• A1 Diggers

Basic Excavator Controls

Operating an excavator is very much like controlling an extra appendage - like a hand or an arm. A skilled operator can make this appear seamless but coordinating this activity can be very complicated and can take years to master.


The true skill of an excavator operator is coordinating their hands, feet and brain to complete the desired action. The more this becomes second nature, the faster and more accurately the excavator operator can complete their task.


In this article, we explore the main excavator controls and what the different controls do.



1. Left Joystick

The left joystick controls the excavator's dipper arm and slew motor.


Left joystick actions:

  • Back - Brings the excavator's dipper arm in

  • Forward - Moves the excavator's dipper arm out

  • Left - Makes the excavator slew left

  • Right - Makes the excavator slew right


2. Right Joystick

The left joystick controls the excavator's boom and bucket.


Right joystick actions:

  • Back - Brings the excavator's boom up

  • Forward - Moves the excavator's boom down

  • Left - Crowds the excavator's bucket in

  • Right - Crowds the excavator's bucket out


3. Right Foot Peddle

The right foot peddle controls the hydrophilic piping at the end of the excavator's dipper arm. There are many different hydrophilic attachments - e.g. tilt buckets, breaker, augers


4. Leaver

The leaver controls the excavator's blade.


Leaver actions:

  • Back - Brings the excavator's blade up

  • Forward - Brings the excavator's blade down


All of this might seem overwhelming but practice makes perfect! The more time you have in the seat, the more excavator operating will become second nature.

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