A mini digger or mini excavator is a small-sized excavator, typically between 0.7 and 9 tonnes, used to perform small excavation works. It is often possible to attach other attachments besides buckets, such as a breaker, allowing multiple uses.
The price for hiring a mini digger depends on its size, weight, and version (e.g. cab or not).
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A mini digger or mini excavator is a type of plant equipment used to perform excavation works. Micro diggers allow for much more efficient digging works when compared to using a spade or shovel. When hiring a mini digger, think about what you will do with the excess soil - hiring a skip can be an option. Excavators come in all sizes, and the term mini diggers covers the smaller-sized ones (from ~0.7 tonnes to ~9 tonnes) and micro diggers is used for the smallest variants. Mini diggers consist of different parts. The house is attached to the undercarriage and can rotate freely with respect to the undercarriage. The workgroup, which refers to the boom and attachment such as a bucket or an auger, is connected to the house through a swing frame that allows the boom to swing independently of the house. This allows for so-called offset digging (see picture). Additionally, there is a backfill blade for levelling and grading. When the soil needs to be compacted, for example when block paving, consider hiring a plate compactor as well.
Mini excavators have several characteristics on which you should base your selection:
Mini diggers are very helpful equipment for various types of groundworks, but hiring a mini digger is not cheap. Hiring a 1.0T mini digger can cost £75-100 (excl. VAT) per day, and £250-300 (excl. VAT) per week, excluding delivery and potential operator costs. You should take into account the following advice for reducing the cost of mini digger hire:
Mini excavators come in various widths, with a minimum width of ~70cm, going up to ~150cm or above.
It depends on your experience operating a mini digger. As highlighted above, operating a mini digger can be quite difficult. Hence an operator might be much more efficient at the job. Because operators get the work done quicker, the cost of hiring an operator could be balanced by the reduced hiring costs compared to doing it yourself.
When using a mini digger it is recommended to wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). Recommended safety equipment for a mini digger consists of the following: safety helmet, foot protection, ear protection and protective gloves.
Guide written by Tomas Mertens (Master of Engineering at KU Leuven)