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4 attachments that increase mini excavator versatility


Posted by Sophia Rostron

Mini excavators are often favoured by job sites with tight quarters, able to go where larger machines can't. Mini excavators are ideal for work in backyards, inside buildings and around fences for digging, lifting and clean-up. Combining powerful performance with easy maneuverability, their hydraulic systems allow them to move large amounts of material quickly, and attachments make mini excavators a go-to in many industries in like landscaping, construction and agriculture. 

shutterstock_319163762.jpgAs the work performed by mini excavators can change throughout the day, a coupler enables the operator to quickly change excavator attachments and undertake many jobs in less time. 

Here are some examples to demonstrate the range of tasks a mini hydraulic excavator can perform according to CAT Operator and Application Specialist, Greg Worley


With digging depths of more than 10 feet, mini hydraulic excavators go far below ground surface. A variety of attachments are designed to improve digging speed, accuracy and precision.
  • Standard buckets dig through earth for many purposes, and you should determine what features are needed based on the job. Buckets for general excavation work come in many dimensions, and capacity depends on the bucket size and shape, along with the type of soil on your jobsite.
  • Don’t let cold weather or unexpected rocky patches delay operations. In areas with hard, compact or frozen dirt, rippers cut through challenging ground conditions to loosen soil and improve productivity.
  • Designed to drill holes of all shapes and sizes, augers can also bore through a variety of soil types. From installing fence posts or building poles to planting shrubs, an auger efficiently extracts soil to your specifications. In dense ground, select an auger with high speed and torque to prevent stalling. 


Images: Prime Rentals' Digging Bucket & Road & Rail Civil's Auguer attachments

Choosing the right bit for your application will also increase efficiency. For example, a tree bit features a tapered tip to drill holes with a large mouth and narrow base. This type of hole would properly fit a root ball. A tree bit could also drill holes with a small diameter to fill with mulch.     

Material Handling

Whether you’re picking out rocks and debris from soil, moving tree limbs or carrying materials for waste recycling, a tool to help navigate this task will improve accuracy.

  • Thumb attachments rapidly take bucket work from digging to material handling. Hydraulic controls located inside the cab optimize performance by allowing the operator to easily grasp items and move them. To increase efficiency, select a thumb that can fold back against the machine stick when not in use to seamlessly move between digging and grabbing.

Image: Cat Thumb attachment


Eliminate the need for multiple machines by using a mini hydraulic excavator for lifting tasks normally accomplished by a crane. For example, in drainage applications, the same piece of equipment can dig a trench, and then lift and place the pipe.

  • Select a machine and bucket with appropriate lift radius and capacity. Here, it’s essential to know the weight of the load you’re lifting. Reference the machine’s load chart to ensure safety.

No matter which attachment you choose, quality and design are important factors when selecting equipment. To last through many hours of use in tough environments, high-strength, tempered steel will stand up to wear and tear. Additionally, support from a trusted suppplier will ease concerns. 

Find mini excavator hire suppliers near you:

In fact, if you're questioning whether to use a supplier local to the area, take a look at our free eBook and learn the key reasons local suppliers can strengthen your project delivery. 

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Sophia Rostron

Sophia Rostron

As the Content editor at plantminer.com.au, Sophia works behind the scenes to keep our blog machine in motion. A student of Law and Business, she's very dependent on coffee and loves any excuse to travel.