How to operate a mini excavator: training tips for novice operators


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When mini excavators were just introduced, they were considered as toys by those heavy equipment operators. But now, they have been widely used in construction sites with their distinguished performance in tight working areas, ease of operation, low cost and precise operation. For landscaping, small ditches for irrigation, and utility project, the compact machines can make work very easy. Here are the basics to operate a mini digger.

How to operate a mini excavator: training tips for novice operators

1.Find a level and clear area to try the machine. Mini excavators are stable and have superior features, but they still can be overturned. So it’s important to start out on level and firm ground.

2.Check if there is any loose or damaged parts, for instance oil leaks, other fluids dripping, lose control cables and linkages, damaged tracks, or other potential problems. These are standard procedures for operating any vehicles and construction machines, helping you to avoid hazardous operation.

3.Sit in the cab and moves the joysticks around a bit. The joysticks control the bucket/boom assembly and the rotation function that swings the upper part of the mini excavators.

4.The drive/steer controls rotate the track on the side it’s located on. When you push both sticks forward, the machine will move forward. But when you push an individual rod forward, it’s the same with pushing a stick backward, which will move the mini excavator backward. And the counter rotating will spin the machine in one place. The farther you move the controls, the faster the move will move. So it’s important to push or pull these sticks slowly and smoothly when you start operation.

drive/steer controls of mini excavators

5.If you want to accelerate the machine, step on the small pedal on the left of the floor board, which is the high speed control and boosts the drive pump. The pedal on the right side is used to pivot the mini excavator’s hoe left and right. Keep in mind that these two controls can only be used on stable and level terrain, otherwise it may case the tipping over of the machine. 

Mini diggers are exceptional choices for excavation work in limited spaces. Come and check SANY’s website, you will find a compact excavator suitable for your demand.



5 ton Wheel Loader

Rated Load

Rated Power
195/1800 kW/rpm

Bucket Capacity
3.0 m³


Operating Weight

Engine Power


SY35U-Tier 3

Operating Weight

Engine Power

Bucket Capacity


Overall Weight

Engine Power

Bucket Capacity
1.2 m³