8 Things to Consider When Hiring a Mini Digger

We have put together 8 things to consider when hiring a mini digger. These are possibly all aspects of a job you need to think about anyway, so when dealing with the project management of a small construction job, it is always worth taking these into account:

1) Are there any utility services in the area to be excavated?

When planning any work involving digging, remember that fibre optic communication cables, gas pipes, power cables, water pipes and sewers all run underground – and may be right in the path of your project. It’s vital for safety and ongoing maintenance that these services are located at the planning stage of your project to avoid any nasty or costly surprises during the digging phase. Tools such as cable detectors should be used and ensure you check with the utility companies before you start work.

2) How deep do I need to dig?

How deep you need to dig is governed mostly by what you are actually trying to achieve. If you are trying to level a garden or prepare footings for a conservatory your digging needs will be very different to someone building a basement extension or a swimming pool with an eight foot deep end.

Bucket sizes and digging widths need to be considered. For example, if you need to dig a trench which only requires a 6″ (150mm) cut you’ll need a digger of no more than 3 tonne because any larger than this the bucket linkage or quick hitch is too wide to accommodate such a small bucket.

3) What is the ground condition of the area to be excavated?

When hiring a digger it’s important to know what ground conditions you are going to tackle. For example, if the ground is very soft you will need to dig deeper footings than if it were very firm and therefore the digging depth may dictate that a larger digger with greater digging depth is required.

If the ground is very, very hard or the soil is heavy and sticky with clay you may find that you need a 3 tonne mini excavator with a typical bucket digging force of 22kN instead of a 1.7 tonne digger at approximately 15.2kN.

Also, if you need to break up and remove any surface material such as tarmac or concrete you may find that you’ll need to consider hiring a breaker (hydraulic hammer) attachment.

4) What do I intend to do with the excavated material?

Digging holes displaces the soil (or other materials) and it all needs to go somewhere. You may find that you can place the dug material somewhere else on your site. This can be particularly easy when landscaping, but not always possible or required on other projects or small plots. Perhaps you can manage with just a waste skip or perhaps you would find it much quicker and easier by hiring a skiploading dumper or a High-Tip 1000kg tracked dumper. Both machines can be loaded by the digger with about a tonne of material at a time and then can empty directly into a skip.

5) Are there any access or work area restrictions?

Size matters, or at least it certainly does sometimes! Check the access to your project. How much room do you have available within the work area? Are there any height restrictions? If you need to gain access to the rear of an existing property it maybe that your only option is one of our smaller micro diggers with it’s retracted tracks width of only 700mm. Also, give some thought to the road system surrounding the project, too. If the route to you is via a winding single track or your project is directly opposite a school or road works it is useful to pass on this information at the time of booking your hire in order to avoid transport delays.

6) How long is the project likely to take?

When you book your hire you will be asked how long you want to hire the mini digger for. This only needs to be an estimate as we never collect machines from site automatically, but obviously the longer you keep it the more it will cost. It’s a good idea to plan all the elements of your project that require the use of the mini excavator to be done within one time frame. However, it’s not often possible to achieve this, so it’s important to weigh up the difference in costs between sending the machine away to hire it again when it’s needed and keeping it tucked away on site for a day or two until it’s required again.

The weather – now there’s an unknown quantity! Bear in mind that rain, frost and snow will delay your project considerably.

7) How much will the hire cost?

You can hire mini diggers for anything from one day to three months. The hire rates vary depending on the size or type of digger. Contact your local FTH Hire Hub to get a quote.

8) Looking to Hire a Mini Digger?

If you’d like to hire a mini digger of any size or specification for your construction site project, then please get in touch with the FTH Hire Group. Or why not get a quote for your next hire.

These mighty yet small machines are available for hire across Farnham, Farnborough, Basingstoke, Guildford, Reading, Maidstone, Horsham, Southampton, Chelmsford and Airdrie. We cover Hampshire, Surrey, Berkshire, Sussex, Essex, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Kent, London, Lanarkshire and further afield for all eco plant hire. Please see all contact details for the hire hubs.

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