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Tim Forestell
October 18, 2021

Mini excavators are quite different from full-size excavators.  Their small size makes them the ideal equipment rental for projects involving tight spaces. Renting a mini excavator also opens up a wide range of attachments to make this machine handy for different uses and job types. Whether you are looking for digging depth, standard excavation or even to help construct a swimming pool, finding the right attachment can be challenging.  Here are the top ten mini excavator attachments available for rent. 

1. Hydraulic Thumb

Hydraulic thumbs are commonly used for picking and placing materials like logs, branches and bigger stones. If you plan on picking up irregularly shaped objects this hydraulic attachment is highly recommended. The hydraulic thumb makes it easy to adjust for grabbing objects of different sizes. It can even be folded inwards for digging. Operation of this thumb is also super easy. Its controlled by a thumbwheel on the joystick so the operator can easily adjust the speed at which the thumb opens and closes. 

mini excavator thumb attachment
Image borrowed from Mini Excavator Thumbs.

2. Trenching Bucket

Trenching buckets are like no other. They are small and narrow allowing for trenches to be dug that are deep and slim. This attachment is a popular choice for mini excavators when the operator is looking for an attachment that makes digging deep in a precise way easy. It can improve precision digging and is great for project productivity. 

The bucket can easily break up the ground as the durable material used to make the bucket is abrasion-resistant and designed strategically to create the trenches.

operator with mini excavator with trenching bucket attachment.
Image borrowed from Rototilt.

3. Quick Coupler

Quick couplers are quite literally defined by its name. The quick coupler was created to limit the hassle and time it takes to switch attachments on the mini excavator. Rather than needing to hammer out pins to detach the previous attachment, all that is needed is for the operator to change the attachment by pressing certain buttons within the cab of the mini excavator. This attachment is also very common on larger machines like the regular-sized excavator. It makes it easy and efficient for operators to change what they are using on the fly. 

4. Hydraulic Breaker

A hydraulic breaker is commonly used for concrete and asphalt demolition work. The breaker is a useful attachment for a mini ex when rocks, concrete, and asphalt are needed to be broken down during excavation or demolition. A hydraulic breaker is also known as a hydraulic hammer as the pressure within the breaker is created by hydraulic energy. It is this energy that powers the attachment to move and break the rock into smaller pieces. This makes it easier to move off-site or to transport.

5. Auger Attachment

The small but mighty auger attachment is commonly used for excavating holes for fence posts, planting trees, concrete barriers and even for providing a foundation for maintaining the balance of pylons. Augers allow for easy hole digging because the operator can choose from various sizes, can change the rotation and alter the torque and speed for maximum digging capabilities. 

Choosing the right type of auger depends on the depth and diameter of the hole a job requires. More importantly the ground conditions in which the digging will take place impact the type of auger needed. Four common types of augers include light-duty, heavy-duty, tree and rock augers. 

excavator with auger attachment digging hole in soil

6. Plate Compactors

If you have ever used a hand compactor you know that compacting soil sod, or uneven ground can be tough on your body and lead to long, strenuous work. A plate compactor reduces time to complete a compassion job and removes the physically straining conditions the task normally puts on your body. 

This attachment for the mini excavator does the work for you as it allows the operator to compact trenches and rough terrain without having to leave the cab. It is operated by shock mounts distributing vibrations evenly providing compaction on the terrain. This attachment can level the ground, increase stability on the machine and compact the ground perfectly in tight spaces when needed. 

7. Tiltrotator

This powerful tiltrotator attachment is not made speciifically for digging, grappling or drilling holes. Instead, it is known as the “wrist” between an attachment and the hydraulic arm. It is an attachment used between the machine arm and the actual attachment to give the operator more movement abilities with the attachment itself. This allows the operator to tail swing freely and rotate the attachment in any direction. 

A tiltrotator can be rotated 360 degrees and can tilt up to a 45-degree angle, increasing the flexibility and precision of the mini excavator. This handy attachment can be used to also provide extra power to other attachments that have been mentioned like plate compactors, augers, or breakers to simplify the job.

8. Grading Buckets

Grading buckets are much different from other buckets because they are wider and smooth in design. They are commonly used for grading, sloping, leveling, backfilling and moving lighter materials like topsoil or mulch. This bucket can also be used for finishing work such as laying soil in a garden bed because the smooth bottom combined with the hydraulics in the mini excavator allows for grading and leveling the soil in any direction that is wanted. 

Although smooth buckets on a skid steer are just as good at doing this type of work, grading buckets on a mini excavator may be preferred for smaller work areas due to the compact design of the bucket in size. 

9. Heavy-Duty Buckets

Heavy-duty buckets are also known as a tooth-bucket and are commonly used for digging in aggressive terrain such as rock-heavy areas within soil. The teeth at the end allow for puncturing rough areas with ease and the high-strength steel increases the durability of the bucket when moving abrasive material. This attachment can also be used as a brush cutter. It can removing brush when needing to clean out a forestry area full of rocks, stumps, and roots while preparing the land for further construction. 

mini excavator with heavy duty bucket attachment digging in forest

10. Angle Tilt Bucket

Not all digging jobs are going to be on a perfect angle. With the angle tilt bucket an operator can rotate the bucket up to 45 degrees when working on a slope. This bucket is used for grading and leveling uneven ground allowing the operator to reposition the bucket to match the slope in which the bucket should be working. Unlike heavy-duty buckets this attachment can be used for finishing a job as well, smoothing the land rather than digging in rough terrain.

The 10 Best Mini Excavator Attachments to Rent

Finding the right attachment for your mini excavator should be easy. With proper research of the job conditions and what is needed to complete the task, there are various attachments out there that can help complete the job. Luckily enough not much work is needed as this article breaks down the common usages of these 10 attachments and what they should be used for within the construction industry. 

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Tim Forestell
Tim Forestell is one of DOZR’s co-founders and CCO. Tim got started in the industry as VP Operations for Forestell Landscaping before founding DOZR with Kevin and Erin. Aside from the amazing team at DOZR, his favourite thing about DOZR are the customers. Working with DOZR renters every day gives him a peek at the evolution of different projects and hearing stories about projects being developed from start to finish.
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