How To Operate A Mini Excavator

Knowing how to operate a mini excavator will save you time and money on your next outdoor project.  Mini excavators are known for their ability to work in tight places. In addition, renting mini excavators are much easier on the budget than renting a full size excavator.

What Is A Mini Excavator?

A mini excavator is a tracked vehicle that generally includes a standard backfill blade and features independent boom swing.  Mini excavators are made in different sizes based on the digging depth of the boom and bucket.

How To Operate A Mini Excavator

  1. Enter the mini excavator machine from the side by stepping on the track and then entering the roll cage.
  2. Fasten the safety belt.  This step is very important in case the mini excavator tips over.  The safety belt will keep you inside of the roll cage if the mini excavator tips over.
  3. Turn the ignition key, located on the back right, to start the mini excavator.
  4. Located on the right are 2 control levers.  The first lever is the throttle to adjust the engine speed.  The second lever controls the front blade movement, up and down.
  5. Located directly in the front of the roll cage are 2 hand controls.  The left control runs the left track and the right control runs the right track. Using the hand controls together will move the mini excavator forward and backwards.
  6. Next, there are 2 joysticks to run the boom, the bucket, and the swivel.  The right side joystick controls the front boom and bucket curl.  The left joystick controls the back knuckle and machine swivel.

How To Drive An Excavator With Safety In Mind

  • While the main function of the mini excavator is digging, it can also be used as extra support for stability when excavating on uneven ground. It also offers extra lift capability during lift operations. To avoid an unstable situation, be sure to raise the front blade before moving.
  • Use caution in rotating over the track with the arm fully extended.
  • The tracks should be on firm ground that won’t give way during operation and the machine should sit as horizontal to the ground as possible. This will reduce the likelihood of tip over and also provide stress-free work for the operator.
  • Mini excavator drivers should always wear protective gear including hard hat, safety glasses, ear protection, and hard toe boots.

We recommend watching this instructional video to assist you in learning how to operate a mini excavator.  In addition, the video will also explain how to modify the excavator track.


Rent A Mini Excavator from Northside Tool Rental

We rent mini excavators in many sizes based on digging depths of 5’, 7’, 11’, or 12’.  Contact us and we will gladly help you determine the correct size mini excavator to rent for your next outdoor project.