Because of its versatility and ease of operation, the mini excavator is a desirable addition to any construction equipment fleet and one of our most often rented pieces of equipment. We’ve included some general information regarding mini excavators, as well as some pointers on how to operate one efficiently and securely.
A micro excavator is a smaller version of a normal excavator. It comes in both tracked and wheeled versions and can carry up to 20,000 pounds. Any excavator that weighs more than that is called a conventional excavator however, others argue that the cutoff point should be lower — around 10,000 pounds. The bucket size of a micro excavator ranges from 12 to 24 inches. Read our thorough guide on the 7 varieties of excavators to discover more about the differences between mini and other types of excavators.
1. Less ground damage — Because mini excavators are lighter and smaller, they do less damage to the top layer of the ground. They’re easier to maneuver around crowded job sites because they’re compact (like indoor areas or parking lots).
2. More maneuverable — Their smaller diameters make them easier to use, and their 360-degree rotation makes them perfect for working in tight locations.
3. Easier to transport — Unlike larger excavators, a tiny excavator can be loaded and unloaded rapidly into a trailer or even a truck. Of course, you’ll want to double-check that the trailer can handle the load beforehand.
4. Has a longer shelf life — Because it lifts less weight and carries smaller loads, a tiny excavator has a longer shelf life. A normal excavator, on the other hand, is subjected to far more stress and strain over time. Read How to Extend the Life of Your Machinery for more information.
5. Greater adaptability — Mini excavators may be utilized for a wide range of tasks due to their ability to work with a variety of attachments. This enables them to perform a variety of tasks other than excavating and destruction. Repairing sewer systems, snow clearing, and building hot tubs and swimming pools are just a few of them.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Using a Mini Excavator
You can find extensive instructions in the video above, but here are some highlights.
Step 1: When climbing into the excavator, make careful to lift yourself up and in using three points of contact. Keep in mind that falls are the leading cause of fatalities in the construction industry.
Step 2: Securely fasten your seatbelt.
Step 3: Shut the door behind you.
Step 4: Turn the key in the ignition to start the machine.
Step 5: Examine the machine’s display to check if any warning lights or other indicators are illuminated. Make sure the fuel tank is full.
Step 6: Remove the safety lock.
Step 7: Raise and lower the boom using the joystick on the right. Pulling the joystick back to raise the boom and pushing the joystick forward to lower it is how you accomplish it.
Step 8: To “open” and “shut” the bucket, use the same joystick. To open the bucket, press the joystick to the right, and to close the bucket, press the joystick to the left.
Step 9: Move the excavator’s stick with the joystick to the left. The joystick goes forward when pushed forward, and backward when pushed backward.
Step 10: The left joystick is also used to swing the cab to the right and left.
Step 11: To drive the excavator, make sure the blade is up and then push the machine forward with the pedals on the floor. Lower the blade to stabilize the machine once you’ve repositioned it.
Before you begin, make sure to:
It’s a good idea to prepare and plan how you’ll approach the work ahead of you before you go on the machine. Many operators fail to thoroughly consider their approach before starting work, resulting in a loss of time and fuel. Choosing a location for your spoil pile is one of the first tasks you should do. This will assist you to avoid becoming “boxed in” in the middle of the project by accident. You should also inform your team of your plans so that they can stay safe and out of harm’s path.
In order to maximize productivity, you’ll also want to make sure you have the correct size attachments available.
Test the excavator on a level surface before beginning your project to ensure there are no balance difficulties. Use this opportunity to inspect the machine for any problems, such as oil leaks or track damage. Before you start working, make it a habit to check your coolant and oil levels every day.
- To avoid hitting the blade or tracks with the bucket when moving the arm close to the cab, use caution.
- Ensure that the machine’s tracks are parallel to the ground. To avoid a tip-over, double-check that the machine is on solid ground whenever possible. While mini excavators are generally stable machines, you should take every precaution to keep yourself, the excavator, and anyone around you safe. Plus, if you want to dig a level trench, you’ll need to make sure your machine is level first.
Cab passengers should be included as well.
Pay attention to your surroundings, particularly what is commonly neglected, such as overhead barriers or buried objects beneath the earth. Use the excavator mirrors and cameras for what they were designed for. When trenching, keep your distance from the edge in mind, especially if the soil is loose and prone to cave-ins.
Tips for maximizing efficiency:
Prepare, prepare, prepare — the importance of this cannot be overstated. By planning ahead, you can increase your efficiency. This entails picturing how your project will go and even mapping it out using stakes, twine, or a chalk line. When devising your strategy, try to think of ways to minimize machine movement to a minimum. This will save you time, reduce the number of hours and pressure on the machine, and maybe save your fuel expenditures.
Source: Blue Diamond
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