Mini excavators are a vital piece of equipment for much smaller scale or DIY projects thanks to their size and versatility. Full-sized excavators are often too big for most domestic projects, while a shovel and hard yakka simply won't cut it for the size of the holes or trenches that sometimes need to be dug. That's where compact excavators really come into their element. They are small and nimble enough to get into tight spaces, yet they can still move a serious amount of dirt.

So, how wide are mini excavators? Well, they come in a selection of different sizes and widths to meet the needs of a range of jobs. In this blog, we'll take a look at some of these different applications and which excavators may be best suited to them.

1. Digging holes, utility trenches and drainage ditches

There are a number of reasons why a hole may need to be dug that is big enough to warrant the use of an excavator. These include things such as:

  • Road signs
  • Large trees on private or public property
  • Trenches for utilities such as water pipes, gas lines, power, sewerage and telecommunications
  • Drainage ditches for excess rainwater management

These are all fairly small projects that don't require digs of significant width or depth. For this reason, a mini digger on the smaller end of the scale would be ideal. Additionally, these types of holes and trenches are often close to other structures which means there may be limited space, making it hard for larger machines to operate in.

2. Demolition

Many projects involve removing existing structures, whether they be old homes, barns, sheds, trees or other vegetation. Mini excavators are versatile machines that are excellent for carrying out this task. While a large excavator may get the job done much faster, it often isn't possible to block off part of a road while a large piece of heavy equipment goes to work. It's, therefore, necessary to use small excavators that can fit on the property while they demolish it.

Because demolition usually requires a long boom arm to either demolish a structure from the roof down or to pick up debris to put into a dump truck, it's likely that you'll need reasonably wide tracks for stability. In most of these types of situations, wide tracks shouldn't be a problem since the point of the job is to remove structures rather than preserve them.

3. Irrigation and landscaping

If you're installing an irrigation system that is large enough to warrant using this kind of equipment, there is a good chance your property is outside of the inner city or urban areas. Most properties in the suburbs already have established irrigation systems, but if you're looking to expand yours, there's a good chance a shovel will do.

For larger-scale irrigation projects, space may not be too much of an issue, in which case you may be able to use a mini excavator on the larger end of the scale with reasonably wide tracks. Even though irrigation generally does not require much dig depth, a larger machine will help get the job done faster. Wider tracks also mean better stability, so if you're dealing with bumpy and hilly land, you may need that extra width to keep the excavator from tipping over.

Landscaping, on the other hand, is likely to involve some much smaller spaces if there are already features and structures that you want to preserve. For this reason, the smallest excavator may be the only option.

4. Installing pools and spas

The size and width of the ideal excavator for this type of job will depend on the access to the backyard. Smaller, inner-city or urban properties can be quite compact with very limited access to the back, in which case you'll need to get the measuring tape to find out the minimum width of the access point. It might be a good idea to then go down a size just to be sure that it can reach the job site.

5. Drilling

Excavator buckets can be detached and replaced with a range of different attachments, including drilling augers, which can be designed to drill through rock, concrete or soil.

Projects that may require drilled holes can include:

  • Fence posts
  • Tree planting
  • Road signs
  • Landscaping
  • Mining
  • Drainage
  • Rock blasting

The depth of the hole and the strength and hardness of the substance that is being drilled through will affect the width of the ideal excavator. If the hole needs to be very deep, or if the material requires a lot of force to get through, a wider track base will be needed for the machine’s stability.

Kubota mini excavators

Our wide variety of construction equipment means that we have the right excavator for any job. They range from a compact machine with a minimum of 990mm adjustable tracks, right through to a 2200mm wide 8.3-tonne excavator. So get in touch with our friendly staff to discuss your needs and to find out which of our range of excavators for sale is best suited to you.