Hydraulic excavators usually couple engine power to (commonly) three hydraulic pumps rather than to mechanical drivetrains. The two main pumps supply oil at high pressure (up to 5000 psi) for the arms, swing motor, track motors and accessories while the third is a lower pressure (~700 psi) pump for pilot control of the spool valves; this third circuit allows for reduced physical effort when operating the controls. Generally, the 3 pumps used in excavators consist of 2 variable displacement piston pumps and a gear pump. The arrangement of the pumps in the excavator unit changes with different manufacturers using different formats.
The two main sections of an excavator are the undercarriage and the house. The undercarriage includes the blade (if fitted), tracks, track frame, and final drives, which have a hydraulic motor and gearing providing the drive to the individual tracks. The house includes the operator cab, counterweight, engine, fuel and hydraulic oil tanks. The house attaches to the undercarriage by way of a center pin. High pressure oil is supplied to the tracks' hydraulic motors through a hydraulic swivel at the axis of the pin, allowing the machine to slew 360° unhindered.
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