As contractors who take their jobs seriously, it makes sense that you want the best equipment out there. Every year as new technologies come out and brands introduce new versions of machines, it’s a question people ask a lot. Mini excavators, in particular, have been becoming a more popular machine. Their small body and versatile applications make them a valuable machine. So, what is the best mini excavator?
The Best Mini Ex – Or Any Other Machine
Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to this question. The “best” type of any machine simply doesn’t exist. The best machine for one job may not be the best for another. The actual machine itself is going to be similar across different makes. But the additional parts – GPS, telematics, available attachments, etc – will change. Some contractors are more comfortable with one brand versus another which means that the best machine for them is unique.
The same way you can’t really have a “best book” or “best movie” of the year, there is no “best mini excavator” for the year. If the Oscars can’t make everyone happy, neither can a single mini ex.
However, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a perfect mini excavator for you or your job.
How To Choose the Best Mini Excavator For The Job
There are a few things to consider when choosing the best mini excavator.
What is the job you need to do?
The first step is to really think about the job and what you need the machine to do. In many smaller projects, jobs by sidewalks, on household lawns and private properties, or for doing trench or small-scale digging, a mini ex is a great machine.
However, the mini ex may not be a good fit for your job at all. A backhoe may be a good fit if you want to focus on moving more so than digging. Maybe a larger excavator is a better fit. Maybe you’re only looking at mini excavators because of the attachments and there’s an independent machine that can do that independently.
Deciding Between a Mini Ex and Backhoe?
If you’re not sure if a mini ex or backhoe is best for your job, we’ve broken down some things to consider to help you decide.
The best way to make a job efficient is to rent the equipment that is the best fit. If your answer to these questions is a mini excavator, then you’re in the right place.
Do you need your mini excavator to have bells and whistles?
For some projects, GPS systems, additional attachments and telematics are must-haves. Depending on the season, you may need air conditioning in the cab. With equipment technology advancing all the time, electric powered mini excavators are starting to be seen in the market.
While many of these additions are available with many brands, some brands may be better suited for what you need.
How To Choose a Brand of Mini Excavator
Contractors often go with whatever brand they know best and are most comfortable with. John Deere is a way of life, after all, not just a brand name. Skid steers are a great example of this: many people only like to use bobcat skid steers. It’s the name synonymous with the machine and many people trust that even though skid steers are also made by a number of other brands.
The biggest difference between brands are the controls. Operators get comfortable with using a set of controls and switching for a short-term rental could impact productivity. Not all machines have different controls but it does happen.
The personal preference of a brand is one of the biggest reasons why there is no “best” machine or mini excavator. It’s as personal as what boot style you like or what brand of tool you trust.
What size of machine do you need?
Now that you’ve settled that a mini excavator is the best machine for the job, you know what extras you need it to have and you have a brand in mind, it’s time to think about size.
The best mini excavator size completely depends on the job. Many homeowners will rent 1 or 2-ton mini excavators for small yard projects. However, mini excavators can be rented for up to 9 tons (link to mini excavator rental page). That’s a wide range of small-sized excavators for any number of projects.
If it’s a residential project, the demand of the machine may not be as high as an industrial or sewer project. The terrain and materials needing to be dug and moved can also have an impact on what size you need since lifting capacity is directly related to size.
Renting the Best Mini Excavator For You
While it would be great to announce that a single mini excavator is the best one out there and the only mini ex you’d ever need again. . . it’s just not realistic. Like many other things in life, it’s better to ask the question, “What is the best mini excavator for me and my job?”
Hopefully these questions and points help to guide you to the best mini ex for you and to help you pivot your mindset when looking for equipment for your next project.
If you want some more info on the other types of equipment out there, check out our Equipment Tips on the DOZR Hub.