A mini or compact excavator is usually a wheeled or tracked vehicle with an average operating weight of 0.7 tonnes. It has a bucket with either forward or rear entry and descent, bucket crane, hydraulic or electric boom lift and a hydraulic or electric boom raise. Usually it features independent boom lift and independent front entry. There are several types of mini excavator including tilt, articulation and pontoons.
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Trenching capabilities of mini excavators are similar to that of a dump truck, yet their compact design reduces the turning radius. Some of the attachments used with mini excavators are: boom plates, winches, road machines, trenching equipment and bagging systems. They are ideal for unearthing small diameter holes up to one foot in diameter and they are capable of digging through soil, sand, gravel, snow and ice. In addition to this they are ideal for trenching and landscaping work too. They can be used for unearthing the inner layer of a buried trench or for extracting earth for garden and agricultural applications.
The main drawbacks of mini excavator over other similar machine types are that they cannot be driven by tractors or other power sources and their maximum operating height is limited to a maximum of about twelve feet. The cab of this machine is very narrow and it requires a person to control it using a foot pedal and the driver needs to be certified for the job. The cab features hydraulic brakes that help increase traction on flat ground and increase the life of the machine. The tires are solid rubber, and there are no air tanks or fuel storage capacities. To increase the cab’s versatility, the machine comes with a detachable mast which allows the excavation work to be carried out in any location.