Why Buy A Tracked Excavator?

tracked excavators

Welcome back to our latest Digger News post, here at International Plant Sales, formerly BuyADigger. This week our focus is on Tracked Excavators. With so much variety available when it comes to excavators we want to illustrate specifically what Tracked excavators are, why they are used and what sort of projects they are used for as we delve into the Komatsu machinery brand in particular, as we currently have them for sale at International Plant Sales. If you’re new to construction machinery and you’re looking to purchase used diggers for sale, then you have come to the right place!

What is a Tracked Excavator

Excavators in general, are an important type of machinery to have on any construction site or project. Now a days there are so many excavator attachments and buckets that can be used in conjunction with an excavator to enhance the usage, allowing the machinery to be used in so many different ways. Just to mention a few, excavators can be used for:

  • Demolition
  • Any forestry clearing projects
  • Rover dredging
  • Snow removal
  • General Landscaping
buy a komatsu pc138 - komatsu diggers for sale


When thinking about the type of construction machinery that you may require, tracked excavators also known as trackhoes, could offer so many benefits to your construction projects. A tracked excavator differs from a typical excavator, due to the added tracking system instead of wheels on most excavators. The purpose of the steel tracks provide the excavator with further resistance and grip on the surface they are operating on.

When it comes to looking at used diggers for sale, be careful not to confuse an excavator with a Backhoe Loader, as they can carry out similar tasks. It must be noted that excavators are used for larger projects that may require demolition and heavy duty digging, whereas a backhoe loader is more for farming and light to medium digging projects.

If you are thinking of purchasing a Komatsu digger, especially a tracked excavator, it is important to determine the type of work the machine will be undertaking. Here at International Plant Sales, we do offer the option of either Steel Tracks or Roadliner Pads on our Komatsu PC138 US-10 Excavators. The benefits of using Steel Tracks grants the operator with more grip when navigating on uneven terrain and grassy surfaces.

On the other hand, if you were to purchase an excavator with Roadliner pads, these machines are perfect for projects that are used for utility works, especially in urban areas. The roadliner pads prevent any damage to pathways and drainage systems.

Komatsu Tracked Excavators

On our used construction machinery fleet we sell Komatsu Tracked Excavators, so it is extremely convenient if you are looking to solely buy a Komatsu.

Komatsu first began trading in 1921 as Komatsu Ltd, when they separated from Takeuchi Mining Industry, who were established in 1894. From here, Komatsu then produced the first crawler-type tractor in 1931, as well as manufacturing bulldozers in 1943 – 1947.

In present times, Komatsu are now brand leaders in the production of mainly Construction and Mining Equipment, Forklift Trucks and Forest machines. When it comes to excavators for sale at International Plant Sales, we sell on the Komatsu brand in the form of:

  • Mini/Midi Excavators
  • Tracked Excavators
  • Wheeled Excavators
  • Long Reach Excavators

Apart from LiuGong 922E Tracked Excavators and JCB Hydradig Wheeled Excavators, we tend to only use Komatsu excavators purely because of the ‘Quality and Reliability’ management policy they are consistently upholding. Meaning they are fully committed to manufacturing and providing customers with safe and innovative products and services, that meet the unique needs of customers.

All Komatsu machinery have very low external noise levels and are especially well-suited for work in confined spaces or urban areas.

used tracked excavator for sale

Controls in a Tracked Excavator

With great focus on our Komatsu PC138 US-10 tracked excavators for sale, as these are extremely popular with our customers, we look at showing you the main features of the cab, as well as how to operate an excavator, especially if you are new to the construction machinery.

Most excavators will more or less be displayed and set out the same, but may differ slightly in terms of where the main controls are located. Upon entering the cab, you will find a spacious area fitted with:

  • Air Conditioning
  • A fully adjustable heated air suspension seat, with a high back rest
  • A large, widescreen hi-res display monitor
  • A fitted seat belt for the operators safety
  • Rear view camera to ensure reversing is undertaken safely

Safety Lock Lever

A great attribute of many Komatsu excavators is the red safety lock lever, that basically engages the machine and makes the controls and joysticks live. It can be located by the driver’s seat, as pictured below. This can then be positioned down, alerting anyone near the machine and the operator that the machine is now live and ready for operation. 


The main controls to operate the movement of the machinery consists of two joysticks. There are two main types of control patterns when using the excavator joysticks, these are ISO Controls or SAE Controls. ISO is standard for the majority of excavators, but you may find the SAE control pattern present more in machinery in the United States.

Most new excavators have a valve to change pattern types, in this case the valve is situated by the engine compartment in a Komatsu.

We have provided a detailed breakdown to make it very clear, when operating construction machinery using ISO Controls.

ISO Controls

  • Moving the left joystick left will allow the machine to turn left.
  • Moving the left joystick right will allow the machine to turn right.
  • Moving the left joystick forward will move the Stick Boom, (also known as the Dipper) away.
  • Moving the left joystick backwards will bring the Stick Boom closer.
  • Moving the right joystick left will close the bucket and curl it in.
  • Moving the right joystick right will open the bucket out to enable the material to be dumped.
  • Moving the right joystick forward will bring the Main Boom down.
  • Moving the right joystick back will move the Main Boom up.

SAE Controls

The only difference with SAE Controls, in comparison to ISO controls on an excavator, is that the left joystick will operate the swing and the main boom instead of operating the swing and stick boom.

Track Pedals

The PC138 US-10 tracked excavator also has two track pedals, that can also be used as levers, if you want to operate them by hand. These will control each track. By applying pressure on them together will create a forward motion for the machinery, and then easing off of one will start turning the machine either left or right.

When operating the track pedals, a beeping sound should occur when pressure is applied to ensure the operator is aware that contact is being made.

Speed Tracker

The excavator also has a speed tracker that can be changed from Low, Medium or High Speed, which averages out to be about 3- 8 mph depending on the speed setting you are currently on.


All Komatsu tracked excavators are easy to maintain with regards to repairs and servicing. The operator will have easy access to the key maintenance areas including the oil filter, coolant reserve tank, fuel filter and air cleaner.

A Komatsu PC138 US-10 is also fitted with a Water Separator, this is standard equipment for most excavators, especially a Komatsu. It is used to effectively separate any water that may have got mixed in with fuel, preventing any system damage to occur to the machine.

A full spec sheet is available to view here to find out more about the Komatsu PC138 US-10.

Used Tracked Excavators for Sale at International Plant Sales

If you are looking to buy a tracked excavator, we have the following range of Komatsu tracked excavators for sale here at International Plant Sales.

We stock tracked excavators for sale with Roadliner Pads as well as Steel Tracks, along with stocking the LiuGong 922E to give you even more of a choice. Our sister company, H. E. Services (Plant Hire) Ltd have put together an extensive list of Frequently Asked Questions about measurements for machines for their customers, and it would be very beneficial for anyone that would like to know the Dipper Size on our Tracked Excavators.

Advantages of using a Tracked Excavator

Some people can be very indecisive when it comes to construction machinery, predominantly Wheeled Diggers and Tracked machines. They are used for very similar tasks and projects, and can be equipped with attachments to have the same functions. This is why you should be leaning towards a tracked excavator for most projects:

  • Wheeled diggers are unable to obtain the same amount of digging power, due to the friction and stability, plus you will lose some digging depth with a wheeled machine, this is because the undercarriage sits higher when compared to a tracked excavator.
  • Buying a Komatsu machine specifically, is fitted with a fuel-saving engine and hydraulic technology. The excavator is operated by a hydraulic system that is used to control the mechanical arm of the machine.

About H. E. Services (Plant Hire) Ltd

As mentioned above, we receive used construction machinery from our sister company H. E. Services (Plant Hire) Ltd. All of their machinery and tracked excavators are bought from new ready for them to go out on hire to their customers. When they reach 3 years old, new machinery is then purchased and the used construction machinery is passed onto International Plant Sales to sell.

H. E. Services

Speak to the team at International Plant Sales

If you wish to buy a tracked excavator, whether that be a Komatsu digger for sale or a LiuGoing 922E, speak to the team at International Plant Sales. There are various machines, models and diverse aged machines ranging from 2 to 5 years old. Our team will be more than happy to send you any additional photos and videos of the machines we have in stock for your reference. You may also come and meet the team and see the machines available for sale in person, if this suits your better.

You will have peace of mind knowing that all of our used construction machinery have:

  • A full service history
  • Warranty on all major parts and components
  • International Delivery is available if required
  • One previous owner, so we know the condition of the machine and where they have come from.

Further information regarding our warranty service can be found in our FAQs.

All information correct as of: 25th June 2019. 


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