The Difference Between Wheeled Vs. Tracked Excavator – The Ultimate Guide 2022

China wheeled vs track excavator


There are multiple types of compact excavators that you will find in the market. Wheeled excavators and tracked excavators are two main types. These construction machines have their differences that can help you prefer one over the other. If you know about civil engineering terms, then differentiating between them is easy.

However, if you are a beginner, then deciding which one is better for you can be difficult. You have to analyze multiple factors such as operating weight, attachments, structure, etc. This article will help you learn about wheeled excavators and tracked excavator machinery for your job site.

wheeled vs track excavator

What Is A Wheeled Excavator? 

A wheeled excavator has wheels to move from one place to another. It works like other excavators, but the only difference is its wheeled structure and the maximum number of attachments.

A wheeled excavator called a backhoe, digger, or a bucket wheel excavator is a machine that removes or moves the earth on a construction site. Wheel excavators are very flexible since they can manage the work off-road or on the road.

A wheeled excavator provides versatility, allowing the machine to switch to other attachments required for the job. It has fuel-efficient engines and can travel at high speeds.

Like other excavators, wheel excavators have well-matched components that deliver high power and take care of the environment with low emissions. For the driver to drive this type of excavator, you need a Car (Class C) LICENSE LAUNCH.

In recent years, wheeled excavators have become popular on job sites due to their flexibility and advanced features.

wheeled excavator

What Is A Tracked Excavator? 

A tracked excavator is a piece of earth-moving equipment operated by a set of tracks instead of wheels or tires. These are used to dig large holes as it is their primary purpose. There are also other uses of tracked excavators such as demolition structures, digging ditches, and basements.

The four main parts of track excavators are the boom, shovel, undercarriage or tracks, and the house. The operator runs the excavator in-house. It runs on diesel.

 track excavator

What Is The Difference Between A Wheeled Excavator And A Tracked Excavator? 

If you need high-production digging, then no one can beat tracked excavators. If you remove the undercarriage of a tracked excavator and add wheels, you will get a very different machine called a wheeled excavator.

A wheeled excavator is not as good at digging as a tracked excavator, but if you add attachments and a coupler to a wheeled excavator, you will be surprised as it can do a variety of jobs and can maneuver in places where some other heavy machine would be impossible.

European contractors mostly use wheeled Excavators because of more work in urban environments, however, American contractors use tracked excavators because they do a lot of digging and clearing raw materials, pioneering.

wheeled vs track excavator

What Factors To Consider When Choosing Between A Wheeled Excavator And A Tracked Excavator?


For soft, uneven land and hills, tracked excavators are used.  Wheeled excavators have dozer attachment and stability arms to provide stability while working on a construction site. However, a tracked excavator has an even weight distribution while being driven.

A low center of gravity for tracked excavators makes it easy to work on steep terrain or hills. Tracks are not punctured if a site is rocky and has uneven stones or sharp raw materials.

Wheeled excavators provide road-friendly alternatives and transportation for road, bridge, and urban work. A wheeled excavator can be driven from site to site. They can be safely operated on finished pavement without worrying about damage to concrete or asphalt.

track excavator

A wheeled excavator, when having attached attachments, can do the same level of tasks as a tracked excavator, for example, digging power, the same level of lifting, etc


Tracked and wheel excavators are comparable in stability when working. Tracked excavators with their grousers and the weight of their undercarriage are more stable than wheeled excavators with four tires. The wheeled excavators use outriggers on the machine for stability. 

When it is equipped with a dozer attachment, it becomes more stable. A tracked excavator has a lower center of gravity than a wheeled excavator because a wheeled excavator’s tires raise machinery.

China wheeled vs track excavator

Nature Of The Job 

Tracked excavators are used in sites that are located on terrain. It is a powerful machine for digging, clearing, and pioneering new ground. However, a wheeled excavator is a more powerful and versatile tool than a tracked excavator. If you are working in urban areas or paved areas, wheeled excavators are more efficient.

Wheeled excavators are road-friendly and have high speed. It is used if you have more than one site cause it can easily travel from one construction site to another. Viewing different projects, it has been known that tracked excavators will take twice as much time to complete a task as wheeled excavators.

track excavators


More care is required in a tracked excavator. It is also used to remove an additional piece of equipment. A tracked excavator works well if it has a long-term job with minimum need to remove the construction site. You need more care when you are transporting something through a tracked excavator.

On the other hand, wheel excavators can easily move around different construction sites and carry materials from one construction site to another. The wheeled excavator arm can be retracted for greater visibility when driving by a dual hydraulic boom.

small excavators


Sizes of wheeled and as well as tracked excavators vary. It doesn’t matter if you choose a wheeled or tracked excavator, but it is important that you have the correct excavator size for the required job.

If you are unsure what size of excavator you want, you can contact professionals to give them detailed information about your construction site. Professionals will recommend what size of excavator you should buy or rent.


Wheeled excavators are more expensive than tracked excavators. If you are using it for a long-term project wheeled excavator is recommended. They are more easily maintained than tracked excavators.

A wheeled excavator undercarriage takes less damage than a tracked excavator, and its parts are easily changed. Wheel excavator wheels and brakes last much longer and are less expensive if you want to change or replace them.

Wheeled excavators are not much available and popular in the market so they are difficult to find if you want to rent them. They are 30 to 40 percent more expensive than tracked excavators if you want to rent an excavator. With the increasing popularity of wheeled excavators, they will be more available in the market, decreasing wheeled excavators’ rent.

wheeled vs track excavator


Tracked excavator’s primary purpose is digging and can also be outfitted with a crusher, shear, or hammer for demolition and other jobs. On the other hand, the wheeled excavator can also do all these machines with a hard surface beneath it. However, tracked excavator leaves its track marks on the surface, destroying it.

Wheeled excavators, because of not destroy the surface beneath them, can do jobs in urban environments, building slabs and parking lots. Wheeled excavators installed with attachments can not only dig or demolish earth but also clean ditches from roads, move concrete barriers, cut asphalt, and mow and dig trees.


Tracked excavators have a speed of 4 to 6 mph, which is much less than Wheeled excavators. If you need a tracked excavator on another construction site, you will need a big truck and trailer to haul tracked excavator. So it is difficult to use if you have multiple construction sites at different locations.

A wheeled excavator can travel a speed up to 22 miles per hour. It can easily travel to different construction sites if paved surfaces or roads are made between them. Due to this mobility, productivity will improve if you have multiple jobs to achieve around a large construction site.

Lifecycle Costs Of Wheeled and Tracked Excavator

Tracked excavator undercarriage, when compared with a wheeled excavator, is expensive. When tracked excavator undercarriage is worn out, replacing them is very expensive and time-consuming. They do not even last longer than wheel excavators.

Wheels excavator undercarriages involve wheels and brakes which last longer than tracks on tracked excavators. Wheels and brakes are not only cheap but are also easy to replace. Replacing time is much less in wheeled excavators as compared to tracked excavators. Hence operating cost of the wheeled excavator is less expensive.

Multiple countries, such as India, Korea, Canada, Taiwan, the USA, etc., have excelled in the business of excavators. Some popular brands are JCB, Kubota, Hitachi, Bobcat, etc. They sell different models in their country. You can choose the one that matches your needs.

However, buying from China can benefit from high-quality, low prices, and better customer support services. Moreover, shipping from China is easier and cheaper compared to other countries. You can search them through the internet and place an order online.


Knowing about the factors differentiating between the wheeled excavators and tracked excavators is not the only thing to do. You have to find the right manufacturing company or industry for your excavators. China owns the biggest trade market for the manufacturing of multiple products. You can find high-quality excavators in the Chinese market easily.

The best part about Chinese manufacturers is that they prioritize the satisfaction of their buyers through their best services. Contact Us now if you are looking for a highly experienced and amazing dealer of excavators at an affordable price.

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