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Choosing the right mini excavator for your next project

22/09/2021

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When it comes to lifting and digging capabilities, the mini excavator has become the first choice for many contractors. With most of the base features of a standard excavator, the mini excavator remains cost-effective and accessible through machine hire and renting.

Why excavators?

Excavators are a crucial tool in the construction industry, and are used on a variety of projects, ranging from mining, to building construction, to demolition.

The wide range of uses for excavators means excavator types also vary. Common excavator types like crawlers, draglines, suctions, and the long reach are common in mining and commercial projects, but require significant space and operational capacity to operate, incurring additional expenses.

Smaller machines can handle digging and drilling on most commercial and residential projects and are particularly useful in urban and dense environments.
When choosing the right excavator for you, you should take into consideration the scale of your project and the working conditions of your site, such as the earth and space available

Which mini excavator?

Mini excavators are compact machines designed to work in confined spaces and on residential projects. It is increasingly common to see contractors using a mini excavator to minimise ground damage and manoeuvre through narrow or crowded sites, like backyards and indoor spaces.

Packing all the punch of a standard excavator, Mini Plant Hire excavators provide reduced tail swing to allow for tighter turns and to better avoid accidents.
Mini Plant Hire offer a range of mini excavators, available for wet and dry hire, ranging from one to two and a half tonnes depending on your operational requirements. Our range of Kubota mini excavators are perfect for small scale excavations and operating in backyards.

Our Kubota mini excavators are reliable and offer a variety of versatile and powerful excavation, earthmoving, and landscaping solutions. Ideal for trench digging, post hole digging, or concrete breaking, they come equipped with adjustable track widths to allow for access to difficult locations in alleyways, houses, or buildings. They can also quickly and efficiently break rocks and concrete, making short work of hard materials.

For mid-sized excavation projects, you’ll need something a little more powerful that’s just as compact. Our 5.5 tonne Kubota excavator is a versatile machine that offers various attachments to meet a range of applications.

The attachments you’ll use depend on your job requirements. If your next job involves digging post holes, you are going to need to attach an auger to your excavator. For large digging and breaking jobs, you’ll need a to attach a hammer or ripper, and for trenching and earthmoving projects you’ll need a bucket. The exact type of attachment will depend on the specific circumstances of your project.

When to use a skid steer?

Skid steers have booms and buckets that face away from their driver. This orientation makes skid steers easier to manoeuvre and more useful in narrow areas than a standard mini excavator.


Mini skid steer loaders are ideal for digging pools, residential upgrades, and site cleaning, where limited space makes operation difficult.

Types of skid steers

The Toyota Mini Bobcat’s compact size allows it to access areas other machines can't reach. Its 4 in 1 bucket performs a variety of tasks, including grabbing, dumping, scraping, and levelling. Mini Plant Hire also have a spreader bar attachment for the Toyota Mini Bobcat, that allows the operator to level out soil quickly and easily.

For an even more lightweight option, the Toro TX1000 Dingo provides a durable, off-road alternative. By operating on tracks, the Dingo provides added stability in difficult terrain, including wet or slippery areas. For uneven and tricky job sites, the Dingo is ideal.

Mini Plant Hire have the widest range of mini excavators and mini skid steer options, to suit any job site in Melbourne. For all you excavator needs, mini has you covered.


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