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What jobs can a mini excavator do? Are they easy to use? How much does a mini excavator cost per day in Australia?

Mini excavators are some of the most versatile and impressive feats of human engineering. Somewhere along the line, mankind grew tired of shovelling dirt and found a way to utilise a machine to move large amounts of earth instead, and with very little effort. But, what jobs can a mini excavator do? Besides digging holes! And are they easy to use?

In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at mini excavators, their various uses, and how much a mini excavator costs per day in Australia.

What jobs can a mini excavator do?

So, what jobs can a mini excavator do? We’ve all seen the videos on YouTube of people using mini excavators to take the “ice bucket challenge” to a whole other level, but this isn’t something that we would recommend. Nor is it advisable to attach a rope to the mini excavator’s bucket and swing your friend around like a merry-go-round either!

However, health & safety nightmares aside, a mini excavator is one of the most versatile bits of kit on a construction site. Let’s look at some of the jobs that can be carried out when utilising a mini excavator:

  • Repairing sewer lines and other underground utilities: A mini excavator is an excellent option for jobs such as repairing sewer lines and other underground utilities. Often, a mini excavator can handle all of the same earth-moving jobs that a larger machine can do, but on a much easier, cheaper, and more accessible scale.
  • Swimming pool and hot tub installation: If you’re thinking about having a swimming pool installed in your garden then you’re going to need to move some earth about and make a big enough hole to accommodate your new toy. A mini excavator is ideal for working in a garden. This is because they’re small and compact and can easily be manoeuvred around a smaller space, whilst remaining highly effective at digging holes and moving earth.
  • Ploughing snow: Mini excavators are highly effective at clearing roads and driveways of large amounts of snow. If ever you find yourself under blankets of snow and unable to progress with a construction project, using a mini excavator to clear the way is another great means of utilising this machinery.
  • Knocking down small structures: If you need to knock down a garden shed or annexe – and fast – a mini excavator is an excellent tool for the job. Whilst you won’t be demolishing skyscrapers any time soon, for smaller structures, a mini excavator can be highly effective.
  • Digging holes: The obvious job that mini excavators excel at is digging holes! If you need to move some earth and create a nice big hole, then a mini excavator will save you plenty of energy and get the job done quickly.
  • Landscaping: Mini excavators are also widely used by landscapers and gardeners. If you want to renovate your garden and change the landscape, a mini digger can be used to create various tiers and levels in your garden. This is particularly handy if you’ve moved into a home with a garden that is uneven. An excavator can be used to dig up all of the earth and create a more even surface for laying down fresh lawn, for example.
  • Making small tranches: Let’s say you want to build an extension on your home. In order to do so you’ll need to dig a small trench to lay the foundations for the walls of your next structure. A mini excavator is excellent for this type of task and can make short work of it.


Are mini excavators easy to use?

Are mini excavators easy to use? Yes, and no! Once you are familiar with the equipment and have had sufficient training, using a mini excavator can feel like second nature. However, if you were to hire a mini excavator for the day and expect to pick it up immediately, you’ll be in for a shock.

There is a bit of a learning curve, however on the whole, mini excavators are relatively easy to use and picking up the skill shouldn’t take too long. Just be certain to seek training from a licensed professional before jumping into the driver seat and swinging the bucket around on your property.

If you are looking to hire a mini excavator for personal use it’s worth brushing up on your health & safety tips when operating heavy machinery.  

Not only are mini excavators relatively easy to use, but they’re also very easy to transport and move around. Simply load it onto an Australian made mini excavator trailer and your mini excavator can be transported anywhere.


How much does a mini excavator cost per day in Australia?

How much does a mini excavator cost per day in Australia? It all depends on whether you want to hire one to use yourself or if you’d like a professional operator to assist you.

Here are some averages both with and without an operator including various sizes for your convenience:

Cost of hiring a mini excavator with an operator: 

  • 1-2 tonne – $ 80-100 + GST per hour
  • 2-3 tonne – $ 100-110 + GST per hour
  • 3-4 tonne – $ 110-130 + GST per hour

Cost of hiring a mini excavator without an operator:

  • 1-2 tonne – $ 220-320 + GST per day
  • 2-3 tonne – $ 320-420 + GST per day
  • 3-4 tonne – $ 420-520 + GST per day


All in all, mini excavators are very handy machinery. They can be utilised for a wide variety of functions and are relatively easy to use with a little bit of training – that, and they can easily be transported on mini excavator trailers from reputable manufacturers like SureWeld.

The cost of hiring a mini excavator for the day is relatively affordable. Of course, if you would prefer to hire an excavator with some professional assistance then it will cost you more.

We hope that this article has been helpful and wish you the best of luck with your projects.