Every Installer Needs the Perfect-Sized Excavator

Finding a machine that’s the best fit for your specific needs makes any job a lot easier

Every Installer Needs the Perfect-Sized Excavator
Seth Dixon, owner of SRD Excavation/Construction in Williston, North Dakota, with his trusty Case excavator.

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To install septic systems, Seth Dixon — the owner of SRD Construction/Excavation in Williston, North Dakota — relies heavily on a real workhorse: a 2012 Case CX210 excavator. For sheer power, productivity, and reliability, he says the machine is tough to beat.

“It moves dirt fast,” he says. “And it’s a good size for what we do, too — not too big and not too small. I can transport it without a giant low-boy trailer.”

Dixon also likes the convenience offered by the unit’s hydraulic quick-coupling system, which allows operators to swap different-size buckets in a matter of seconds. “You just push a button and it lets go of the bucket that’s attached,” he explains. “Then you grab another bucket and attach it. You can do it by yourself, right from the cab.”

The CX210 features a maximum digging depth of 21 feet 8 inches, a maximum reach (at ground level) of 31 feet 7 inches, a bucket digging force of 34,600 ft-lb, a drawbar pull of 43,200 ft-lb, and an air conditioned cab. Dixon owns three attachments for the machine: a 5-foot-wide bucket for initial dig-outs, a 3-foot-wide bucket for smaller excavation work such as drainfields or laterals, and a compaction wheel.

The machine’s power is a big plus. Dixon says it’s strong enough to pick up and set concrete tanks. The upshot? He doesn’t have to pay a contractor to set tanks for him.

“It’s been a good machine,” he adds, noting he puts about 1,500 hours a year on the unit and has had minimal repairs. “We’ve had very little downtown, which is a killer because you’re losing money with employees just standing there.”

Below, check out some photos of installers operating their favorite excavating equipment.

Read more about Dixon’s company, SRD Construction/Excavation, in the February issue of Onsite Installer.

Jerry Stewart, owner of Stewart’s Septic Services, digs a trench with a Kubota excavator for a pipe during an installation. (Photo by James Robinson)
Jerry Stewart, owner of Stewart’s Septic Services, digs a trench with a Kubota excavator for a pipe during an installation. (Photo by James Robinson)

North Iowa Septic Solutions employee Scott Chapin uses a Spectra Precision laser level to measure the depth of a drainfield being dug by Colby Nichols with a Yanmar ViO75 mini-excavator on a septic system installation job. (Photo by Mark Hirsch)
North Iowa Septic Solutions employee Scott Chapin uses a Spectra Precision laser level to measure the depth of a drainfield being dug by Colby Nichols with a Yanmar ViO75 mini-excavator on a septic system installation job. (Photo by Mark Hirsch)

Tom Collins, owner of Collins Excavating Grading, uses a Kobelco SK295LC excavator to backfill the bottom trench in the second drainfield terrace. (Photo courtesy of Greg Simac.)
Tom Collins, owner of Collins Excavating Grading, uses a Kobelco SK295LC excavator to backfill the bottom trench in the second drainfield terrace. (Photo courtesy of Greg Simac.)

Joe Naggey of McKim Septic digs with a Cat backhoe to find an existing line to tie in a new septic tank. (Photo by James Robinson)
Joe Naggey of McKim Septic digs with a Cat backhoe to find an existing line to tie in a new septic tank. (Photo by James Robinson)

A Cat 299D loader equipped with a Harley Rake attachment does finish work on the sand beds for the Honor Credit Union project, completed by Dig-It Excavating. (Photo by Lucian Witmer, Lucian Allen Photography)
A Cat 299D loader equipped with a Harley Rake attachment does finish work on the sand beds for the Honor Credit Union project, completed by Dig-It Excavating. (Photo by Lucian Witmer, Lucian Allen Photography)

George Schooley, owner of Legacy Septic & Excavation digs a trench with his John Deere 310J backhoe for a deep trench system. (Photo by James Robinson)
George Schooley, owner of Legacy Septic & Excavation digs a trench with his John Deere 310J backhoe for a deep trench system. (Photo by James Robinson)

Barry Zink, (owner of Zinks Septic Solutions) in the Bobcat E55 excavator, and Randy Seavert move a Norweco Singulair Green unit in the company yard. (Photo by Mike Bradley)
Barry Zink, (owner of Zinks Septic Solutions) in the Bobcat E55 excavator, and Randy Seavert move a Norweco Singulair Green unit in the company yard. (Photo by Mike Bradley)

Mike Carbonneau of Connecticut Valley Design installed a Presby Environmental EnviroFin passive onsite wastewater treatment and dispersal system as part of a field day training. A Hyundai Robex 140 LCD-7 excavator was used to dig the trench. (Photo courtesy of Connecticut Valley Design)
Mike Carbonneau of Connecticut Valley Design installed a Presby Environmental EnviroFin passive onsite wastewater treatment and dispersal system as part of a field day training. A Hyundai Robex 140 LCD-7 excavator was used to dig the trench. (Photo courtesy of Connecticut Valley Design)

Dylan Stewart, of Stewart’s Septic Services, uses a Kobelco mini-excavator to dig a trench for a line. (Photo by James Robinson)
Dylan Stewart, of Stewart’s Septic Services, uses a Kobelco mini-excavator to dig a trench for a line. (Photo by James Robinson)

Courtney Stephenson, owner of Atlantic On Site Services, works on digging a trench in her pink Bobcat E50 compact excavator as they work on putting in a septic tank system on a job site, next to her second E50, wrapped in blue. (Photo by Andrew Craft)
Courtney Stephenson, owner of Atlantic On Site Services, works on digging a trench in her pink Bobcat E50 compact excavator as they work on putting in a septic tank system on a job site, next to her second E50, wrapped in blue. (Photo by Andrew Craft)

Nick Herrera, owner of NH Construction, loves his compact equipment for getting into tight backyard spaces. Here he works a Bobcat 418 mini-excavator on a residential project. (Photo by Lezlie Sterling)
Nick Herrera, owner of NH Construction, loves his compact equipment for getting into tight backyard spaces. Here he works a Bobcat 418 mini-excavator on a residential project. (Photo by Lezlie Sterling)

Adam Knoop of Denby Environmental Services operates a Hitachi EX160 excavator while a team member helps guide a new Infiltrator Water Technologies tank into place on a job site. (Photo by Bruce Bell)
Adam Knoop of Denby Environmental Services operates a Hitachi EX160 excavator while a team member helps guide a new Infiltrator Water Technologies tank into place on a job site. (Photo by Bruce Bell)

Colby Nichols of North Iowa Septic Solutions operates a Case TR270 skid loader with a Stout Skeleton Rock Bucket while covering chambers in a drainfield for a septic installation. (Photo by Mark Hirsch)
Colby Nichols of North Iowa Septic Solutions operates a Case TR270 skid loader with a Stout Skeleton Rock Bucket while covering chambers in a drainfield for a septic installation. (Photo by Mark Hirsch)


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