Third of the models which Benbros created based on the Caterpillar Tractor was the Excavator. Like the others it was a chunky toy and the shovel size gave it a useful amount of play value.
To adapt the tractor to being an Excavator, Benbros again used support arms fixed to the axles on the outside of the wheels but unlike the Bulldozer there was a little less decorative 'ironmongery'. The front wheels held the twin arms to which the shovel was fixed and on the right side of the model an extended rear axle secured the adjustable lifting lever linked to the shovel.
When first issued the Excavator was coloured bright orange without silver trim, with a green shovel, yellow outer rollers and dark-green tracks. However, Benbros soon switched to metallic green and metallic blue, both with red shovels and yellow outer rollers, with the metallic blue variation being the most common. Silver trim was added to parts of the engine, usually also to the front grille and even sometimes on the top of the exhaust pipe above the engine.
Early models had a spindly driver who was held in place by a peg which fitted into a hole in the seat. He was painted all-over one colour, either green or red. Later Benbros re-cast the seat without a hole and replaced the thin driver with the widely used female figure from the Ferguson Tractor.
There was one further change to the Excavator which probably occured at the end of the model's life and this was the removal of the Lifting Arm and the fitting of normal length axles. The shovel bucket remained but was now only hand operated. This variation was painted metallic blue with a red shovel and yellow outer rollers.
The Excavator box was a traditional end-flap one with two brightly coloured illustrations on alternate sides and 'Excavator' in a little panel at the top of each picture face. On the red end-flaps, the 'Benbros Qualitoy' emblem was printed.
Despite being a good working toy, the Excavator is quite hard to find especially in nice condition. The early orange variation and the metallic green one are both rare, and the box is also scarce.
Variation 2: Metallic green with red driver
Benbros Qualitoys Excavator
1) ORANGE, GREEN shovel & Lift arm, YELLOW outer rollers, DARK-GREEN tracks, GREEN driver (small)
2) METALLIC GREEN, RED shovel & Lift arm, YELLOW outer rollers, MID-GREEN tracks, RED driver (small)
3) METALLIC BLUE, RED shovel & Lift arm, YELLOW outer rollers, DARK-GREEN tracks, GREEN driver (large)
4) METALLIC BLUE, RED shovel (No Lift Arm), YELLOW outer rollers, PALE-GREEN tracks, GREEN driver (large)
Variation 3: Metallic-Blue with Lift Arm and green female driver
Variation 4: Metallic-Blue without Lift Arm, green driver