Bobcat Use: How Deep Can You Dig When Driving?

By Robert Romboa •  Updated: 04/03/22 •  8 min read
FAQ

Excavators are among the most useful excavating and building tools. You’ll probably need a portable excavator like a bobcat if you want to build a pond, swimming pool, reservoir, rubbish pit, or anything else. The depth to which excavators can dig varies according to its manufacture, model, engine type, attachments, etc.

If you plan to use a Bobcat or have once used one, but wondering how deep you can dig while driving, then this article is for you!

The quick answer is this! Bobcats can generally dig from 10 to 48 feet deep. Pushing the bobcat beyond its capabilities might cause the engine to overheat, distort the bucket, or damage the mechanical arm. If you wish to dig deeper than 48 feet, you’ll need to make a slope for the vehicle to drive down before digging. 

Are you still in doubt or you want to learn more about this subject? Whatever the case, don’t stop here, read on to learn more!

How deep can a bobcat dig?

Whether digging a rubbish pit or constructing an underground shelter, an excavator will make the process much easier.

These devices are built to sever the earth and collect large buckets of soil. However, it becomes more difficult when dealing with thick rocks and mud.

Here are several important criteria that influence how deep a bobcat can dig.

The size of the excavator

A larger bobcat would be able to dig deeper than a smaller one. You might attempt a variety of excavators, some of which are larger than others. Keep an eye out for everything, from the arm to the bucket and everything in between.

The size of the bobcat’s bucket

The larger the bucket, the further you can reach. Large buckets may add up to two feet of depth when excavating with a bobcat. The bucket is one of the most important aspects to consider when attaining the greatest depth potential with a bobcat.

The length of the arm

The longer the arm of a bobcat, the deeper the dig site may be. Although the bucket is necessary, the arm is arguably the most vital part. 

A long arm can stretch and reach deep into the earth. Furthermore, it may spin and remove soil from a distance across a pit or nearby. Bobcat’s horizontal reach is nearly as impressive as its vertical reach.

The Horsepower

The more horsepower the bobcat has, the deeper it can dig. Though mini excavators like the bobcat don’t usually pack so much depth to their abilities, the ones with a greater horsepower would allow you to go deeper than if the horsepower were smaller.

Should You Dig Too Deep with a bobcat?

Pushing a bobcat to its limits to reach the deepest portion of a hole may be a smart idea. You’d assume that since it can dig deep, why not use it that way all the time?

Unfortunately, this thinking has led to the destruction of numerous excavators. Never push it past its capabilities. 

Here’s what could happen if you dig too deep with a bobcat.

The engine may overheat.

Any overworked engine will begin to overheat. You should never exceed the capabilities of a vehicle, whether it’s a small automobile or an excavator.

The motor will overheat if you continue to lean forward and dig too deep with big amounts of soil in the bucket.

Excessive overheating can create smoke and a fire in the worst-case scenario.

You could have dull joints and loose pieces.

The joints will be muted if you prevent overheating and smoking the engine. When they grow dull, they will loosen because they can no longer hold in their sockets.

Unfortunately, these sorts of repairs may be quite costly.

Overextension may cause the arm and bucket to bend.

The arm and bucket will begin to bend as the pieces become free. When you take a large bucket of dirt, it will bow and spill everything out.

You’ll need to spend thousands of dollars on an extension and another arm. It’s one of the most expensive excavator repairs on the market.

It’s not worth putting your life in danger. Simply dig a few more feet. If you find your bobcat growing too hot or producing screaming noises, you should shut it down, let it cool down, and figure out how to continue the operation.

How to Raise the Reach of an Excavator

On the flip side, if you can’t dig very deep with your bobcat, you’ll have to strive to expand its reach. Most tractor warehouses have entry to all of the parts you want, but there are occasions when the only option is to purchase a larger excavator.

Here are a few things you could do to get more depth out of your bobcat.

Increase the arm length of the bobcat

A long arm may distinguish between a shallow and a long and broad hole. It should be noted that longer arms and additional attachments need a powerful engine. If the bobcat’s engine isn’t large enough, you won’t have much room for modification.

 Increase the size of the bucket

You can dig a little deeper if you add a few inches of bucket size. You will be able to dig a deeper hole, but you will also be able to scoop out more soil with each bucketload.

It will help the task go much more quickly.

Dig a slope to get closer to the hole’s bottom.

You may ride the slope to dig deeper into the dirt if you’re building a pool or pond (or anything else that’s inclined). Even if the blueprints do not specify a slope, you can create one and fill it once the hole is dug.

Upgrade your bobcat

Try out a different bobcat with more depth range and more horsepower for the ultimate increase in depth.

These are quite a few tricks to get more depth with your excavator. If you want to reach deeper than 40 feet into the dirt, it’s up to you, but it never hurts to try. Because the capabilities are expanded, having a longer arm and a larger bucket will reduce overheating.

But keep in mind that you can’t just attach a massive arm and bucket to a little digger! The engine must be suitable for this purpose, but the excavator must also be large enough to manage the added weight.

It won’t be the first machine to tip over or fall into the hole you’re digging.

Safety Precautions for Beginners

Beginners often make many mistakes when they’re just starting, and professionals get too comfortable with their skills and drop the ball. Here are some key crucial safety precautions for people of all experience levels to follow when working with excavators:

Don’t come too near to the boundary

There is a great risk of falling in if you drive the excavator too near the edge of the hole you’re excavating.

You’ll not only slide and dump the excavator into the pit, but you’ll also most likely damage the side of the hole you’re excavating.

All of the damages and injuries will result in a significant repair expense.

Scoop inward rather than away from the bobcat

If you’ve never handled an excavator bucket before, you must scoop with your back to the vehicle. Remove loads of earth using the bucket, spin the excavator, and drop the material on the ground.

It’s a straightforward procedure that allows you to observe how much dirt you’re removing while building piles on the pit’s edge.

Determine the capabilities of your machinery ahead of time

Don’t start scooping until you’ve determined how much weight the machine can support. Some can handle up to 10,000 pounds, while others have far lower weight capacities. You should also be aware of the size of the arm and bucket and the horsepower of the bobcat.

These three safety practices can help keep you and your things secure. They should be enough to keep you out of legal problems. Just ensure you have all the necessary licenses to dig with a bobcat.

Before you begin, you should also consider having your plans approved by an expert.

How Long Does It Take to Dig Deep with a Bobcat?

You mustn’t dig too hastily, or you may destroy the job. You might damage your excavator, overheat the engine, or mess up the pit (or whatever else you’re digging).

Excavating a hole using an excavator normally takes a few days, but it might take weeks. The difficulty in determining the size and duration of digging with an excavator depends on several variables.

Thanks for reading till the end. We hope you learned.

Robert Romboa

Just amazed daily by the heavy machinery used to make our days easier and allow for fast and simple construction from your backyard to a city!