Mini-Excavator Operating Tips

Mini-Excavators are one of the most highly versatile pieces of equipment on a work site. But getting the most from your investment in both productivity and lifetime value is largely dependant on how your operators use the machine. Below are a set of useful reminders and operating tips for your Mini-Excavator for maximum value.

Note: Plantman Equipment recommends you are properly training in the operation of the machine and have adequately reviewed the machine’s specific operation manual and are familiar with its recommended operation prior to using the equipment.

Pre-Start Checks for your Mini-Excavator

  • Ensure you always use the provided seat belt before starting the excavator. Never operate the machine when not properly seated in the cab.
  • Never carry passengers in or on the machine.
  • Check indicator and gauge lights.
  • Take note of bystanders and fellow workers prior to starting the machine.
  • Test all boom, slew and blade controls before starting work.

Travelling the Mini-Excavator

  • Prior to moving the machine, make sure no one is in your path or in close vicinity.
  • Steer the machine in as straight a line as possible to your destination, making small gradual changes in direction where necessary.
  • Slow down when going over rough terrain.
  • When travelling up a slope ensure that you move up or down the slope vertically, not diagonally against the slope face.
  • When travelling up a slope, the boom arm should be extended forward with the bucket positioned low to the ground to counter balance the machine. This will allow for the bucket to be quickly dropped to grip the ground should the machine start to slip down the slope.
  • On very steep slopes the bucket can be extended and used to grip the ground and then be slowly retracted back to the machine to help pull the machine up, while travelling forward at the same time with the tracks.
  • When travelling down a slope the boom arm should be positioned forward with the bucket positioned low and flat to the ground allowing it to be used as a break if needed. The low bucket position will also improve visibility.

Digging with your Mini-Excavator

  • Prior to starting excavations, ensure you have checked with local authorities that your dig area is free from any potential buried lines or pipes.
  • When digging a trench ensure that your machine is level to the ground. This will improve your safety and assist with making your trench floor level.
  • Don’t position your excavator too close to the edge of a trench or excavation, and never dig underneath the excavator as this may cause the ground to become unstable and the machine to topple into the excavation.

Shutting down your Mini-Excavator

  • When shutting down the machine, park the machine on a level surface with the bucket and blade lowered to the ground. Set the RPM to low before switching off the engine with the key. Raise the pilot shut-off lever to the off position before exiting the machine.
  • When entering or exiting, make sure to be facing the machine and maintain three points of contact at all times.
  • To avoid condensation collecting in the fuel tank, refill the tank at the end of each day using the appropriate diesel fuel indicated in the machines operating manual.
  • At the end of the day’s operations make sure to lock all doors and hatches on the machine for maximum overnight security.

For more information on purchasing or hiring a mini-excavator contact Plantman Equipment today.