Before going into the basics of operating a mini excavator, it is important to know about the mini excavator and its uses. Simply put, mini excavator is a wheeled vehicle that generally includes a standard backfill blade and independent boom swing. Apart from digging, mini excavators can do grading, lifting heavy items and compacting a subgrade. Based on the digging depth of the boom and bucket, mini excavators come in various sizes.

While you can have a dedicated person to operate the mini excavator, you can even operate it on your own to save time and money. Well, you may be wondering as to how to operate a mini excavator without prior experience. Fret not! We share some tips to help you operate a mini excavator on your own.

Tips on How to operate a mini excavator better

  • The first step is to read the operators’ manual to get familiar with the controls’ location and description. You also need to read the warning labels and stickers as well as maintenance information, specification charts and other important information posted around the machine.
  • Now, get ready for the action and enter the mini excavator form the side by stepping on the track and then entering the roll cage.
  • Sit firm in the operator’s seat. Study and get familiar with the controls.
  • Fasten the seat belt in order to ensure your safety as mini excavation might tip over.
  • Hold the joysticks and move them around to know how they work. This is important because they control the bucket/boom assembly and the swivel. While the right side joystick controls the front boom and bucket curl, the left joystick controls the back knuckle and machine swivel. By default, these joysticks return to the neutral position when they are released. Learn to operate these joysticks.
  • Look down between your legs to locate two long steel rods with handles attached on the top. These are the drive/steer controls, which control the rotation of the track on the side it is located.
  • You will also find two hand controls located directly in the front of the roll cage. The left control is used to run the left track and the right control to run the right track. The mini excavator can be moved forward and backwards by using these hand controls together.
  • On the right side, in front of the instrument cluster, there will be two more levers. The first lever is the throttle which is used to adjust the engine speed and the second is used for controlling the front blade movement i.e., up and down.
  • After learning and understanding the controls, locate the ignition key on the back right and turn it on to start the machine.
  • Now start manoeuvring the machine. However, always make sure that both the hoe boom and front blade are raised.
  • Move the machine, turn it and take it back to get used to the handling mechanism and speed. In order to try out the various functions of the machine like digging etc., find a suitable place.

To sum up

Keep on practicing with all the controls till you feel confident as all said and done, mastering the art of operating the mini excavator will take some time. So, get going!