Which type of excavator is right for your job: The different types of diggers

Is excavator hire right for you?

Over the years we’ve all seen many an excavator at work at the roadside or on a construction site and, although we’ve all thought about how much fun it would be to “have a go”, most of us have considered digger operation to be the exclusive terrain of construction professionals… until recently.

During the Covid 19 lockdowns plant hire companies started noticing a growing phenomenon: inexperienced users were increasingly approaching plant and tool hire companies to rent machinery and equipment for ever more ambitious domestic DIY projects.

Inspired by lockdown boredom and Youtube tutorials, DIY enthusiasts started to take it upon themselves to carry out increasingly complex garden landscaping and home renovation projects.

Mini digger hire for residential projects reached unprecedented levels, and the trend shows no signs of slowing down.

With mini excavator hire made increasingly accessible, there has never been a better time to take the plunge and hire a digger for that niggling project!

What are the different types of excavators and which is right for my project?

For residential projects, the maximum digger size you will probably contemplate would be 6 tonnes.

Diggers are classified by weight, with diggers under the weight of 6 tonnes being classed as “mini diggers” and small machines weighing 1.5 tonnes and below being considered “micro diggers”.

The bigger the digger, the more powerful, but the less versatile and manoeuvrable. Diggers over the weight of 6 tonnes would usually be utilised for large construction sites, roadworks or landscaping projects.

X-Hire keep a large and up to date stock of the most highly demanded diggers and attachments, the most popular machines include:

Micro diggers:

For digging projects in hard to reach areas, tight spaces or places with narrow access points, micro diggers provide a truly versatile solution. 0.8 tonne Micro diggers are compact machines used mainly for residential garden projects and interior demolition as their retractable tracks allow them to fit through standard doorways and garden gates. With a maximum digging depth of 1.7 m, these machines are ideal for smaller trenching projects.

Mini Diggers:

With machine sizes ranging from 1.5 tonnes to 6 tonnes, there is a mini digger out there to suit just about any project. Smaller machines tend to be narrower, including features that allow them to fit through garden gates and narrow access points. These machines are popular for digging trenches, garden landscaping, digging up driveways and ploughing snow.

At the larger end of the mini digger scale we have the 4-6 tonne machines. This type of excavator is great for digging swimming pools or for large ground clearance projects. These machines achieve 3-5 metre digging depths, although they are much wider than smaller mini diggers and will not be able to navigate narrow access points.

If you are undertaking a much larger project such as a large demolition, a site clearance or a large agricultural project you may be interested in large digger hire.

X-Hire has a range of diggers over 6 tonnes for hire. We are very conscious of the effect of the high costs of fuel on our industry, and we aim to stock powerful machines designed for fuel economy such as the Kubota KX080-4. 

This  8 tonne digger has a direct injection diesel engine and load-sending hydraulic system. This machine is designed for reduced fuel consumption, drastically cutting operating costs.

X-Hire also provide 13 tonne digger hire with the JCB JS130. This machine offers excellent digging and lifting power whilst saving up to 10% fuel in comparison to other conventional models.

Will I need a special licence to operate a digger?

According to the Government website, there is no need to hold any specific licence to operate a digger or other plant machinery. Operators must be of legal age, with exceptions made for cases where young people are undertaking official training or apprenticeships.

You must, however, only be using this machinery on private property and not driving it on public roads. If you have any doubts or concerns regarding this point, speak to X-Hire for clarification. 

If you are considering mini digger hire for your next project and would like to talk to someone about the different types of digger available for hire, speak to X-Hire today. With a regularly updated fleet, X-Hire can provide a comprehensive nationwide service, leading brands and competitive prices.

Get in touch today on 0330 100 2833 or click here! Our friendly team will be more than happy to assist with your enquiries.