How Wide is a Mini Excavator?

Matt at Centex Excavation
Author: MattPublished: January 25, 2022 Updated: April 10, 2023 • Filed Under: Equipment and Machinery

The size of an excavator is significant and you might be wondering how wide is a mini excavator. If they are too big, you won’t be able to get them into tight spaces like between two vehicles on the road or through any doorway. That’s why mini excavators are so narrow.

They’re portable enough to fit in all sorts of places, yet strong and durable enough for a wide range of applications. Their small maximum width and compact radius for turning makes them great for having on a job site.

What is a mini-excavator, and what are its uses?

A mini excavator is a type of construction equipment that works much smaller than a standard, full-sized excavator. These machines are usually only able to pass through the space between two vehicles on the road or fit through nearly any standard residential doorway. They may be small in size, but they are still quite capable of doing all kinds of strenuous work.

Their operating weight and maximum digging depth is usually much less than other heavy equipment. However, that’s why you get this compact equipment. You might not need the ground clearance, maximum dig depth, or maximum dump height some other machines might offer.

Exactly how wide are they, and why are they so narrow?

Most mini excavators are small enough to pass between parked vehicles, fence openings, and even doorways. They are incredibly narrow, making them easier to transport in tight spaces. The cab itself is often only around 2 feet wide, and the total weight of the entire machine is just over 3 tons. Of course, their width varies by model. For example, the Caterpillar 300.9D has a width of only 29″!

But why are they so narrow?

While mini excavators may be slim, they are certainly not lacking in strength. Their heavy-duty digging arms can lift to 3 tons of dirt or debris at a time, and their compact size allows them to navigate through tighter spaces than the standard, full-sized excavator machines.

Need to demo a room? These are the machines for the job. Are you looking to dig a trench in your backyard but don’t want to remove the fencing? A mini digger is an ideal choice.

They’re not just for construction sites either.

Mini excavators are also popular choices for farm machinery, and homeowners use them to clear fallen trees or rocks on their property. They are compact enough to drive straight through your home’s front door, which makes it easy to transport these heavy-duty machines around your yard with ease.

Compare specs of a mini and full sized excavators.

When looking at the specs of a mini versus a full-sized excavator, it is easy to see why they are so useful. For instance, a full-sized excavator has an operating weight of 25 tons and a maximum digging depth of 14 feet. In comparison, many mini excavators have an operating weight of only 3 tons and a maximum dig depth of 5 feet.

This, of course, varies based on the models. However, it should give you an idea of why mini excavators are so useful and versatile. They can fit in small spaces, yet they are still strong enough to do some serious work.

Sure, many of the features are roughly the same. They both have steel track undercarriages and adjustable arm widths, and they both might have a backfill blade. But the size is what determines if you need it on your job sites.

When it comes to width, most mini excavators have a track width of no more than 2 feet, making them easy to maneuver through narrow entrances or narrow spaces.

FAQs for mini excavators.

We’ve put together a few common questions people have about mini excavators.

What can a mini excavator do?

Mini excavators are capable of performing a variety of tasks, such as home renovations, digging trenches and ditches, spreading the material over large areas, demolishing structures, and more. They may be smaller than traditional heavy equipment, but they’re extremely versatile machines.

How much do mini excavators cost?

The price of a mini excavator can vary widely depending on the model, age, and condition. Generally speaking, you can find mini excavators for sale that cost anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000 or more.

What is the maximum digging depth of a mini excavator?

Most mini excavators can reach a maximum digging depth of around 5 feet, though this may vary depending on the model. Some models even have adjustable arms that can extend further to reach deeper depths.

Are mini excavators good for landscaping?

Yes! Mini excavators are great for landscaping projects such as digging trenches, backfill trenches, removing stumps or roots, and more. They are also useful for clearing large areas of rocks or debris.

Is a mini excavator easy to operate?

Yes, most mini excavators are relatively easy to operate and require minimal training. They typically come with comprehensive operator’s manuals and can be operated with little difficulty if you follow the instructions carefully.

What is the width of a mini excavator?

The width of a mini excavator can vary depending on the model, but most models have a track width of no more than 2 feet. This allows them to fit through narrow entrances and tight spaces with ease.

Are mini excavators safe?

Mini excavators are generally very safe if operated correctly. They come with safety features such as rollover protection systems and are designed to be operated in a safe manner. Make sure to always read the operator’s manual carefully and follow all safety instructions before operating a mini excavator.

Who makes the best mini digger?

Although it’s not the smallest of the diggers, we’re big fans of the John Deere 35G. While the width is around 5′, it’s dig depth is around 10′ and it has a backfill blade. So we’re essentially trading off width for depth. The width is typically good enough for the jobs we handle. However, if we have a job that requires a maximum width that is less than our John Deere, then we’ll usually just rent something smaller.

Find the right machine for you.

So how wide is a mini excavator? Depends on the make and model, but less than 3′ in some instances.

These compact excavators are highly versatile machines that you can use for various tasks, both on and off construction sites. They are small enough to navigate tight spaces but powerful enough to handle even the most challenging jobs. Whether you’re a contractor looking for an easy way to get equipment in and out of tight spots or a homeowner wanting to clear some rocks from your property, a mini excavator is a perfect choice.

About the Author

Matt Avatar


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.

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