What Is a Long-Reach Excavator, and What Are They Used For?

What Is a Long-Reach Excavator, and What Are They Used For?

If you're working at a large job site, a long-reach excavator can help you get the job done more efficiently. Although regular excavators are a staple on construction sites, long-reach models are a more specialized type for specific applications. Learn more about what makes these machines unique, their benefits and the applications that suit them best.

The Difference Between Standard and Long-Reach Excavators

A long-reach excavator differs from the standard model because it has a long arm that allows it to reach farther. These excavators are made to reach farther up, including buildings' upper stories. Essentially, these machines are capable of acting like a wrecking ball — only with more precision and better control.

These excavators, like many others, include a body on tracks and an arm with a bucket on the end. However, the arm is also compatible with many attachments to increase versatility — including a mechanical thumb, which allows you to lift materials like poles or pipes. Grapples and other crushing attachments are beneficial for long-reach excavators as well.

The equipment also has a counterweight to help balance the arm and boom. The longer hydraulic cylinders make it easier to reach and maneuver in different areas.


You can choose from a couple of Cat® long-reach excavators when you need one for your job site. Two of the models available include:

  • 340 Long Reach: The 340 model has 311 horsepower and a maximum digging depth of 42.8 feet. It is capable of reaching distances of 60 feet or less. You'll have improved access to your job site with a boom of 34 feet, 9 inches and a stick of 23 feet, 4 inches.
  • 352 Long Reach: The 352 model features 424 horsepower and a digging depth of 43 feet, making accessing deeper spots on your site easy. The equipment has a 37-foot, 9-inch boom and a stick of 27 feet, 11 inches.

If you're looking for a long-reach excavator, you can likely find one of these two to rent from your closest location of The Cat Rental Store.


Long-reach excavators are ideal for projects over longer distances and in harder-to-reach areas. Some of the most common applications for these machines include:

  • Building demolition
  • Riverbed or canal dredging
  • Canal maintenance
  • Quarrying
  • Topsoil removal
  • Pond settling
  • Excavation
  • High-level embankment forming
  • Ditch digging and cleaning
  • Material moving or loading
  • Railway work
  • Reservoir cleaning
  • Slope finishing
  • Land reclamation system construction

If your job site is quite large — ranging from 40 to 100 feet — renting a long-reach excavator is often a beneficial step that helps you work faster and safer.

Benefits of Long-Reach Excavators

Long-reach excavators have numerous advantages for construction teams. Some of these include:

  • More excavation force
  • Higher load capacity
  • Greater depth
  • Improved ability to work in difficult-to-access areas
  • Increased project complexity

Construction teams that use long-reach excavators have more control over the machine. As a result, processes like demolition become safer for everyone on the job site.

While it traditionally has a metal bucket on the end of the arm, the long-reach excavator is compatible with other attachments, making it an extremely versatile piece of equipment. These work tool attachments allow you to accomplish a variety of tasks, including hammering, scooping, crushing and picking.

Why Rent a Long-Reach Excavator?

While teams that use them frequently often choose to buy long-reach excavators, renting this equipment is a reliable and cost-effective way to ensure you can access it whenever needed. Some of the top reasons for renting these excavators include:

  • Initial costs: Purchasing a long-reach excavator requires a substantial investment, which may not pay off if you don't use the equipment often. Construction teams that only use the machine occasionally often find it more affordable to rent.
  • Difficult transportation: When you need to move a long-reach excavator, you have to take the boom and stick off the base of the machine. This process is often difficult and time-consuming. Relying on a rental provider eases the challenges of transport and storage. 

Renting a long-reach excavator for your next project will likely help you save money while maintaining access to the equipment you need.

Rent a Long-Reach Excavator From The Cat® Rental Store

When you rent a long-reach excavator, you can expect many benefits. Renting equipment allows you to try before you buy — you can see how a machine works and what you might use it for before you commit your capital to a purchase. Additionally, renting is much more cost-effective for crews that only need long-reach excavators for certain projects.

The team at your local Cat dealer checks each machine before and after all rentals to ensure our offerings stay in peak condition. You can also trust them to provide on-site and digital support. Browse our excavator rentals today or contact us for a quote to get started!

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