Practical construction site helper: digging with the mini excavator

Practical construction site helper: digging with the mini excavator

- Categories : Tips & Tricks

Different sizes, depths and soil conditions mean that digging a trench or excavation hole can vary greatly in terms of time and effort. Also the fortification, the surroundings as well as the basic shape of the excavation should be considered as a matter of principle. Appropriate tools and machines are essential.

The spade and the shovel

In loose and medium-strength soil, smaller trenches can be dug with a hand spade without additional motorised support. In principle, the spade is a basic tool and should be available on every construction site. Depending on the trench, the spade can serve as a shaping excavation tool as well as for straightening the trench wall. In addition, a shovel is needed to dig out the loosened soil.

The mini-excavator

In hard soil and above certain sizes and depths of a trench, work with a spade and shovel becomes difficult. In these circumstances, a mini-excavator can help. Mini excavators are small excavators (our mini excavators weigh around 850 kg) that can also be used on private or small construction sites. With them, manoeuvring and working is possible even in confined spaces. Due to the compact dimensions, the mini-excavator can get through almost any driveway, garden gate or into almost any backyard. In our assortment you will find mini excavators with petrol engine as well as with diesel engine. We also offer mini excavators with chain drive or wheels, so that the perfect all-rounder can be found for every construction site.

Mini excavators are relatively easy and self-explanatory to operate. A driving licence is also not necessary, so nothing stands in the way of their use. However, precautions should always be observed. Therefore, be sure to read the operating manual of your respective mini excavator before using it for the first time!

The excavation

Before you can start with your mini-excavator, the excavation hole must be measured and marked. Pay particular attention to sufficient distances to the house or other obstacles (electricity pylon, gazebo, swing, etc.). If you are working on a very cramped construction site, it is advisable to determine positions for the excavator before excavation begins and to keep these clear during subsequent operation. No excavated soil should be stored on the selected sites either, so that the excavator can move freely on its workplace and no problems arise during excavation.

The correct angle of slope

The slope angle depends on the nature and strength of the soil and describes the maximum slope between ground level and trench depth. With rocky soil, an almost vertical angle of 80° would be sufficient in purely theoretical terms. In soft soils such as very sandy soil, the slope angle should not exceed 45°. This angle ensures that the edges do not collapse and the hole is filled up again. A properly constructed slope thus prevents the ground from slipping and ensures safe and stable work. Keep in mind that a shallower angle also increases the size of the hole at ground level.

Step by step dredging

  1. Read the manual of your mini-excavator and familiarise yourself with the machine and its operation.
  2. Mark the required excavation hole, taking into account enough space for the movements of the excavator and any necessary embankment and excavation.
  3. Also mark the required excavation hole. Mark the minimum distance to your house or other obstacles.
  4. Drive your mini-excavator to the site and consider any fixed working locations for very confined construction sites.
  5. Make sure you have a firm footing and follow the safety instructions.
  6. Now dig the excavation hole or trench. The excavated material should first be temporarily stored at one point and only transported away later.

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