Close

How Deep Can a Mini Digger Dig?

Matt at Centex Excavation
Author: MattPublished: June 21, 2022 Updated: December 27, 2023 • Filed Under: Excavating and Grading

Are there any depth limits that prevent mini excavators from digging down to the depths? This figure is typically displayed high on the mini digger’s specifications page. The measurement is referred to as digging depth. On some models with a long-limbed dipper (sometimes called the stick), the depth can go the height of 4.2-meters (14 feet) and will be sufficient for most excavation applications since utility lines can rarely sink further than 3 meters below the ground.

What is a mini excavator?

Mini excavators, also called compact excavators, are classified according to their tonnage; however, some categorize them according to the amount of power produced. Mini excavators weighed between 0.5 to 10 tonnes; however, this is no longer the case since the eighth generation of excavators. Certain companies also manufacture small excavators (based on the size) that weigh between 15-18 or 19 tons.

In this regard, an informal definition of a mini-excavator may be defined as an excavator with a minimal footprint that weighs between 0.5 to 20 tons could be considered a mini excavator. Excavators help dig or transport materials more efficiently than hand-held equipment and perform various other tasks from time to time. But, it’s essential to keep in mind that there are numerous different tools and equipment that you can employ to accomplish the other tasks; and, sometimes, even more efficient.

However, mini excavators and diggers are an excellent choice if you have a small space. Their smaller footprint allows them to get into tight spaces. Be cautious of their operating weight, though. Just because the mini excavator can fit in the space, it’s still a lot of weight.

Bobcat’s 15-ton mini-excavator in action.

Mini excavator digging depth.

In most cases, excavators in smaller construction sites are employed in trenches ranging from 1.5-meters up to 3.0-meters deep. So, a mini excavator that can dig to a 4.2-meter trench will benefit the majority of contractors exceptionally well. But, a depth of 2 meters is usually sufficient for the typical small digger. However, the operators aren’t averse to pushing their equipment beyond the limits. They recognize that a safety element is always a great thing to have.

In this way, the digger operator will probably use about sixty percent of the equipment’s range, but not more. This way, it is safe to tip, and the scoop can reach up towards the end of the trench. It’s not worth having four meters of rocking moving if the digging device scratches the bottom of the hole since it’s a trench.

If an operator wants to dig deeper for a deeper hole, a mini excavator or a compact excavator might not cut it. They may have to go with a full-sized hyrdraulic excavator which usually have longer arms. This allows them to increase their dig depth lower below ground level. For projects that don’t require a massive dig depth, then mini excavators are ideal.

Is there a required ground condition?

Land Grading Services in Copperas Cove
The ground condition may determine whether or not a small excavator can handle the task.

When hiring a digger, it is vital to determine the state of the ground. The depth of the digging will be determined according to the condition of your ground. If your ground is not firm, it could require digging deeper. If the soil is firm, it indicates an even bigger digger. Additionally, a deeper digging depth is needed. In this case, mini excavators might not have the length and operating weight to handle the project.

If the soil is sticky or hard or the soil condition is challenging, you may need an excavator that weighs three tonnes. Additionally, it should have the 22kN force of digging in a bucket instead of the 1.5-tonne digger, which is around 16kN. If you’re looking to remove or break any surface material such as tarmac or concrete, you can consider an attachment for the small excavator. Sometimes, even the right attachment will add on a few inches of digging depth as well.

Mini Digger on a Job Site

Final thoughts on mini diggers and their dig depth.

Excavators are among the most effective tools used for construction and digging.

If you’re looking to build a foundation, a stock tank, a swimming pool or garbage pit, or any other similar hole, it is necessary to employ an excavator. Before you go out and rent the first one you see, know how deep can a mini excavator dig. If you have a project that requires digging deep, you may need an excavator that is up to the task. Typically, they’ll have an increased operating weight, larger bucket and arms to do the task.

About the Author

Matt Avatar

Matt

Excavation Expert

Matt is a highly experienced heavy equipment operator with over two decades of experience in the construction industry. His expertise covers a wide range of machinery and project types, and he is known for his focus on safety, efficiency, and problem-solving. Matt's commitment to delivering high-quality work within deadlines and budgets has made him highly respected at Centex Excavation and the excavation industry.

Related Posts