While there is no formal distinction between mini excavators and micro excavators, the smallest excavator, is capable of maneuvering into a standard doorway to enter the house or garden. Similar to their full-size counterparts, mini diggers have tank tracks, a rotating cab, hydraulic arm and a diesel engine. They range in weight from less than a ton (2,220 lbs) and just over 8 ton (18,000 lbs).
Distinguishing features: Tracks, Cabs, Hydraulic Arms
Rubber tracks protect road surfaces, curbs and paving stones. This makes them ideal for work around the home. Steel tracks, on the other hand, are more robust than their rubber counterparts. They also operate more safely around gravel or dirt surfaces by reducing slippage. Because of the relative advantages of both, many users buy steel tracks with bolt-on rubber pads.
The smallest mini excavators do not come equipped with a cab although they should at least have a roll bar. Some dealers may define a micro digger by the presence of a short tail swing. The significance of this is:
• The cab is able to turn through a full 360 degrees;
• The back is unable to protrude past the width of the tracks. This allows for safer operation in confined spaces.
The boom, or hydraulic arm, normally has two joints: a joint in the middle and another at the end for handling attachments. Many modern micro diggers have an offset boom that permits the arm to move sideways in either direction. This facilitates accurate operation in confined areas.
Micro diggers come with a choice of similar attachments to full-size equipment. These include augers, block grabs, clay spades, grapples, grip talons, rake, post punchers, and pulverize, ripper teeth, tilt diggers and trenchers.
Another factor to consider when purchasing a micro digger is security. If you are unable to keep your digger behind locked doors, you will need a secure locking mechanism for the controls.