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Whether it’s a crane, excavator, or backhoe, most large construction vehicles share a similar control design. Since excavators serve several functions, they usually have two control devices.
There are two main types of excavator controls: ISO and SAE.
Both sets of controls take the form of two joysticks. Yet, in ISO, the joysticks do the reverse of what they do in SAE.
A newer type of excavator control that's gaining popularity is the remote control joystick. Remote controls allow you to operate the excavator from a distance without having anyone in the cab.
This type of control might be particularly useful in high-risk situations, where you're hesitant to put human lives at risk.
The two excavator joysticks, together with the foot pedal and various gauges make up the machine's control group. The joysticks operate the bucket and stick (arm) while the foot pedal allows the operator to move the machine. The gauges enable the operator to see how the device is functioning.
A series of switches on the joysticks' sides allow the driver to take the bucket or stick through a series of positions needed for digging. Forward and backward motions generally move the bucket or arm up and down. Left and right movements either spin the cab left and right or open and close the bucket.
When your excavator controls are faulty, your excavator may not respond as it usually does. In severe cases, it may not respond at all.
The greater likelihood is that your excavator will respond haltingly with great strain. Other possibilities are that it may respond well at intervals, and badly at others.
When the time rolls around to replace your excavator controls, there’ll be many visible signs of wear. The rubber housing around the joystick may begin to crumble, and you may even see exposed internal elements.
You'll also see the difference in the way your machine acts. When the excavator no longer responds promptly or behaves unpredictably, it's time to replace the controls.
It's also a good idea to replace them when the joystick becomes stiff or too loose, as these are signs that the built-in safeguards have worn down over time.
As with most Excavator parts, the main question here is what you intend on doing with your excavator. If you want to take part in dangerous activities, like clearing fallen trees off power lines, then it's a good idea to consider a remote system.
Yet, remote controls are unnecessary if you plan on using your excavator for basic activities. In that case, you should check whether your model came with IOS or SAE controls and buy standard replacements.