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Top 3 Attachments for Compact Excavators

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Go to any construction site and it’s pretty much a guarantee you’ll see at least one compact excavator. In fact, it would be harder to find a worksite, from a small construction project to the largest roadbuilding job, that doesn’t have at least one of these machines hard at work on any given day.

Why is the compact excavator, small yet powerful, so popular in the construction world? One of the primary reasons is versatility. Compact excavators are able to accomplish a broad range of tasks because of the variety of attachments with which they can be paired. John Deere, for example, offers more than 100 WorksitePro attachments, many designed specifically for use with compact excavators.

While all the options are great for both niche contractors and large companies alike, the amount of choices can be a bit overwhelming. How do you know which is the best investment; which will deliver the biggest bang in production and use?

From practicality to productivity to versatility, below are three of the top compact excavator attachments. Always remember, when working with multiple attachments on a jobsite, keep safety top-of-mind. Read the operator’s manual so you know how to work properly with different attachments, as well as to ensure safe switch-out of each attachment. 

Top Clamp
An excavator’s bucket is great for scooping up objects but it can struggle to pick up items. Especially challenging are bigger objects, those that don’t quite fit in the bucket but still need to be moved. This is where a top clamp attachment provides tremendous value.

A top clamp offers thumb-like dexterity for greater control picking up cumbersome objects such as boulders and trees, or cleaning up jobsites of debris. Its simple concept and practicality make it one of the most popular excavator attachments – a true must-have for virtually every contractor.

Hydraulic Hammer
Also commonly known as a breaker, the hydraulic hammer attachment is available in different sizes and with a variety of bits for numerous applications. At its most basic application, a hydraulic hammer breaks up concrete and hard rock. Some models, when paired with the right bit, can also be used for other tasks that require fast, repetitive action such as chiseling into walls and around rebar, digging earthwork, and compaction.

John Deere hydraulic hammers, for example, are offered with various points, as well as specialty add-ons like spades, compacting plates or pyramid points for an even greater breadth of applications.

Although not used as often as the top clamp or even the hydraulic hammer, an auger attachment is one that can provide the greatest value, thanks to the time savings and productivity it provides.

Many projects require the digging of precisely-sized holes. While an excavator’s standard bucket can dig, it lacks the ability to make clean, precise holes required for common projects such as fence building and tree planting. An auger’s speed is also unmatched by a bucket, and it’s very easy to use with an excavator.

From construction and landscape contractors to fence builders, parks and rec maintenance staff and municipalities, the auger is a great tool for excavator operators across multiple industries.

Bottom-Line Boost
Paired with the right attachment, an excavator goes from a tough, reliable machine to a true workhorse. Investing in key attachments is a great way to enhance ROI of the excavator and goes a long way to increasing overall productivity on the jobsite too.

The top clamp, hydraulic hammer, and auger are a great starting point for most contractors. From there, a trusted local dealership can help expand your attachment arsenal to meet the unique needs of your business.

And don’t forget: Safety first. Always refer to the operator’s manual for proper steps to change out attachments and to ensure you know best practices for safe operation with each different attachment.


About The Author
Tory Williams is a Sales Manager with RDO Equipment Co. and based in Chandler, AZ.

For more information on choosing the right attachments for your compact excavator or other equipment, visit your local RDO Equipment Co. store.