7 Advantages of using mini excavators

PlantMiner   |   August 6, 2015

Small and compact, the demand for mini excavator hire has skyrocketed in the past decade. They might look tiny compared to their heavy duty big brother, but mini excavators can still pack a mean punch.

This piece of machinery has a compact body, and allows multiple attachments and bucket sizes. So with a versatile range of functions, mini excavators are favoured around up-and-coming areas where lighter equipment is needed for smaller earthwork jobs.

So what are their major selling points when looking to hire a mini excavator?

1. They're easy to use

You can learn to operate mini excavators in a matter of minutes. Almost anyone can use this piece of equipment and start immediately.

2. Nooks and crannies are not a problem

Compared to full-sized excavators, mini excavators can easily maneuver into tight spaces. Accessibility is a major selling point to contractors and operators alike. Just check out this mini excavator maneuver through a china shop - case in point. 

3. They are quieter

Small machines produce less noise, especially when crossing hard surfaces and cement. Minimising the stress of noise complaints, mini excavators are a hot commodity throughout residential job sites.

4. They can be less damaging

With lighter equipment, you can avoid grinding or scraping the surface they operate on. The rubber tracks fitted to smaller machines also help load the machine for transport, reducing the risk of slips. Since mini excavators are easier to move around tight spaces, there's little need to tear down anything to accommodate the excavator. 

5. They are easily transported

Transporting machinery from one place to another is one of the biggest concerns when hiring equipment. Bigger machines are harder to transport, not to mention it would cost extra to move them around. Mini excavators, or smaller machines in general are easier to transport since they will fit into a pickup truck's trailer or extended pickup beds.


6. Functionality is not limited

Mini excavators work similarly to full-sized excavators. Its size does not limit its functionality. Mini excavators still have the ability to swing 360 degrees, which means that you don't have to re-position dump trucks to adjust to the location of the excavator - the mini excavator will simply just swing to place a load onto the dump truck wherever it is positioned.

7. They can save you money

Mini excavators are relatively cheaper to hire compared to the full-sized excavator. Hauling larger machinery on the highway requires special permits, which costs extra money. Since mini excavators are small and compact, they're easily transported on a pickup truck trailer and you don't have to have a special hauling permit to transport them. Operators on a mini excavator don't need a commercial driver's license, unlike full-sized excavators. Saving money on special permits and licenses is a major bonus for any contractor.


It is a common perception that smaller machinery carry less power compared to their full-sized counterparts, but that is not necessarily true. Even though mini excavators are smaller and compact, their functions and capabilities are comparable to that of a full-sized excavator. Mini excavators are convenient to use in small or tight spaces, but can often keep up with bigger machinery on large-scale construction sites.

Whether it's for a simple digging project in your backyard or a long term project, mini excavators can do the job. If you are considering hiring a mini excavator for your next project, make sure you are aware of some of the factors that can affect pricing. 

To help you out, we've created a free Ebook (below) which outlines 7 factors that can affect your plant hire rates.  



PlantMiner (now Felix Vendor Marketplace) is Australia's leading plant, equipment and subcontractor hire marketplace, connecting you with all your construction project hire needs in one place.

Related Articles

What kind of excavator do you need for different jobs?

Excavators are one of the most popular bits of gear on both mining and construction projects. Whether driving by a job site, or even operating the machine, most have seen excavators ranging from 0.5 tonnes all the way to over 500 tonnes.

4 attachments that increase mini excavator versatility

Mini excavators are often favoured by job sites with tight quarters, able to go where larger machines can't. Mini excavators are ideal for work in backyards, inside buildings and around fences for digging, lifting and clean-up. Combining powerful performance with easy maneuverability, their hydraulic systems allow them to move large amounts of material quickly, and attachments make mini excavators a go-to in many industries in like landscaping, construction and agriculture. 

Equipment, Insider
A comprehensive guide to excavator hire rates in Australia

Plant and equipment hire rates can be volatile and unstable. They are not one-size-fits-all, rather hire rates will depend on different factors and tend to be project specific. 

Get the latest project news

Formerly known as the PlantMiner blog, Felix Project News is Australia's top 10 Construction blog.

Join thousands of construction and mining pros getting the best content right in their inbox.

✓ updates on Australia's pipeline of state and federal projects

✓ fresh contract awards from major contractors and builders