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What affects mini excavator hire rates in Melbourne?

03/10/2019

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There are a few factors that impact the rate that you will be charged when hiring a mini excavator. These factors include the amount of time the excavator will be required for, GST and tax, the size of the excavator and travel time. There can also be extras added onto this rate. Some extras may include penalty rates and wear-and-tear. It all depends on where you decide to hire your mini excavator from. Always ask for a quote first to ensure the hire aligns with your budget prior to locking yourself into a contract.

What are the common costs that will be included in a mini excavator hire price?

The job that you are undertaking may require either dry or wet hire. Whilst dry hire will save some money, wet hire ensures that your job will be completed to a high standard and will save you the costs of errors that can occur if you try to undertake the job yourself without the proper equipment training.
A rule of thumb to remember when hiring an excavator is that rate price will increase with the size of the excavator (tonnage), as larger machines cost more to maintain. On average, the approximate price for an increase in tonnage will equate to $5. As for wet hire, the price will be $50-$80 more per hour than for dry hire to account for the operator. 


Some common costs that can be either included in the rate or an add on include:

  • the number of hours of hire
  • the age of the excavator
  • fuel usage
  • cartage fee

This is to make up for the loss of ROI when the excavator is in transit from the depot to the job site. This is usually an agreed-upon 1-hour rate regardless of the distance (unless if this is considerable, in which case extra would be charged) unless the excavator is large enough to require mobilisation and escorts requiring a significant increase in costs


Don’t forget that operation on weekends, public holiday or outside of normal working hours will accrue penalty rates up to 2.5 times the rate as per Fair Work standards in Australia. These standards outline in the Building and Construction General Onsite Award MA00020 that:

  • Excavator hire on a Saturday after 12 pm: 1.5 x set rate
  • Excavator hire at night after 6 pm: 1.5 x set rate
  • Excavator operator working broken shifts with less than 8 hours between each: 1.5 x set rate
  • Excavator hire on Sundays: 2 x set rate
  • Excavator hire on public holidays: 2.5 x set rate

    What are the average rates of hiring a mini excavator?

    A mini excavator weighs under 7 tons and can cost up to approximately $150 per hour.

    Rates for dry hire (per hour):
    • 1-2T mini excavator: $40 + GST 
    • 3-4T mini excavator: $50 + GST
    • 5-6T mini excavator: $55 + GST
    • 7-9T mini excavator: $60 + GST

    Rates for wet hire (per hour):
    • 1-2T mini excavator: $115 + GST 
    • 3-4T mini excavator: $120 + GST
    • 5-6T mini excavator: $125 + GST
    • 7-9T mini excavator: $130 + GST

        Contact Mini Plant Hire

        If you’re looking for a Kubota mini excavator and attachment, contact Mini Plant Hire today to choose between out 1T, 1.7T and 1.8T diggers available for dry or wet hire in Melbourne, Dandenong, Clayton and Beaconsfield.

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