How to Operate an Excavator - Advanced // Heavy Equipment Operator

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hey everyone Randy with extreme sandbox

today we're gonna do our excavator 201

training this is our next video in a

series of videos we've done so if you

haven't seen the intro one about the

basic controls please reference that

today we'll go over a little bit more

advanced maneuvers such as trenching

we'll go over the under carriage driving

jump turns things like that so check

this out alright get in the machine I

just want to go over the undercarriage

on the excavator real quick

you'll notice that basically the front

and back of the machine the idlers are

up front this is a they calm idlers it's

really just a smooth sprocket where that

track goes over the heart of the

undercarriage is the drive motors or the

sprocket in the back okay and that is in

the back and you can always tell because

it's just a lot you can see the motors

it's a lot bigger now when you are

digging with an excavator generally you

want to be digging over the idlers and

there's a couple reasons one your that's

more reinforced up front so it's

protecting your drive motors in the back

and if anything happens you want to have

that happen to the front over those

idlers the second piece is from a weight

perspective you have a big counterweight

on the back the excavator well the drive

motors add to that as well that adds a

lot of weight so that's generally how

you should be positioned okay now let's

get in the machine now again today we

are running Komatsu pc 210 excavator

again in the schema excavators it's

pretty well in the middle you know they

make them much smaller they make it much

larger the thing I tell any new operator

anyone training an excavator generally

is an excavator that controls are all

pretty similar so if you can operate a

mini you can operate as large as they'll

get so don't worry too much about that

we are running an ISO control pattern

that's the standard so if you know

somebody call them cat controls the

other is sae i sometimes call it the

farmer control pattern because it's

weather john deere a lot of farmers

operate like a backhoe control pattern

so i'm not going to go over again all

the controls all those are in our

initial video so that's the very base

piece the other thing i just want to

mention up front which i did an outside

we've already done our pre-op

inspections obviously important to walk

around your machine and check everything

and then we're in a controlled

environment so we are on our site we

know everything around here so we've

already got things marked know where

everything's at so yeah so let's get

going with it so I'm gonna start safety

Locklear over here

throttle it up now we've had some great

comments on past videos we've done

generally for driving i have boom up

stick straight down you know some people

recommend having everything curled in

all the way just so you're down low with

it tucked in case there's overhead the

other piece we've mentioned some people

drive with that bucket higher in the air

just so you can see things in front in

case there was someone in front of you

so again this works for me again I don't

think there's really a right or wrong

and feel free to comment if there's a

certain way that you've learned how to

do that if you saw our original video

you know it's our 101 training it very

it really dumbs it down to one move at a

time you know so a lot of comments on


you know that's we deal with people have

never been in a machine before so we

always try and keep it as simple as

possible so we're not overwhelming them

but as you get more and more practice

that's where you're gonna start doing a

little bit more advanced maneuvers with

doing trenches and things like that now

with that said I there is no video

you're gonna watch on YouTube there is

no class you're gonna take that's gonna

teach you how to be an excellent

operator overnight it takes time so

probably my number one piece of advice

I've given to every new operator just

get stick tight go find someplace where

you can just dig do trenches back fill

them the more experience you get the

better so with this I'm just gonna take

a little bit of a trench again usually

teeth 45 almost you want to kind of pull

that in and you'll notice how you start

getting better at doing multiple moves

at the same time so you're curling doing

it all a couple important things that I

don't think we're covered really well in

the first Jeff run on your spoil pile

where you're dumping usually you want to

be at least two feet away from your

trench that's for just trench safety

there so you want to have it far enough

where it's not gonna run a risk of kind

of caving in your trench so usually at

least two feet away the other piece you

should always if it's anything more than

four feet down you know for safety you

should be having some kind of trench box

or have have the trench secured in some

way shape or form there obviously you

don't want anyone down into that trench

you know here at our site you know we

just dig and stand here so we don't

generally use trench boxes or any way

that we're just practicing but obviously

for doing this on an actual job site you

want to have safety and mind there so

the best way to do this for trenching

you're starting out I think the key here

is this show and I see new operators

you're either digging or you're driving

you're not doing both so a lot of times

you'll either move feet for a new

operator tell them to take their feet

off the controls off the track paddles

in the center while they're digging and

then we're going to dig the trench up to

the tracks here whatever distance we

need and then we'll move the entire

machine got understand in our site here

it's very sandy we don't get the trench

to hold very well so after I do that now

it's a matter of just backing up so you

always turn look where you're going and

then you back up 15 20 feet or so

looking around you a couple thing I

think I think is really important here

also when you're backing up or moving

it's very very important to understand

your machine and the size of it

basically what people I think often to

understand is the counterweight is your

line up with your tracks when I swing

this way you're actually gonna go over

about four or five feet over the other

side so you'll see a lot of new

operators on the job site scraping this

whether it's trees you know if there's a

house or a building nearby you obviously

want to have enough clearance definitely

for people you know look around so just

understand you want to know your machine

and how far it goes one way or the other

so now that I backed up I'm gonna go

right back at it again generally trying

to keep my teeth about 45 added piece I

was gonna add today with you guys is

frost so what we have out here we're in

Minnesota right now

so it is the winner right now we've kind

of broken up a lot of it but you'll see

right now my teeth are actually catching

under frost for any of you that work in

a in a northern climate you know digging

through frost can be tough biggest thing

we've learned out here is a lot of times

trying to get underneath it what I mean

by that is if you can get one hole

through once you get broken through that

frost layer typically

frost you know two feet down or so once

you can get one spot through it I found

it way more effective to chip out from

underneath it and you're working your

way back up instead of going from the

top down so that's the key is in the

beginning just trying to get through the

initial because you will have to attack

it from the top but once you get through

that then I'm just using my teeth to

kind of chip away layers on this and

you'll see it'll actually if you're not

careful it'll pick up the whole back of

the machine so that's where you just

might be really careful okay

now again you noticed I've been over my

idlers the whole time that's obviously

again the preferred way to dig with the

machine so want to go over a little bit

on traveling with it so probably the

biggest thing and you know what I'm

gonna back up just a little bit so I'm

looking to where I'm going so there's an

item that they you'll call we call jump

turns I actually have heard different

people call it everything's I call them

jump terms and that's really a way to

you know one way to turn quite obviously

is with your track so let's say if I go

opposite you know I and just go all the

way one way or all the way the other

challenge with this is you're gonna move

a lot of material because you've got

your entire undercarriage just pushing

sand or whatever you're on one way or

the other so sometimes just to get your

front if you need to change your front

of your tracks go in a different

direction you can do a jump turn this is

not again I'm definitely not an expert

or really great at this but I'll show

you what I've learned generally your put

your boom flat on the ground like that

and then you'll see this lifts up your

entire machine just like that and then

it's really kind of simple and what I

mean by that is what I'm gonna do is

with my tracks you want to turn your

tracks the direction you're trying to go

so if I'm trying to get my front here to

aim to the left that means I'm going to

be pushing my right track forward and

let me pull them back my left the

counterintuitive part is your swing so

with my left there I'm actually gonna go

away from the direction I'm going so if

I'm gonna I want the undercarriage go

left I'm actually gonna be going to the


with that so it kind of looks a little

bit like this and I always recommend

starting slow on this but I start going

like that and usually it's about 90

degrees or so so right about there

bring that boom back down gently like

that and there I'm lined up the other

direction and you'll notice I haven't

done I haven't moved this much material

there and then same thing if I want to

go back to the right here I'm gonna put

this back down boom down flat now I want

my undercarriage to go to the right so

that means I'll be going opposite with

this but I'll be my swing will be going

the opposite direction okay so like this

like that bring that down boom back up

and I'm good now while we're doing that

a couple of things I like to show

operators you know it's really important

to keep your undercarriage clean on a

machine and there's one way to do that

as well so at the end of the day here

one of the easiest things to do is again

the boom will lift up the entire machine

so if you just bring it up on one side

like this I can take my right track

sometimes I bump up my speed

this is a great way to start clearing

out your tract so you know have to

completely shovel everything out of the

machine so I go one way go to the other


okay now I think with doing any of that

or especially with the jump turns you

know as far as a recommendation you know

well I do think that saves a little bit

on your undercarriage and disturbing the

ground probably not great for your swing

motors on there but again I think you do

it in a balanced environment so you're

not doing all the time I think there's a

time place when you need to turn your

own carriage all the way around it's

gonna be a lot better than turning those

tracks that can believe the other way so

so what I want to cover here really

using the machine again even notice how

the boom can lift everything use that to

your advantage so one of the pieces here

is crossing a trench or a valley

something like that I don't have a huge

valley here in our sandbox site I'm

gonna use that a little bit of a trench

so I'm gonna exaggerate it here a little

bit so bear with me but I'm gonna go

over an edge shared and the concepts the

same the first thing I'll tell you is

anytime you're using any an excavator to

cross a trench a valley whatever first

and foremost understand how long your

undercarriage is I can speak from

personal experience what you don't want

to be is tracking over one and because

you can't see your back as having that

backdrop down too early so it's really

important that you understand you can't

do cross an area that's too wide but

something like this trench here this is

very this is five four or five feet of

walk around so all I'm gonna do I'm

gonna line up to go over the edge here a

little bit just cuz I've got my spoil

piles there from earlier but again the

concept is same you're gonna drive right

to the very edge so you can even have a

track hanging over a little bit again

understand your machine's long enough

that you don't don't worry about falling

into this thing if you're just hanging

over a little bit then it's just a

matter of extending you always want to

have that stick as far reach out as you

can get and then you're putting your

boom again people different strategies

here I like to keep my bucket flat some

people actually use their teeth and have

them down to kind of bare and do it you

know bite into a little bit but if I

just do that and I'm literally just

lifting it up now I've got my front end

off it's a combination where I'm gonna

have to be pulling my boom up stick in

to kind of drag me across Wow going

forward with my tracks so if I start

it's a little bit managing my height

you'll see I'll go all I'm trying to do

is get my other tracks to the other side

can't stress enough don't go too far

because this is that point where you

would fall in right now I can see off my

left corner I see I'm on a solid base on

the other side then I'm pulling up I

know I'm across it I'm slowly swinging

again keeping your weight inside just in

case I see I'm clear I'm crossing over

the trench right now and then you're

doing a little bit of the opposite here

I'm gonna place my bucket flat this time

closer to me because I'm gonna kind of

try and push myself over so same thing

I'm raising it up same concept where I'm

gonna be pushing forward with it and

there we go once you're clear of it

spinning all the way back around

that's how you cross a trench safely

okay the final piece I want to cover is

going up a hill so we're gonna track

over here to a different area and our

property so I can show you a little bit

about tracking on a hill

okay so we've now tracked over to a hill

on our site now I just want to go over

going up and down some hills so a couple

of things with that undercarriage again

generally the motors are in the back now

there's gonna be two different schools

of thought here on how to approach a

hill and go up a hill generally because

that's your weight I think it's better

to spin the undercarriage around so your

drive motors are actually going up that

brings all you that has your weight then

on the front of that machine pulling it

up a little bit but there's some other

thought I've heard different about what

that does to the drive motors themselves

are they because you're actually pushing

the track versus pulling it up so I

think you'll hear again I'd love to hear

comments if you guys drive with your

idlers up the hill or the idlers in the

back so but I'm gonna go ahead again

we're gonna do the same thing do a jump

turn here cuz I've driven over forward

but I want to spin it around so I'm

gonna raise that up and then again I'm

just trying to spin that way so we'll

spin this thing all the way around one

way there same thing again put it right

out in front raise it up again I'm still

going the same direction

so now I'm lined up actually in Reverse

the other thing I didn't cover but it's

Drive motors we looked at from the

outside if you never know you literally

just glance out your machine the drive

motors are the bigger you'll see I can

see a drive motor on the inside of my

right track there so that's one way to

if you don't I mean obviously you just

touch your controls you'll figure it out

but if not you can look down I can see

all that so now you want to use this

excavator the weight so I'm gonna go up

I'm gonna trying to go in Reverse here

so this what's important here using the

weight of the machine so I'm extending

out so I'm gonna start going up now once

I start going up there's a couple of

things I'm gonna try and just use the

weight alone to pull me up keep me

tracked again I'm also in Minnesota I'm

dealing with snow air so it's getting a

little bit slippery but I'm gonna have

this down near the ground you can bite

into the ground as well depending on

your job site you may not wanted to

serve the ground here so I don't

necessarily want to tear up we have

grass up here on top but if I have to

I'll be ready to go so I'm gonna slowly

pull this up and you'd see right now I'm

already I'm going down with the boom

I'm keeping my center of gravity low so

I'm keeping that boom down and I'm still

going like that you'll see I've almost

lowered my boom all the way I'm slowing

it down now eventually I'm gonna come

over the edge here and now I'm bringing

that boom back up now I'm flat up here

now again you'll saw I made it all the

way up to that thing without digging in

I mean the next if I didn't care about

the site here and didn't care about

grass the easier way to do that would

have just been to bite my bucket right

in the ground just pull myself up the

other way you might see some people do

it is you spin around you can use the

back of that to raise kind of push you

up the hill you're raising it up again I

think that's the most ideal is the way I

did it there but there's again a lot of

different thoughts on that now come all

the way up now going down we're gonna

spin around we're gonna come down this

hill so you'll see what I came now same

concept here is I'm it's using your arm

so we're gonna bring this thing down a

big piece here and this kind of shows a

little bit going over how we went over

the trench you lift yourself I'm gonna

use the bottom of that bucket so it's

kind of flat but you can actually go

forward here a little bit and actually

all eventually I'm looking this similar

to crossing the trench you'll see I'm

dragging my front on there but this is

important to to understand what the back

here machine where I'm at so I can see

out my window right about there now I

see my front ends up now I'm just using

that I can slowly instead of going over

the edge I'm slowly bringing myself down

so I'm controlling my descent here

now I can either keep going like this

and just sliding it I'm gonna keep going

and just let it bring it's a little bit

of a steep incline here but I can start

my tracks are almost all the way down

it's also important why you wear a

seatbelt so you don't end up through so

right now it looks like yeah bucket

still just dragging along the ground

there we go so I've now made it down the

hill see my track path again that was a

fairly steep incline but again it's

without minimal impact as all I had to

do with that machine to really disturb

the ground at least so you if you really

have a really steep slope or a different

configuration use that bucket you can

pull yourself real quick in the parking

I've heard this too in comments I like

ty park with the boom kind of obstacle I

kiss if you're at a job site where you

have someone coming in greasing the

machine later it is important sometimes

to have this all Expo having either a

completely laid out so it's low so they

can get all the grease points on the

machine so again different schools of

thought on that

so everyone so that's our excavator 201

training hopefully you guys enjoyed that

again put in the comments below

love to hear any feedback any tips

suggestions like we stated I am NOT an

expert in this it just kind of things we

have learned on the job site so again we

would love to hear your comments and if

there's other videos you want to see

make sure you check out our learned

playlist that's where we have a lot more

how-to videos on how to operate wheel

load or bowled those or many extra

things like that so thanks a lot for

tuning in and have a