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Top tips for first-time mini excavator operators

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Sometimes even the most accomplished home handyman needs a little help from modern machinery when working on large projects. Hiring a mini excavator for larger digging tasks around your home is a great option, and with a little preparation you can find yourself saving time and money on your renovation project. If you're planning on hiring a mini excavator for the first time in the near future, check out these top tips.

Familiarise yourself prior to hire

Before jumping in your hired mini excavator for the first time, it's a good idea to read the manual, and do a little reading on how to operate a mini excavator prior to hire. It's also important to familiarise yourself with the job you intend to complete with the mini excavator, and the terrain that you will be driving over. Driving a mini excavator over steep or unstable ground is advised against, and you may wish to avoid any grassed areas that may be damaged by the machinery. As such, you may wish to work out the path you will take in the mini excavator prior to use.

Practice makes perfect

The more you drive a mini excavator, the better you will get and more confident you will feel behind the wheel. Before plunging into your excavation work, take some time to practice the controls on a level surface away from obstacles and hazards. A little time spent practicing will help you to feel comfortable with how the machine moves, and after enough practice operating a mini excavator will soon become as natural as driving a car.

Ask for a demo

When hiring a mini excavator, ask your mini excavator hire professionals for a comprehensive demonstration and guided tour of the machinery prior to hire. This will allow you to learn how to operate the machine correctly from a professional. Take this opportunity to ask questions and clarify instructions, and also don't hesitate to ask your hire professional if they have any tips or tricks to help make it easier for you to manoeuvre and operate. If at this point you do not feel confident to operate the mini excavator yourself, ask your hire professionals if they can provide a driver for an added cost.

Prioritise your health and safety

Wearing a hardhat, seatbelt and earmuffs is highly recommended at all times when using a mini excavator. Do not operate a mini excavator if you  are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or if you are taking medications that may impair your ability to operate heavy machinery. It is also a good idea to take regular breaks when operating a mini excavator. If operating a mini excavator is jarring to your back, or you find the vibrations leave you fatigued, discontinue operation immediately and take a break.