Makers of compact excavators and other diesel-powered equipment have had to place considerable emphasis on emissions regulations known as Tier 4, which have been gradually phased in over the past several years. It's all coming to a head in 2015, so you'll be hearing more and more about machines that are "Tier 4 Final" and ready to go.
But many manufacturers have also taken the opportunity to not only introduce excavators that meet the Tier 4 requirements, but also offer gains in the way of productivity, safety, operator comfort and operating cost. On that note, there are several models of compact excavators, each well-suited to a variety of landscaping applications, that are relatively new to market this season.
Bobcat's E20 zero-tail-swing excavator was introduced this past October. It features a retractable undercarriage from 53.5 to 39 inches for working in confined spaces.
Caterpillar's 303E CR mini hydraulic excavator was also released this past fall. This excavator is only 61 inches wide across the blade. And having a compact-radius design that limits tail swing to less than 5 inches, Caterpillar says it is an easily transported machine that works efficiently and safely in small spaces and on congested jobsites.
Takeuchi's new TB230 Excavator is characterized by its sleek redesigned exterior, which offers better visibility and improved service access. The TB240 is another new excavator model from Takeuchi. It offers roughly 43% more horsepower and 25% more operating weight than the smaller 230 model.
Kubota's KX040-4 Compact Excavator now offers an optional Hydraulic 6-in-1 Blade. The Blade's six positions are designed to help make leveling and backfilling—even on inclines and uneven terrain—much easier.
Check out our Online Product Guide for a look at some of this year's top compact excavators, including those mentioned above.