Modern Westcoast Logging Road Excavators

Today, in the 1990's, the excavator is by far the most universally used machine. With its hydraulic thumb it can grab logs, stumps, rock, and the like.

Note: For definitions see the Hopto 900 Page.

Shown here is a Hitachi UH181 Excavator.

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Hitachi UH181 Excavator
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Caterpillar 235

It is probably the most "Roadbuilder" style machine you will ever see. The black bars over the cab are FOPS. Or, Fall Over Protective Structure. The mesh on the sides of the machine are to prevent logs, sticks and rocks from poking into the "guts" of the machine. The machine also has belly pans, which are basically 1/2"-1" thick steel plates that are bolted the the underside of the machine to prevent the underside from being torn out. The bucket of the machine is extremely reinforced for working in rock and long logs, which "wrenching" effect of a log can equal to unimaginable forces. On the rear of the machine is the counterweight. On top of the counterweight is the external fuel tank. It has a standard fuel tank, but you see, where this machine treks is usually out of reach of a fuel source. Also, the extra weight from the fuel enables the machine to lift more without tipping over frontwards. There are rock guards on the lower rollers on the undercarriage also, to prevent sharp rocks from tearing out the lower rollers. There are many more parts of the modern roadbuilder excavator such as idler stiffeners, top roller guards, bucket cylinder guards, fire suppression systems, and much more, but space permitting, I'll hold off on those.

The above machine would probably cost completely guarded around $120,000 U.S. dollars [written in 1990's].

The Hitachi is not just the only roadbuilder excavator on the market. Link-Belt, John Deere, Thunderbird, Samsung, Halla, Hyundai and Daewoo all make them also, but the most widely used roadbuilder machine BY FAR is the Caterpillar 235 There must be Thousands of them is the Pacific Northwest.

Created by J. Dinsdale.

- - Updated 01/05/2013
- - Updated 04/20/2008
- - Updated 2/8/01
- - Updated 03/20/2008