How to Run a Cat 330 Excavator

Written by logan jeffreys
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How to Run a Cat 330 Excavator
Excavators are often used to load soil into dump trucks. (excavator image by dinostock from

Excavators are used to dig up soil or other materials. These machines are very powerful and have the potential to move a lot of material in a short amount of time. The size of an excavator ranges from small enough to drive through a door frame, all the way to machines that have their own staircases and engine rooms. One of the most common however, is the Cat 330 excavator.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Cat 330 excavator

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  1. 1

    Start the engine. Just like most vehicles, to start the engine of a Cat 330 excavator you must insert a key into the ignition and turn it until the engine turns over.

  2. 2

    Adjust the throttle. Beside the right arm rest you will find a throttle selector knob. When you turn the knob counterclockwise the engine will run at a lower speed. When turned clockwise, the engine will run at a faster, more powerful speed. A common setting for general work is half throttle.

  3. 3

    Lower the safety lever. On the front of the left arm rest there is a safety lever that you must lower in order to operate the excavator. When the lever is in a raised position it will prevent you from using the hydraulics that control all operations of the machine.

  4. 4

    Travel forward or in reverse using the foot pedals. Each pedal controls one track. When you move both pedals equally you will move straight. Moving one pedal further than the other will cause you to turn. Because the cab of the excavator spins relative to the tracks, pushing the pedals forward will not always result in forward movement as you may actually be facing the rear of the tracks. Always move the pedals slowly until you are sure of the direction of travel that will result.

  5. 5

    Raise and lower the main boom. The main boom is the first section of the "arm" of the excavator that attaches directly to the machine. To raise the main boom, pull back on the joystick located at the front of the right arm rest. To lower it, push the same joystick forward.

  6. 6

    Move the stick boom. The stick boom, also known as the "crowd" or "secondary" boom, is the second part of the "arm" that is between the main boom and the bucket. To move the stick boom closer to the cab, pull back on the joystick located at the front of the left arm rest. To move the stick boom away from the cab, push the same joystick forward.

  7. 7

    Curl the bucket. Curling the bucket means to rotate it resulting in a scooping motion. To curl the bucket, pull the joystick on the right armrest to the left. To uncurl or dump the bucket push the same joystick to the right.

  8. 8

    Spin the cab. Spinning the cab will let you move the bucket to the right or left. You will be able to rotate the cab a full 360 degrees. Push the joystick on the left arm rest to the right when you want to spin clockwise and to the left when you want to spin counterclockwise.

Tips and warnings

  • You can use your hands to move the levers that extend up from the foot pedals. It may be easier to adjust travel with your hands rather than with your feet.
  • Excavators can cause a lot of damage if not operated properly. Always seek proper training before operation and never operate unsupervised.
  • The back end of an excavator, also known as the counterweight, is made of solid steel and may extend past the width of the tracks when you spin the cab. Make sure that you have proper clearance before rotating.
  • Hydraulic controls can be changed by a mechanic. Always check to see how the controls are configured before use.

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