A Step-By-Step Guide to Mini-Excavators
If you take your construction operation seriously, maintaining high-quality standards and adhering to tight deadlines should be at the top of your priorities list. To do that, you may often require lightweight and easily maneuverable machinery that can fit and turn in tight spaces without damaging surrounding structures while still being able to operate in rougher terrains.
The best equipment for these scenarios is a mini-excavator, as it is equipped with significant power and designed to maximize maneuverability, making it an incredibly versatile and useful piece of equipment. As their name suggests, mini-excavators can perform essentially the same functions as standard excavators, with the main difference being their size.
Mini-excavators come in different sizes and weights, but they are generally designed with the same main components, which include the cab, engine, house, undercarriage, stick, and blade.
An operator will sit in the cab, which is held in the house that is mounted on top of the undercarriage along with the engine and hydraulic cylinders. The stick is a long-hinged arm operated with hydraulics, and it can connect to various attachments, such as trenching buckets, grapples, thumbs, and blades.
What can mini-excavators be used for?
The mini-excavator’s compact design, simple dual joystick controls, and extreme maneuverability make it the ideal piece of equipment for several different types of tasks. This is amplified even more by the fact that a wide range of different attachments can be added to a mini-excavator’s stick. So, depending on where it is needed and what it is needed for, these attachments can be switched out.
Mini-excavators are commonly used for many projects including plumbing & pipefitting, demolishing concrete, digging holes & trenches, residential & commercial landscaping, stump removal, drilling holes and much more.
The Basics of Operating a Mini-Excavator
Operating a mini-excavator is relatively easy. However, when you are new to using this piece of equipment, it is important to learn its operational steps well to ensure that you can use it safely and effectively. The following are the most important steps to follow during the operation of a mini-excavator:
Lower the Blade
Before you start operating your mini-excavator, the first thing to do is lower the blade. You can do this using the control lever. Continue lowering the machine’s blade until it tilts the excavator up slightly.
Use the Throttle for Power
For power, you can use the mini-excavator’s throttle. If you are new to working with a mini-excavator, you may want to consider only using half its power while operating it until you become more comfortable.
Use the Stick and Bucket for Excavating
Excavating is one of the many uses of this machine. If you want to do some excavating with your mini-excavator, start by pushing the primary stick to extend the stick outward. Once it has extended about halfway, you should angle the bucket using the bucket control. Then, lower the boom until the bucket’s teeth hit the ground, and use the joysticks to adjust its angle as needed.
Dig With the Stick
To dig into the ground, pull on the stick and then pull the main boom lever to maintain your grade. If you have either a variable-angle boom or a swing boom, you can swivel it to dump the dirt. Alternatively, you can turn your excavator and drive the dirt to another location to dump it.
Helpful Tips for Operating a Mini-Excavator
In addition to learning the basics of operating a mini-excavator, it may help to have some additional operating tips and tricks on hand to ensure that everything goes smoothly. The following are some key tips that any mini-excavator operator could benefit from:
1. Read the instruction manual carefully
Although this tip may seem like a no-brainer, it is certainly important, as your mini-excavator’s operator’s manual will contain valuable information you can benefit from.
In addition to providing more specific details about how to use the controls, it will also indicate the location of warning labels and fire extinguishers and will describe the conditions for when it is safe and unsafe to operate the equipment. Even if you do not read the entire manual, giving it at least a once-over can help make a big difference.
2. Always inspect your mini-excavator first
Just like any other piece of heavy equipment, it is crucial to always thoroughly inspect your mini-excavator frequently, especially before operating it. During these inspections, look for signs of loose hoses or fluid leaks, as either of these issues could impact the performance of your equipment and pose hazards.
Additionally, make sure you always check the oil, coolant, and lubricant and inspect the tracks for signs of damage.
3. Practice driving on tracks
The majority of mini-excavators drive on rubber tracks, and these tracks handle quite differently than wheeled axles. So, if you do not have experience driving on such tracks, practice driving on them until you feel more comfortable. Test how they respond to controls and how they feel on different terrains so that you can get the full picture.
Why Oaken Equipment Is a Great Place to Purchase Your Next Mini-Excavator
If you are interested in adding a mini-excavator to your fleet, it is important to choose one that is top-performing, like those manufactured by Bobcat. Bobcat’s mini-excavators are made to last, and they incorporate state-of-the-art technology that allows them to outperform the competition.
Whether you want a new Bobcat mini-excavator or are in the market for a used Bobcat mini-excavator in Ontario, you can rely on Oaken Equipment, Canada’s largest Bobcat equipment dealer network, to find one that will suit your needs.
We have a team of skilled equipment experts and experienced Sales Associates who will work with you to help you find exactly the kind of mini-excavator you need to get your job done. We would be glad to answer any questions regarding our wide stock of Bobcat equipment and show you why Bobcat is the best in the industry..
To make it even easier for you to decide on the right mini-excavator for your needs, we can arrange for a machine demo to let you test out the gear and make the right call.
For more information about our used Bobcat mini-excavators in Ontario, or to learn more about any of the other Bobcat equipment that we have in stock, call Oaken Equipment at 1-888-861-1447.