A Guide To Hiring The Right Size Digger

When choosing the right digger for your project, you will be faced with what appears to be a sea of endless different options to choose from. Whether you’re involved in construction, grounds work or an avid DIYer, it is crucial to justify the cost of your investment. Picking the right size digger/excavator will no doubt save you time, money and also increase your productivity overall. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean bigger is better. But choosing the best size digger for the job, it will maximise your productivity, increase efficiency and, for some, boost profits too.

Before you get started with hiring a digger/excavator, you need to understand what type of work you are undertaking? This may seem like a straightforward question, but overall it could save you a lot of money in the long term. Normally, digger/excavator work falls into one or a few of these categories.


If you are thinking of digging large foundations well below ground level, you are going to need a digger/excavator with a long enough boom to reach the depths required. Therefore, we would recommend a 6 ton + excavator as their large bucket capacity allows for very efficient digging ability and movement of debris.

However, if you are looking to dig something smaller such as a water main, gas or electric ducting, a mini digger could be far more cost effective. In fact, Mini diggers produce far less mess than larger excavators, which will save you time and money on clean-up costs upon completion.


Within construction, the key factor you are going to want to be mindful of is how much weight do you require the digger/excavator to move at one time? This could be bricks, mortar, sand or just having the ability to load lorries of onsite materials. Hence, being aware of your requirements. You also want to be aware of the mobility of your digger/excavator, especially if you are working up close or near to remaining buildings. Some excavator’s booms will only operate through 200 degrees, therefore, if you require a fuller range of movement, you may need to opt for a larger machine.


If you are considering demolition or site clearance, you will need to choose an adequate excavator that can cater to the potential obstacles that you may encounter. These could be such as having the adequate reach of your boom to lift over walls that need removing, or a large enough bucket capacity to load and remove rubble efficiently. When it comes to clearance or demolition, you will want to opt for a closed cab excavator to keep operators safe and mitigate potential hazards. Even though close cabs are available for smaller diggers, it may well be worth opting for a larger 9T + excavator to complete the work faster.

Confined space

Is it even possible to get a digger through a house? Well, don’t be surprised to hear that this happens most days of the week. If you are working in confined space, then size DOES matter. Micro diggers are specially designed to be able to pass through a standard size interior door frame. This is because they offer widths as small as 750mm, accompanied by zero tail swing. This allows them to manoeuvre in the tightest of spaces. As a result, if you are working in small spaces, it is always worth evaluating the entrance/exits dimensions to see if you can opt for a slightly larger excavator to get the job done quicker.

A Good All-Rounder

Your digger or excavator may be required to do more than just one type of job, which is normal. If this is the case, then finding the right balance is important. It is worth evaluating your budget to see what best value you can afford to make the entire process easier. The last option you want to consider is if you require a dozer blade to push and dig through materials.

Choosing the right size digger by its weight

Plant machinery can be extremely heavy, and with all this added pressure, you need to consider the damage that it will cause whilst being operated. Choosing the right size digger or excavator will allow you to get the most cost-effective results. A larger machine may cause far too much damage, however, a smaller one may not perform correctly. Therefore, if you are planning on hiring a digger or excavator for your latest project, it is always worth working with a team of professionals to help you find the right balance. Firstly, to get you started with finding the right size digger for you, below, we have summarized what’s available to hire on the market, along with some pros and cons to help.

Micro/Mini digger

The Pros
-Ideal for fragile grounds.
-Small, confined space work (Micro).
-Allows you to work indoors safely.
-Zero tail swing and can work in their own footprints.
-Produce less noise.
-Simple to Use
-Ideal choice for DIY or landscaping projects.
-Easily transported on a trailer.

The Cons
-Limited boom reach.
-Limited weight to be moved at once.
-Lack of power for larger projects.

6T-9T Excavator

The Pros
-Higher fuel efficiency
-Increased reach of over 4500mm.
-A popular choice for Construction sites
-Dozer blade available
-Higher power and loading capabilities
-Additional operator comforts

The Cons
-Not suitable for small back gardens.
-May require a skilled operator to use.

14 Ton Plus

The Pros
-Largest reach available
-Suitable for extreme heavy work
-Additional weight gives them more stability for uneven ground
-Stabilised with counterweights for increased loading sizes
-The Largest cab sizes, built for all-day operation
-Digging depths exceed 6000mm
-Popular choice for large-scale demolitions and groundwork.

The Cons
-Weight can cause damage to the ground you are operating on
-Requires a skilled operator to use.

Where to get help with the right size digger?

Here at WHC Hire, we have been supplying the nation with the highest quality plant machinery on the market since 1997. We offer a range of excavators from Mirco up to 28 ton, available to hire for short and long-term projects. With consistent investment into the quality of our fleet, we can assure that customers, contractors and businesses (no matter their size) receive their required equipment on time and in perfect working condition.

Click here to see the latest plant and machinery we have on offer, or call 01684377977 to discuss your project with one of our friendly and knowledgeable team. Together, we can help you get the job done right.