Machinery Insights: When to Use a Long Reach Digger?

1 November, 2023
By Al Marwan
Machinery Insights: When to Use a Long Reach Digger?

A conventional excavator can only do so much on a construction or mining job. A long reach digger, however, is a game-changer when it’s time to tackle those tough-to-reach places. Let's dig into what makes these machines unique, when and where they’re used, and why they're the go-to machines on projects near seashores, riverbanks, open-pit mines, and beyond.

What Is a Long Reach Digger?

A long reach digger, sometimes called a long reach excavator or long boom excavator, is a specialized piece of equipment designed to handle tasks in hard-to-reach areas. Unlike a conventional excavator, it's all about the boom. The boom is the long arm that extends your reach, and it's precisely what makes a long reach digger special.

A KOBELCO SK850LC Long Reach Digger sea dredging
A KOBELCO SK850LC Long Reach Digger sea dredging

Imagine a conventional 8-meter boom excavator weighing 50 tons. If you need to double its boom reach to 16 meters, extra counterweight is added at the rear to keep the machine stable. This careful balance is crucial, preventing the digger from tipping over when it's reaching out into uncharted territory.

Applications that Make the Difference

The beauty of the long reach digger lies in its ability to access places conventional excavators can only dream of. Here are some applications where these machines truly shine:


Ever needed to tear down a tall structure without damaging nearby buildings? Long reach diggers are your go-to. They can reach high and take down structures piece by piece, keeping the surroundings safe.

Marine Works & Dredging

When conducting projects close to a body of water, you can't just plop an excavator down on the shore. A long reach digger reaches out over the water to remove silt, debris, and keep the waterways flowing smoothly. This has been the case when the Al Majaz Island in Sharjah was constructed.

Quarrying & Mining

In quarries and mines, materials often lie deep within the earth. A long reach digger reaches down, extracts material, and ensures a safe working environment.

Embankments & Jetty Building

Building protective embankments or jetties near water bodies requires precision and reach. Long reach diggers finish these projects safely and more efficiently.

Slope Finishing

On steep slopes, you can't have the digger too close to the edge. A long reach digger lets you work from a safe distance, ensuring the slope's stability.

Al Marwan Machinery's Customized Long Reach Diggers

As an example of how long reach diggers are making a difference, we’ve gone the extra mile to modify conventional excavators, equipping them with long reach excavator booms. These specialized booms were crafted in-house at our workshop, using local resources and high-tensile Hardox and Strenx steel for durability.

A Komatsu PC850 Long Reach Digger fitted with a 21-meter boom and Jisung Jackhammer
A Komatsu PC850 long reach digger fitted with a 21-meter boom and Jisung Jackhammer

The modified machines include models like KOBELCO SK500, and SK850, the Komatsu PC300, PC400, PC450, and PC850. These custom-made long reach diggers open up a world of possibilities, allowing for efficient, safe, and precise work in challenging locations.

A CAT 395 long reach excavator modified in-house by Al Marwan
A CAT 395 long reach excavator modified in-house by Al Marwan

Long reach diggers might not be as well-known as their standard counterparts, but they're quietly revolutionizing how we tackle projects in challenging locations. Whether it's demolition, dredging, quarrying, or building embankments, these machines extend our reach and make difficult tasks more manageable.

So, the next time you're faced with a project near the seashore, riverbanks, or open-pit mines, remember that a long reach digger could be your solution. With tens of long reach excavators available regularly for rental and sale, we’ve got you covered with specialized machinery solutions fit for your unique site requirements. Discover our full range of long boom excavators here.

Equipment Insights