pin, as soon as the engine starts. This one feature alone will reduce maintenance time and will make sure your investment lasts for many years before needing parts replacements.
Watch the 718 in action to see how this one tree handling machine takes on multiple attachments and can eliminate the need for an excavator in tree cutting applications, from storm clean-up to right-of-way maintenance to land clearing operations - allow your excavator to move the earth and the 718 to handle the trees.