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A mini excavator or compact excavator is a tracked or wheeled vehicle with an approximate variable weight of 0.7 to 7.5 tons. Mini excavators very often are equipped with a backfill blade and occasionally a boom swing.
They belong to the same equipment category as skid steers and mini compactors: small construction equipment. The mini excavators usually weigh from 0.5 to 6.5mt.
Their compact size enables them to be used in different construction sites: roads and sidewalks for digging ditches, trenches to access pipelines, for grading, demolition, disbursement …
It can be equipped with various accessories: Hydraulic Hammer, bucket, auger… Mini excavators can have wheels or tracks. Appropriate equipment must be chosen depending on the type of soil you are working on.
Mini ExcavatorThere are three types of mini excavators:
- 0.5 to 2 tons
- 2 to 3 tons the most popular mini excavators
- 4 to 6.5 tons
Mini excavators from 7 to 12 tons are commonly known as midi excavators, the intermediate between mini excavators and excavators.
Mini excavators have become popular overthe last ten years: mini excavators’ sales have tripled. However, sales highly dependent on the market: a year of recession, like 2009, brought consequent sales decrease.
Manufacturers make constant progress in safety: cabin visibility, improving driver’s comfort to avoid back pain or muscular disorders, reinforcing mini excavators’ stability. However risks of accidents are always there. There are different types of risks:
- Technical problems: electrical, mechanical, ...
- Human error: bad move ...
- External hazards: wind, tipping, etc..
Mini excavators are known for their ease of use. The driver should be trained for this type of equipment and get the safety’s license.
The main mini excavator's manufacturers are Kubota (the world leader), Komatsu, Yanmar, Bobcat, Caterpillar, Volvo, Hitachi...