While visiting a municipality a while ago, I was caught in a conversation about the best type of ditches for drainage maintenance operations. The answer, to me, was easy – a v-ditch is the best choice. It offers a higher flow velocity of water when flowing, which leads to the faster overall removal of water, has less surface area for the ingrowth of vegetation, and the ditch integrity lasts longer than other options before it needs to be redone.

The next question I knew the answer to immediately as well. When asked which machine is the best to create these ditches, I immediately said “Gradall. Through the method of “pull” ditching, a Gradall boom is unmatched in productivity and quality.

While some may envision an old telescopic boom excavator ditching in slow motion at the side of the road, there’s something to be said about old Gradall models still working today.

At Amaco, we’re proud that all our Gradall machines, even older models, remain reliable and are depended on to get the job done, a fact that showcases the superior quality and overall strength that goes into each Gradall excavator.

Today’s Gradalls may appear similar to old units, but inside them is cutting-edge power and technology, enabling them to do much more than ditching.

If you’re looking for an excavator, and are ready to improve your quality of work, a Gradall is the right fit as an addition to your fleet.

Cutting-Edge Tech Married with an Old-School Look

As any Gradall dealer can attest, their new machines maintain their “old-school” look – but inside they house the most up-to-date technology and cutting-edge power available on the market. If you’re looking for an excavator that goes above and beyond, gets the job done, and offers a variety of transportation methods including highway-speed capability, choose Gradall.

Want to get more work done with less downtime and hassle? Gradall telescopic boom excavators empower you to take on whatever the job site throws at you with confidence.

What’s the Difference Between Gradall Models and Conventional Excavators?

What makes Gradall excavators stand out from other conventional models? Well, that’s easy. Their telescoping, rotating boom allows you to work in spaces that you normally wouldn’t be able to with a standard excavator, such as under trees, bridges, ground floors, between buildings, and other challenging job site locations with extended reach needs.

Every Gradall telescopic boom excavator comes equipped with a full-rotating, telescopic boom, as well as a state-of-the-art load-sensing hydraulic system and easy-to-manage joystick controls. Together, these features will help you get more done by the end of the day with extraordinary accuracy and maximum power.

Digging Into the Details – The Benefits & Features of Gradall Excavators

Here’s a quick breakdown of the characteristics that make Gradall excavators superior to other conventional models.

The Telescoping Boom Makes All the Difference

The telescoping boom on the Gradall excavator features high-pressure, load-sensing hydraulics, which gives operators the full power and accuracy they need at every rotational dig angle. The telescoping design of the Gradall boom also offers the ability to reach full pulling power at any level of extension throughout the entire dig cycle.

The fine boom and bucket action control are great for working in all types of situations including trimming, topsoil work, and working under trees and overhead wires. Even if you’re excavating underwater, you’ll know what the bucket is doing, thanks to the bucket edge being parallel to the bottom of the Gradall triangular boom.

Other models of excavators with knuckle boom designs lack mobility and can stick at angles over 90 degrees, but with Gradall, you’ll consistently be able to get precise jobs done correctly with less manual labour.

Controls that Match Your Preference

A machine is only as useful as the controls that run it, and the Gradall boom is designed to simulate that of a human hand and arm. Operators can even choose the joystick patterns they prefer to follow. Whether your employees are trained on Gradall, Deere, or SAE joystick patterns, they will be able to run a Gradall without needing any additional training. This means less time learning and more time getting to work.

Rotation Matters

The more you see, you more you can do safely and effectively. Gradall booms give operators the ability to achieve 220-degree rotation, with some industrial machines even being able to achieve a full 360-degree continuous rotation. This versatility means attachments such as hammers, brush grinders and buckets can be positioned accordingly before engaging the ground or working underwater. The entire boom can also rotate simultaneously, as it telescopes, and as the bucket opens or closes.

Other machines may simulate these actions with additional end-of-boom wrist-o-twist attachments, but they trade time and power to achieve this and are more susceptible to damage. Using a Gradall provides you the maneuverability you need while keeping excavation strength levels in place.

Changing Out Attachments

Thanks to a strong mechanical quick attachment system, Gradall excavators make it easier to change attachments when the situation calls for it. Auxiliary hydraulics are available through the boom, which means utilizing hydraulic attachments is a breeze. This type of attachment is the go-to option for precision work, like demolition or roadside tree brushing.

Can Gradall be Mounted on Different Carriers?

You bet they can. Gradall upper structures can be mounted on three different types of carriers:

  • Highway speed truck undercarriages
  • Rough-terrain wheeled undercarriages
  • Crawler undercarriages.

What to Consider When Choosing the Right Undercarriage

When it comes time to choose the type of undercarriage that best suits the needs of your business, there are a few things to consider:

Highway speed undercarriages are great when travel speed matters. They can travel at speeds up to 95km/hr and are a great option if you:

  • have to visit multiple sites in a day
  • want to travel at the same speed as a work crew for the same job
  • want your excavator back in your yard instead of being left on the job site
  • want to eliminate the need for a truck and trailer.

Models include the XL 3100-V, XL 4100-V and XL 5100-V.


Rough-terrain wheeled undercarriages are perfect for site mobility. They can balance on multiple surfaces like a conventional crawler but are mobile on the pavement as well. These undercarriages also:

  • offer great on-site wheeled mobility (but will require float transportation to the site)
  • provide 360-degree work and loading capabilities
  • are superior in stability compared to conventional wheeled excavators with a square Gradall undercarriage design
  • are stable without the need for outriggers.

Models include the XL 3300-V, XL 4300-V and XL 5300-V.


Crawler undercarriages are ideal in most heavy industrial applications or where uneven ground conditions dictate:

  • off-road work, such as drainage works with poor soil conditions
  • overhead working height limits
  • working in tunnels
  • or maneuvering on rocky terrain.

Models include the XL 3200-V, XL 4200-V and XL 5200-V.

Consider what a Gradall excavator could do for your operations team. With Gradall you can reach farther, do more, and increase productivity during the majority of jobs. Explore your options with Amaco and see how Gradall models can benefit your excavation business. Contact us today to discuss your needs!

Jeff MacDonald