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To strip a piece of ground, to pull out a hedge, to make a trench..., earthworks require a large budget if a professional is needed. To reduce the bill, the solution is to rent a mini-excavator. How is it handled? Here is the guide:

How to use a mini excavator?

Tutorial: how to use a mini-excavator?: bucket

1 Bucket
2 Pendulum
3 Telescopic Arrow
4 Cabin
5 Caterpillars
6 Backfill Blade
7 Arrow Pivot

Tutorial: how to use a mini-excavator?: mini-excavator

8 Accelerator
9 Unlocking the hydraulic control
11 Quick move
12 Moving caterpillars: manual or foot control
13 Arrow pivot rotation control
14 Arrow control handle
15 Backfill Blade Control
16 Start switch

Starting the mini excavator

Start the minipelle

Starting the engine
After deactivating the antitheft system, with a magnetic key or a code depending on the model, the diesel engine starts in two stages. A first turn of the key starts preheating and once the light off, a second notch activates the starter.

Unlock the miniipelle controls

Unlocking the hydraulic controls
The left armrest, where the two controls of the shovel (joysticks) are located, serves as security. In the raised position, it locks all hydraulic controls. To start using it must be lowered using the long metal handle.

Handle a minipelle

The two tracks are independent and controlled by the two levers arranged at the front of the cabin with a foot call. Operated simultaneously forwards or backwards, they allow moving forward or backward in a straight line. To turn or to turn around, the levers are operated unevenly or inversely to one another.

The controls of the miniipelle

The joysticks
The right joystick is used to lower or raise the arrow (up / down) and to open the bucket (left / right).
The left handle directs the movement of the balance (up / down) and rotation of the turret (left / right).

Driving a minipelle

The accelerator
Located on the left armrest, the throttle sets the engine speed. The speed affects the torque and the speed of the movements of the excavator.
Most of the time, it is best to work with a maximum diet equivalent to 70% of capacity. For the grip, limit to a regime equivalent to 30 \%.

Use a mini-excavator

Smooth the ground with a miniipelle

Level the earth
The ground can be leveled and smoothed with the back of the bucket, but it requires dexterity. For occasional use, it is easier to use the backfill blade when going back and forth. A good finish is achieved by correcting the level of the blade as and when. The blade also serves to stabilize the machine during work and must be lowered before starting the earthwork.

Positioning the minipelle

Position the machine
Before starting, lower the backfill blade until it lightly relieves the front of the tracks. Then simply extend the arm as far as possible by lowering the arrow and opening the bucket as much as possible. It is important to understand that movements are not independent and can be operated simultaneously. For example, by pressing the right joystick at 9 o'clock, the bucket is closed while raising the boom.

Dig with a mini excavator

Digging the ground
The first layer is often hard to dig because the soil is stabilized by many roots. Use the bucket closing movement, which is the most powerful of the mini excavator, while bringing the balance back.

Empty the bucket

Empty the bucket
To extract the full bucket, lift the boom while keeping the bucket in a horizontal position. Rotate the turret smoothly until you reach the unloading area. Open the bucket to drop the soil. If it sticks, shake the bucket by moving the joystick slightly from left to right.

Unscrew the arm of the mini excavator

Intervene along an obstacle
When the machine can not be placed in the axis of the trench, it is possible to offset the arm by rotating it on the cab, using the foot pedal right foot. This maneuver can also simply provide a better view of his work.

Mini-excavator: the security measures

Safe driving a mini excavator

For the driver, the main danger comes from the risk of crushing following the reversal of the machine. It is therefore essential to fasten the seat belt and to have a closed cabin. You must always cross over the slopes and avoid working at full speed.
Finally, no one should approach the machine until the driver has raised the armrest that locks the hydraulic controls.

Tips for using a mini excavator and accessories

Change bucket on the mini excavator

Change bucket
Place the bucket a few centimeters from the ground and detach it from the balance with the specific key.
Fit the other bucket by grabbing it directly with the arm.

Do not damage the grass with a mini-excavator

Avoid traces
To cross fragile areas (driveway, pavement, terrace, lawn...), have boards on the ground and avoid sudden changes of direction if the minipelle rolls on the grass

Move with a minipelle

Quick move
The machine has a second gear activated with the button located at the level of the left foot. This speed is used exclusively for movement and should not be used during work.

Raise with a mini-excavator

With lifting straps, it is possible to attach loads directly to the bucket teeth or to the end of the arm (bucket removed). Some machines have an electronic control unit that automatically limits the force of the hydraulics if the load is too heavy to avoid overturning.

The accessories of the mini excavator

Mini excavator accessories
More and more auxiliary tools can be adapted (breaker, auger, tilting bucket...). The machine must then be equipped with an auxiliary circuit (a free hydraulic circuit). BRH (hydraulic breaker) attaches to the arm. Two hydraulic hoses simply need to be clipped to the auxiliary sockets after taking care to break the pressure (by shaking the joysticks in the vacuum, engine off and contact reset).

Install the lock on the minipelle

These construction machines are highly coveted. It is imperative to secure all accessories (buckets, auger...) and at rest to lock the tools under the blade.

The three reasons to rent a mini excavator

  1. Easy to take in hand, it can tackle work that can not be done by hand or very expensive to do (tearing up a hedge, making a trench for the passage of underground networks...). You must at least have the license EB (large trailers) and a suitable vehicle (see gray card) to tow the gear of the renter. Do not forget to think about delivery.
  2. Although expensive by the day, the mini-excavator save money by doing yourself expensive work on estimate. The price of the day varies between the city and the countryside (from 150 to 300 € approximately). Add to this the delivery which varies from 70 € for the small reneurs delivering the machine on trailer to 150 € if the delivery is done by heavy weight. Finally, the renter re-invoices specific insurance for the use of the machine (10% of the rental price approximately). Compare rates (rental + insurance + delivery) and get the tools and buckets provided before booking.
  3. The adaptation of special tools (auger, jackhammer...) allows to consider many uses. Enjoy the rental of the mini excavator for program several types of work !

Video Instruction: How to Operate a Mini-Excavator