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The Mini Excavator – All You Need to Know

Have you ever heard of a mini excavator? It has many of the same capabilities as the full-sized version, with the added advantage that it’s able to work in small spaces. Mini excavators are sometimes called mini diggers, mini hoes or compact excavators. They are compact enough to work in a small area and are perfect for precise digging

If you’re in the market to purchase one, do you know enough to pick the right mini excavator for sale?Do you want a new Kubota mini excavator or a used mini excavator for sale? Using this resource should help you secure a great deal.

In today’s article, we are going to take a closer look at mini excavators, what they are used for and how they compare to the larger version. Get educated to make the right decision!

Mini Excavator Defined

The mini excavator is made up of the same components as larger versions:

  • Boom
  • Dipper
  • Bucket connected to the cab
  • The cab is where the driver sits and it can rotate a full 360 degrees.

The excavator can run on either tracks or wheels. To be classified as a mini excavator the operating weight must be under 4,535kg. The smallest versions are able to fit through a standard doorway. The buckets range between 12 – 24 inches and can be replaced easily.

What Are they Used for?

Mini excavators are commonly used for light demo, moving materials, construction projects, landscaping and stump removal. Some tasks they are perfect for include:

  • Installing pools and hot tubs
  • Repairing sewer lines
  • Home renovations
  • Roadside applications
  • Digging graves
  • Tree harvesting

How to Choose the Right One for Your Project

The first step in deciding what to buy is knowing what you need the mini excavator to accomplish. The type of job you need it forwill determine the size and accessories you will require. Then you need to determine how long you will need it for. If it’s only for a small project, then renting one will be sufficient. For larger, longer projects, you may consider buying one.

Mini excavators are smaller and much lighter, they don’t damage the top ground as much as a larger excavator. Their small size makes them the perfect addition to a busy work site. They can do their job without getting in the way of the other machines.

Attachments for Every Job

The mini excavator comes with a vast range of attachments. There is a tool for every job. Often, the attachments can be hired as you need them. Attachments include a dozer blade, grapple, dozer blade and hammer.

Additional attachments include:

  • Buckets and couplers
  • 4-in-1 bucket
  • Ditching bucket
  • Power tilt pin grab
  • Thumbs
  • Chuck blades
  • Augers
  • Rakes


If you don’t know what accessories you require, ask an expert for advice. They will be able to advise on the best tool for the job.

Safety Protocols

Working with heavy machinery can be very dangerous. It’s always important to keep safety in mind and followsafe operating practices. If you’ve never operated a mini excavator before, you may require some training.

Basic safety factors include:

  • Wear a seatbelt
  • Don’t let anyone ride in the bucket
  • Clean the mirrors before starting the machine
  • Avoid jerky, sudden movements
  • Try to keep the machine as flat on the ground as possible
  • Don’t lift anything heavier than the lifting capacity
  • Always have a clear field of vision

Frequently Asked Questions

One of the most common questions that we get asked about mini excavators is:

Can you use a mini excavator to clear tree stumps?

If you use the correct attachments, the mini excavator can easily remove a tree stump.

This task needs to be done by more than one person, so it’s important that you have someone to assist you at all times. One of you will need to operate the excavator. The second person will need to act as a guide. Follow these step by step instructions:

  1. Using the digger blade, dig around where the stump needs to be extracted
  2. Remove any visible roots
  3. Remove rocks, dirt and other debris from the area
  4. Use a chainsaw to remove the larger pieces of the tree
  5. Set the excavator’s parking brake and place the machine in the neutral position
  6. Lower the stabilising feet and engage the locking pins
  7. Use the boom and bucket control to dig around the sides of the tree stump
  8. Next, use the excavator to rock the stump back and forth in order to loosen it
  9. You will need to do this a few times before you see progress
  10. Approach the tree stump from different angles and keep trying different angles until it starts to move
  11. Once the stump is loose, carefully put the excavator bucket under the stump.
  12. Lift it slowly to stop the machine from tipping
  13. Using the excavator’s backhoe boom lift capacity, lift the stump out
  14. Repeat this process until the entire tree stump is gone

Final Thoughts

Mini excavators are very useful and make a great addition to any worksite. They are every bit as powerful as the larger version. Just always remember: safety first.

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