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A Beginner’s Guide To Small Excavator Operation

When it comes to plant hire, small excavators are one of the most popular machines. This is due to their versatility and efficiency. They make short work of small construction earthworks and therefore save time and cost. If you’ve got minor building work to do, and you’re interested in hiring a mini digger, then read our beginner’s guide.

What Is A Small Excavator?

A small excavator or ‘mini digger’ is identified by its size. Any excavator under 6 metric tonnes, that can dig no more than 1.5 metres is classified as a mini digger. They’re perfect for tight spaces, internal groundworks and small construction works. What’s more, they don’t require a license for use on private property. As a result, if you’re doing some work around your property, you can simply find a local plant hire company and get to work.

Our Plant Hire Guide For Beginners

Now that you know what plant hire and a small excavator is, you’ll probably want to know how to operate one. Although it will require more than this information to become an expert, we’ve outlined below the key elements to get familiar with before using your mini digger.

Health & Safety

First and foremost, the safety of yourself, and those around you is of paramount importance. This involves spacial awareness and ground safety. Always look above you for power lines and obstructions, and around you for other people and objects. What’s more, it’s also helpful to know what’s in the ground. Be sure to learn about the lay of the land before you start work, this way you can avoid hitting any gas or water mains or electric cables.

Excavator Operations Manual

Another important aspect of using your excavator is reading the operations manual that accompanies your plant hire. This will outline the controls and maintenance requirements before you get started. Maintenance is especially crucial to using your digger. This is because a poorly maintained machine won’t work properly. Additionally, it could cause long-term damage to the excavator resulting in costly repair bills.

Plant Hire On Different Terrains

Now that you’re safe and familiar with how to operate your plant hire, it’s time to learn about different terrains. For example, a solid concrete floor will interact with your digger a lot differently than wet soil. You need to take extra care in soil, as you can sink much faster than solid ground. Additionally, a slick surface like concrete can be less forgiving when it comes to movement. Furthermore, always ensure you have three points of contact when working on a gradient. This way, you can avoid tipping your mini digger.

Tips & Tricks

There are a few tricks and tips that can help you operate a small excavator more efficiently. Although some need to be taught and learned on the job, a key element to using a mini digger is understanding the best way to move. A lot of operators start off by using the arm and bucket purely for excavating. However, your boom is much more than an arm for digging, it can be placed on the ground and leveraged as a counterweight, a swivel point and a third point of contact, too.

Digger digging

Contact Corley Plant Hire For Small Excavators

If you’re looking for quality plant hire from experienced professionals, then look no further than Corley Plant Hire. Our team are experienced and knowledgeable and all our equipment is well-maintained. Get in touch today to find out more.


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