What are Mini Excavators and When do you need them?

Mini Excavators

Mini excavators are very similar to the standard excavators that you see in large construction sites. Both can use the same attachments like buckets, couplers, rippers and hammers. In terms of purpose, mini excavators can also be used for demolition, trenching and various other earthmoving tasks.

So, the question is, what kind of benefits does a mini excavator offer? If it’s so similar to a standard excavator, why would someone hire mini excavation contractors?

To help you answer these questions, we’re going to discuss the various advantages of a mini excavator. Hopefully, by the end of this blog, you’ll have a better understanding of what kind of projects these compact excavators are designed for.

If you have any specific questions or concerns about the excavation process, we recommend consulting your builders and building designers.

What is a mini excavator?

First, what makes an excavator a ‘mini’ excavator? If you look online, the definitions that you’ll find will vary from source to source. Generally speaking, however, a mini excavator usuallyweighs between one and a half to just overeight tonnes. Sometimes, a mini excavator will be referred to as a mini digger, a small excavator or a compact excavator.

As one might expect, compact excavators are typically used in small to medium-sized projects. These small, lightweight vehicles are perfect for worksites that have narrow passageways and tight corners.

Since they’re smaller and easier to manage, mini excavators are also ideal for delicate projects that require precision. For example, installing a swimming pool will need a lot of control and accuracy. If the excavation on this project is not done properly, it couldcause problems during the installation process and affect the quality of the final product.

Advantages of using a mini excavator

  • Minimises ground damage

Standard excavators can weigh between seven to 45 metric tons. If one of these hefty machines were to roll onto your backyard, it will most likely cause rutting and compaction. Rutting occurs when the soil is no longer able to support the weight of the vehicle on it. As a result of this, the undercarriage of the excavator will sink into the soil, leaving tracks on the ground as it moves around. Rutting can also lead to soil compaction, which is when the soil particles are brought closer together, making ground denser. If not managed properly soil compaction can lead to soil degradation and erosion.

With mini excavators, however, you won’t have to worry about soil damage. Since compact excavators are lightweight, the operators will be able traverse the worksite without any issues. Not only will this make the process more manageable, it will also reduce the amount of repair work that you (or the workers) have to do after the project is finished.

  • Perfect for smaller worksites

A standard excavator is simply too big for smaller projects like backyard renovations and residential pool installations. For such compact projects, a mini digger will be more suitable.

Additionally, compact excavators are also ideal for worksites that see a lot of pedestrian and vehicle traffic. Indeed, with a smaller vehicle, an operator will be able to safely navigate through workers, machinery and other heavy vehicles.

  • Efficient

Using a mini excavator can also increase efficiency and productivity. Most compactexcavators nowadays are able to hold multiple attachments at one time. During the construction process, the operator will be able to swap between a number of different tools in just a few seconds. Overall, this simple feature can reduce construction time by a considerable amount.

Mini excavators will also be easier to transport between places. Light excavators can be carried on normal-sized trailers and can also be refuelled on-site. Less travelling between sites will make the construction process more streamlined and thus reducecarbon emissions.

Common uses

Mini excavators are used in a variety of different worksites. They’re mostly used at residential properties but they’re also used in a few commercial and public projects.

Here is a list ofprojects that mini excavators are commonly used in:

  • Sewer repairs
  • Pool installation
  • Tree stump removal
  • Light demolition
  • General digging
  • Landscaping
  • Home renovations
  • Roadside repairs

As you can see, bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better. In construction, sometimes a smaller vehicle is necessary to carry out a project safely and efficiently. If you need the services of a mini excavation contractor, be sure to contact your local home builders. Before hiring someone, just make sure that the builders specialise in the type of excavation that you’re looking for. If you’re unsure, always let the builders know what you want and what you’re expecting.