The “crossover excavator,” built on a Freightliner chassis, features maneuverability that Gradall says can help users get to more jobsites during the day. - Photo courtesy of Gradall

The “crossover excavator,” built on a Freightliner chassis, features maneuverability that Gradall says can help users get to more jobsites during the day.

Photo courtesy of Gradall

Gradall has been building excavators in the 30,000- to 50,000-lb. range for more than 50 years. Over that time, the capabilities of the machines grew.

“And steadily, as their speed and power increased, so has the expense,” said Gradall Vice President Mike Popovich. “So we kind of went back to the drawing board and decided to release a more economical version of that for municipalities and contractors that couldn’t afford … the big machines,” Popovich said. 

The result is the Gradall Discovery Series of excavators, which are priced at $225,000, about $100,000 lower than Gradall’s next largest model.

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Freightliner Simplicity

In addition to the excavators’ telescoping, tilting boom movements, the company said the truck chassis allows users to drive the excavators to jobs rather than haul them on a trailer.
Standard-highway-speed Gradall excavators have chassis that are engineered and built as part of the machine, but Gradall said it cuts the cost of Discovery Series models by building the excavators on a standard Freightliner M3 truck chassis. Excavator mobility becomes “as simple as driving a Freightliner truck,” according to the company.

Gradall describes the product as a “crossover excavator” that operates with a single Cummins 6.7L engine. It also features an automatic transmission and a “big wheel cut” that provides curb-to-curb ­maneuverability that can help users drive to more jobsites during the day.

Popovich said the use of the Freightliner chassis would be helpful to governments because so many government entities already have Freightliner vehicles in their fleets. Many already know how to service it, understand how it operates, and are comfortable hopping in it and driving it from jobsite to jobsite, he explained.

“All the quantities are known,” Popovich said. “You’re not surprising them with anything.”

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