Are you considering doing a repair job or starting a new project but dread the thought of hiring a full-sized excavator? Chances are that you can hire a mini-excavator for a lot less and it will do a terrific job.
How can you find out if hiring a mini-excavator is right for you? We made a handy list that can help you come to a decision.
What are the Benefits of Using a Mini-Excavator?
Besides cost, there are many benefits to hiring a mini-excavator, including:
- The smaller size means easier access. Sometimes, access to your backyard or other spaces is quite tight and the larger excavators don’t fit.
- Lighter weight means that softer ground is OK. If the working area or access road has softer dirt, the heavier machines can get bogged down. Mini-excavators aren’t as heavy, so soft dirt is not a problem.
- Easier and cheaper to transport. You can usually fit one of these in a small flatbed trailer or even the bed of a full-sized pickup truck. That means no extra charges for a large trailer to move the excavator to your site.
- Less wear and tear on surfaces. Mini-excavators don’t weigh as much, so they should cause little or no damage to surfaces or surrounding areas.
- Power efficient. Since mini-excavators use far less power, they are considered to be eco-friendly.
- Quieter operation. Mini-excavators are much quieter than their full-sized counterparts, so your neighbours aren’t as likely to complain about the noise.
What are Mini-Excavators Good For?
While these machines are small, they are incredibly versatile. Some of the most common projects people hire a mini-excavator for include:
- Digging small to medium sized holes, such as ponds, foundations or fountains
- Creating drainage ditches and utility trenches
- Removing tree stumps
- Digging post holes
- Breaking up large rocks
- Levelling ground
- Moving dirt or construction debris
- Demolishing steel, small outbuildings, asphalt and concrete
- Snow ploughing
Do You Need a Licence to Operate a Mini-Excavator?
This depends on state law. The good news is that laws have recently changed, so if you didn’t hire a mini-excavator before because you didn’t have a licence, you might want to check again. The company you are hiring from will have all the details and will be able to tell you if you need a licence or not.
Ask about Additional Charges
You will find some very competitive rates for renting a mini-excavator, but these rates only include the cost of the machine. There are often additional charges tacked on so be aware of those before you hire. Common charges might include:
- Fuel surcharge of 10%
- Penalty rates (for weekends, holidays or night work)
- Special attachment fees (these vary, but attachments such as post-hole diggers or rock breakers will cost extra)
- Security fees (if the mini-excavator stays on your property overnight)
Before you sign the contract, be certain that all charges are clearly stated so you won’t be hit with a larger than expected bill.
Even with these additional fees (and not all of them will apply,) you will still find that hiring a mini-excavator is quite cost effective when compared to full-sized excavators.
Before you go, why not check out these other blogs on excavation equipment.