Benefits Of Hiring A Mini Digger

It’s safe to say that mini diggers have changed how we go about our excavation projects. Ever since the first introduction of the diesel-powered mini excavator back in 1959 by Yanmar, the construction industry has never looked back. The mini digger has now become one of the most produced pieces of plant equipment on the market. But to understand the benefits of hiring a mini digger we are going to delve deep into what the machine has to offer. This will help provide clarification if you are considering hiring one.

What is a mini digger?

Kubota mini digger hire whc hire
Mini digger hire from WHC Hire

Mini diggers are a piece of plant equipment that is used by all types of people who require to undertake an excavation project. They are generally powered by a diesel combustible engine but are available with alternative power sources such as electricity.

The mini digger goes by many names throughout the industry such as mini excavators, small excavators and compact excavators. Nevertheless, they all refer to a machine made up of the following:

  • A boom
  • A dipper
  • Bucket connections
  • A cabin that sits on a rotating pivot

Most mini digger cabins can rotate through 360 degrees to provide operators with the best chance of maximising their productivity from a single position.

What categorises a mini digger?

Mini diggers have an operating weight of under 4,500kg. The smallest of these machines (Micro diggers) can pass through a standard doorframe and can operate in the tightest of applications. These machines weald excavating buckets from 12 inches up to 24 inches to help operators conduct different types of excavating work. It is common that when looking to hire a mini digger that machines holding these types of specifications will all be categorised together.

Types of mini diggers you can expect to see

There are several types of mini diggers you can expect to see when looking to hire. The most common machines you will come across are:

Micro digger

Micro diggers have been designed to work in the smallest of applications. As previously mentioned, these machines are small enough to pass through a standard doorframe. Making them ideal to take through houses, homes or even work indoors or underground. These extremely versatile machines have been a massive game-changer to increase productivity. Micro excavators are extremely simple to use by the most experienced and novice of operators.

1.5T Mini Digger

1.5T mini diggers are the standard mini digger you can expect to receive if you request to hire one. These machines offer a larger capacity and power. Unlike micro diggers, these machines are available with an enclosed cabin to protect the operator from the elements. Mini diggers are ideal for all types of excavation projects.

Their ability to work through 360 degrees and long reach means they can plough through much more in a day than a micro digger can. These machines are extremely simple to operate, however, have the added addition of using more advanced digger attachments such as a breaker. Using attachments with a mini digger can be a little bit more complex. So always ask your hire professional how to interchange safely and correctly without damaging the machine.

3T Excavator 

The largest of the mini diggers, the 3T excavator offers again far more productivity, reach, whilst reducing effort. These machines, like a 1.5T mini digger, are available with an enclosed cabin. Their further reach and load capacity allow operators to get through more work than a 1.5T machine in the same period. It is always best to examine your entrance and exit points before choosing a larger mini digger.

You need to ensure that you can safely get the machine in and out without causing any damage to the digger or yourself in the process. Providing you have the space to operate a 3T excavator, they can be a massive asset to your project. 3T machines are no different to 1.5T mini diggers to operate. Again, if you wish to access their ability to use additional attachments, ensure that you understand the correct process to operate the equipment safely.

Safety information about mini digger

It is important that when operating an excavator you remain safe while doing so. Whether you are new to operating excavators or consider yourself advanced. You should always adopt the following to reduce the risk of injury:

Wear personal protective equipment 

When operating a mini digger, you need to make sure that you wear the correct PPE (personal protective equipment) This includes the correct footwear, hi-viz vest or jacket, protective glasses and hard hat. When using a breaker attachment, you will also want to adopt the use of ear protection.

Maintain three points of contact when entering and exiting

When entering and exiting the machine, you want to always have three points of contact at all times. This can be to hands and one foot or two feet and one hand. This will improve your stability and reduce the chance of slipping and injuring yourself.

Wear your seatbelt 

Seatbelts are there to be worn and, in most cases, an excavator will not start without being engaged. Even though mini diggers move relatively slow, there is always a possibility of the machine overturning. A seatbelt will keep you safe if the worst-case scenario is to happen.

Maintain proper blade position when operating 

For balancing and safety reasons, ensuring you use the proper blade positions whilst digging will avoid the machine from overturning. Machines that weigh under 3T should adopt a blade position behind the machine.

Mini Digger Cabin Walkthrough Example

Benefits of hiring a mini digger

Hiring a mini digger comes with several benefits these are such as:


The cost to hire a mini digger is extremely affordable starting from around £75.00 + VAT per day. This allows you to move a large amount of material or earth more effectively, saving you time and reducing the amount of manual labour you have to do. 

Boost productivity in tight spaces

Due to their size, mini diggers can manoeuvre through the tightest of areas. Micro diggers are small enough to work inside buildings and underground with ease. This allows users to boost their productivity in the tightest of applications.

Easy transport 

Mini diggers are easily transportable. Unlike larger machines, they can be transported on a plant trailer towed behind a suitable vehicle. Due to the towing regulations changing in 2021, this now allows anyone with a valid driving licence to tow weighs up to 3.5T without holding a valid towing permit. To enhance your transport safety of a mini digger you can look into a trailer safety system. See here for more.

Simple to use 

Mini diggers are simple and easy to use for all experiences of operators. It normally only takes a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the control. With only a small number of controls, there is not much to go wrong. Two controls to move the machine’s tracks, two to control the dipper, boom and bucket and one control for the dozer blade. Larger machines may have slightly more advanced controls to benefit more skilled operators. Nonetheless, you can expect every excavator to work in a similar fashion.


Mini diggers are extremely versatile machines that can be used for several different applications. They are not just made for digging, they can be used for lifting, grading, loading, ploughing and more.

Low noise emissions

Due to their engine size, mini diggers only emit low noise emissions, meaning that they can be used in urban areas and throughout the night.

Lots to choose from 

There is a mini digger size for every type of job. With a few different weight sizes to choose from, you can tailor your hire selection to fit your project. This means you don’t have to pay for any more than you require.

Manufactures you can expect to hire


Originally established back in 1890 in Japan, Kubota began as a corporation that manufactured cast-iron pipes. It was not until 1979 when they established their UK base out of Thame, Oxfordshire, where they stretched into producing machinery. Since the design of the first true four-wheeled drive compact tractor, Kubota has continued to grow. They now claim to manufacture “The UK’s & ROI’s best-selling mini excavator” Kubota manufactures from Micro-5T in size.


This UK-based business is globally recognised for its famous yellow machinery. Established back in 1948, JCB pushes the boundaries of innovation. Most recently constructed the first hydrogen-powered prototype plant machinery. JCB manufactures mini diggers excavators ranging from micro up to 3T in weight, accompanied by the last technology to maximise productivity. Their brand, quality of machinery and after-service, holds them in high regard as market leaders.

What buckets do you need with your mini digger?

When you hire a mini digger you are most likely going to require buckets to aid in your project. The most common types of buckets that you can expect to receive when you hire a mini digger are:

Digging/bulk bucket- Designed for digging holes

Grading bucket – Designed for grading and moving large amounts of earth or materials

Trenching bucket- Digging trenches and more delicate work.

Watch our free toolbox tip below to familiarize yourself with these buckets:

Can you hire a mini digger if you are not a business?

If you are considering hiring, then one question that may come up is “do you need to be a business to hire a mini digger?” The facts are that you don’t need to be a business. This means that mini diggers are available to anyone over the age of 18.

The basic requirements to hire a mini digger are:

  • Proof of identification
  • Proof of address (utility bill)
  • Refundable deposit
  • Temporary insurance for the mini digger

Deposits work differently with every hire company, be sure to discuss your supplier’s requirements prior to booking your equipment.

Where to hire a mini digger in Tewkesbury?

WHC Hire Services has been supplying mini diggers to the public and businesses of all trades for over 20 years. With consistent investment into the quality of our machinery, we are able to supply the latest, most efficient and productive machinery on the market. With recent investments in further stage v emissions machinery, our service can help you get the job done. Our extensive fleet of mini diggers is available from our depots in Tewkesbury, Worcester and the Cotswolds.

Click here to see the range of mini diggers we have available to deliver or collect from your local WHC Hire Depot.