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Doosan mini excavator being hauled on a trailer
Doosan mini excavator being hauled on a trailer
Mini Excavator Rental for Landscaping: Maximizing Efficiency and Productivity
6 minute read
Kevin Forestell headshot
Kevin Forestell
June 1, 2023

Mini Excavator Rental for Landscaping

When it comes to landscaping projects, one of the best machines to use is the mini excavator. There are several reasons for this including the range of sizes and specs, their ability to maneuver in tight spaces, and how versatile they are because of the range of mini excavator attachments.

Mini excavators, also called compact excavators, can help you get several types of landscaping design jobs done. This includes digging trenches for utility lines, excavating areas for pools or ponds, removing stumps, placing rocks, grading and leveling, land clearing, putting up fences, and more.

Whether you're a professional contractor or DIYer, you can search the DOZR Marketplace to find the right mini excavator rental for single and multi-day projects.

The Power and Versatility of Mini Excavators in Landscaping

Some of the most significant benefits of why mini excavators are great for landscaping projects are their size, versatility, and efficiency. This is what makes them excel in executing several different types of landscaping tasks.

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Compact Size, Big Impact

Many landscaping projects happen on small properties like suburban homes and residential areas. These properties are often limited by tight spaces including smaller yards and narrower spaces between homes. This limits the amount of equipment that can work on landscaping projects.

Thankfully, mini excavators are designed exactly for this purpose. Ranging in size from 1 ton to 10 tons, 1-ton and 3-ton mini excavators are narrower and can typically fit through those tighter spaces, including fences. Once you get to 4-ton mini excavators, it can become a bit more difficult for these smaller spaces. However, larger machines can lift more and dig deeper which may be necessary given the task at hand.

The compact design of mini excavators makes them ideal for landscaping projects where full-sized excavators and backhoes can't go.

Superior Maneuverability

In addition to their compact size, they are also extremely maneuverable. Part of this is due to their size but is also affected by their zero or reduced tail swing, articulating boom, rubber or steel tracks, and ease of control. The blade that comes equipped on the front also provides extra stability.

Mini excavators are typically broken down into two categories: zero tail swing and reduce tail swing. Tail swing is just the term used to measure how far the tail of an excavator extends beyond the tracks when rotating.

Hitachi mini excavator working in a tight area
Hitachi mini excavator working on a landscaping project

Zero tail swing has the entire body of the cab rotate within the tracks while reduced tail swing extends beyond the tracks as little as possible. When working in tight, confined spaces, the amount of tail swing each machine has is important to know so that you don't end up hitting obstacles around you.

The articulating boom increases maneuverability by being able to adjust the boom however needed. This includes being able to reach up and over obstacles without having to reposition the entire machine.

The rubber tracks, which can be switched out for steel tracks, give improved traction, lower noise volumes, and lower ground disturbance. This helps mini excavators drive on lawns and properties while providing minimal damage to the surrounding areas.

Range of Attachments

There are so many mini excavator attachments that increase their versatility that we have two guides to the different attachments. Many of these attachments make the job of landscapers easier to perform. Frequent compact excavator attachments include mulchers, log splitters, trenchers, rakes, grapples, and augers.

Each of these attachments performs specific tasks that help with different areas of work including post-drilling, forestry work, removing bushes and shrubs, and more. Renting the right attachment with your mini excavator will help improve efficiency and productivity. Mini excavator attachments can be requested along with the machine on DOZR.

Common Landscaping Tasks Performed by Mini Excavators

Here are some of the tasks that mini excavators can handle comfortably, depending on their size.

Grading and Leveling

Just like excavators, mini-excavators are great for grading and leveling projects. Not only can they move large amounts of dirt efficiently in tight spaces, but the blade at the front of the machine makes grading easy to manage as well.

Doosan mini excavator grading and leveling
Doosan mini excavators used to dig and grade

This can be essential on landscaping projects as the all-in-one qualities help decrease the number of machines you need to get the job done and free up more space to move.

Digging Holes and Trenches

As should be clear, what makes mini-excavators so great is their ability to dig trenches and small and medium-sized holes. With the range of sizes of mini excavators, they also come with a variety of dig depths. This comes in handy for many landscaping needs including making pools and ponds, digging trenches for utilities, and building garden and water features.

Able to be fitted with many different types of bucket attachments, mini-excavators can be used to dig any type of hole that makes a landscaper's job easier.

Removing Stumps and Roots

When fit with grapples, brush cutters, stump buckets, or grab attachments, mini excavators can also be effective at tree stump removal, removing trees, land clearing, and debris cleanup. These attachments can also make it easy to move and place rocks to create a natural landscape, lift and place larger plants in feature beds, and clear vegetation to make that initial flower bed.

Bobcat mini excavator with a clamp attachment
Bobcat mini excavator with a clamp attachment

Advantages of Using a Mini Excavator for Landscaping

There are clear benefits to using mini excavators in addition to, and sometimes in replacement of, other earthmoving machines on landscaping projects.

Increased Efficiency

There are a few reasons why mini excavator offer increased efficiency. One of these reasons is the all-in-one capabilities mentioned earlier, which come from the versatility of attachments. They can grade and level the ground, transport materials, dig holes of different sizes and types, and be used to place plants and trees into their correct position. This is way more efficient than limiting yourself to just human labor.

Mini excavator and compact track loader working together
Mini excavators work great with other machines like CTLs and skid steers

Mini excavators are also engineered to be efficient. With fast cycle times, they can get jobs done quickly and they feature powerful hydraulic systems. The front boom also allows them to adjust to the obstacles around them, becoming extremely adaptable and maneuverable to the environment.

Cost Savings

Mini-excavators are also cost-friendly, especially if you like renting equipment. Depending on the equipment rental company, they're typically more affordable than backhoes and compact track loaders and are known to be reliable machines.

Environmental Friendliness

Lastly, mini-excavators are more environmentally friendly. They are available in electric and non-electric models, although the electric sizes are limited, and they have rubber tracks to reduce their impact on the ground.

With their size, they also have reduced fuel consumption because of their smaller engines. They also tend to produce less noise than other machines.

No matter the landscaping project, there's a job for mini excavators to accomplish. Whether it's clearing or grading land, moving big, bulky materials, or digging holes for pools, trenches, or trenches, mini excavators can get it done. Call DOZR today or search the DOZR Marketplace for your next mini excavator rental.

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Kevin Forestell headshot
Kevin Forestell
Kevin Forestell is CEO of DOZR and one of the co-founders. Kevin first got started as an entrepreneur when he founded Forestell Landscaping right after graduating from University. His love and passion for the industry and desire to help solve an equipment problem that contractors faced every day is what brought the founding team to start DOZR. Kevin is proud of the level of efficiency brought to the industry through DOZR and hopes that DOZR will help change the standard way equipment is rented.
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