Mini or compact excavators available in the rental market today allow you to attempt a variety of jobs efficiently that at one time would have required a much more expensive and larger machine. Why are they so useful and what types of job can you attempt?
Small Means Flexible
Manufacturers have taken the more advanced technology found in bigger excavators and downsized it for these compact versions. Today, the pumps required to activate the boom arm and bucket and to make the cab rotate are very efficient and compact, meaning that the machine can be outfitted with a much smaller engine. Also, due to its compact configuration the mini excavator has a completely independent boom. It can be offset in order to work around existing obstructions, but still have the ability to rotate through 360° in order to place the removed dirt precisely.
The vast majority of work conducted by the casual operator involves relatively shallow digging. This makes the compact excavator the tool of choice, especially when you consider that it can be towed behind a conventional truck, without the need for the driver to have a special commercial license.
Working in a Confined Area
If you have to work in a very confined space you need to look for a model that has either a zero turning radius, or a zero swing at the rear. Otherwise, when you move the cab to one side the back of the excavator may extend quite a distance over the wheelbase. This means that even though you can get the machine in fairly close proximity to your job area, you may not be able to manoeuvre it as efficiently as you would like if the tail would hit adjacent obstructions.
Ease of Operation
Modern-day mini excavators have been designed with the amateur operator in mind. The learning curve is not steep. The controls are very intuitive and are designed to be basically an extension of your arm. For example, pushing the boom lever down will bring the boom down, while pulling it will extended upward. Remember though that although the machine is designed to be easy to operate, you should find a level and unobstructed area to practice first, before heading into any restricted jobsite.
Uses for the Compact Machine
People have found that mini excavators are useful in a wide variety of different situations. For example, they can be used to excavate or make repairs to utility lines. They can be used to modify a landscape in your back garden, or in a nursery for harvesting fruit. Mini excavators are good at cutting down and removing trees, or in preparing particular work areas for larger construction jobs. The compact excavator can often access areas that may be too unstable for larger machines, or can be used to prepare a more stable footing for the bigger machines to be brought into use. For more information, contact Maudsley Excavations.