Mini excavators are small and lightweight, easy to transport on a truck with a heavy duty trailer. And the two salient features make compact excavators exceptional choices in some projects, and even outperform large construction machines. For instance, SANY SY16C Zero Tail Swing (ZTS) mini digger allows 360-degree rotations without the cab bumping against obstructions.
Mini excavators weigh from less than 4,000 pounds to 18,700 pounds. Apart from the size, some features are equally important for deciding which model to purchase.
Engine power & cab design
The degree of push generated at the wheels and arms is determined by the engine power of compact excavators. Apart from horsepower, the torque speed and number of cylinders are key indications of the engine power. As for the cab design, enclosed cab tends to be more popular than the open type because it protects operators from tough weather and flying debris at construction sites, creating more comfortable and favorable environment for the drivers.
Three tail configurations are available for choice: zero, minimal and conventional tail swings. ZTS mini excavator is most preferred and the conventional type is the least popular in confined terrain, and the minimal is in the middle of the two tail swings.
Mini excavators can be equipped with rubber or steel tracks. The former can cause less damage on ground surface, and the latter is more robust and provides greater traction on loose terrain.
Attachments make mini excavators more a more versatile machine. Different sizes and types of buckets, augers for drilling holes, thumbs for lifting heavy stuff and hammers for demolishing concrete can be attached to the end of the digger’s arm.