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Bucket-wheel excavator vs single-bucket excavator

Here are some of the main differences between a bucket-wheel excavator and a single-bucket excavator.

Short informations:

Bucket-wheel excavator

What sets BWEs apart from other large-scale mining equipment, such as bucket chain excavators, is their use of a large wheel consisting of a continuous pattern of buckets used to scoop material as the wheel turns.


Single-bucket excavator

Equipped with one bucket, working in an intermittent cycle i.e between each working stage there are supporting stages such as moving a loaded bucket, emptying it and getting back to work.




Bucket-wheel excavator

Used in surface mining. The primary function of BWEs is to act as a continuous digging machine in large-scale open-pit mining operations, removing thousands of tons of overburden a day. They rank among the largest vehicles (land or sea) ever produced.

Smaller machines from this type are used for digging ditches.

Single-bucket excavator

Widely used in ground works, structural and shipping.

With the use of exchangeable equipment they are used for different purposes such as:

  • for lifting loads
  • as a loader
  • as pile driver

excavator track motor


Bucket-wheel excavator


  • transverse
  • longitudinal

2. wheel

  • spatial
  • longitudinal

Single-bucket excavator

Single-bucket excavators can be divsioned in many ways, these are only few of them:

  1. By the scale of work they can get done:
    • mini excavators (up to 0,16 m³)
    • small (>0,16 to 0,50 m³)
    • medium (>0,50 to 5 m³)
    • large (>5 m³)
  2. By the engine:
    • mechanical
    • hydraulic
  3. By the power source:
    • steam
    • Internal combustion
    • Diesel-electric
    • electric


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