Mini Excavator Hire – helpful tips to make the most of your hire

Takeuchi Mini Excavator for hire

Takeuchi Mini Excavator for hire

Our experience in mini excavator hire covers over 30 years – that is a lot of excavating! There is a lot of information available on the internet concerning specifications and technical detail on using mini excavators but here we give you the practical benefit of our thirty year plus experience in mini excavator hire.

Organising the mini excavator hire

For cash customers most hire companies will require sight of two forms of identification together with a deposit payment in advance of the hire. Alternatively a credit account can usually be organised for Limited companies if a reasonable period of notice is given. With regard to I.D – we are often shown a passport but unfortunately for I.D purposes passports do not have the holders address so are unsuitable. Best if you can provide a U.K driving licence and a utility bill for example.

Which mini excavator to hire?

The default standard machine for small projects is usually the 1.5 tonne machine. Mini excavators are classed by weight, and range from 0.8 tonne to 8 tonne, the 1.5 tonne being suitable for excavating foundations on a normal 3 or 4 bedroomed size property for example. If you have particular requirements for instance – extra deep foundations – excavating a pond – narrow access less than 1.0 metre etc, then please ask your hire company for the most suitable machine.

When enquiring about hiring a 1.00 tonne or 1.5 tonne mini excavator, don’t forget to ask whether the machine being supplied has expanding tracks! The ability to widen the track width at the touch of a lever makes a significant difference to the stability of the excavator when digging, and machines being offered for hire at particularly low hire rates may well not have this important feature!

Mini Excavator hire Insurance

Not compulsory but always a good idea. Insurance cover gives you peace of mind and although it doesn’t preclude the hirer from taking all necessary steps to keep the machine safe whilst on site – it does mean that if the machine did go missing for any reason you won’t have to have that very awkward conversation with the hire company!  Have a look on our website and follow the link to short term insurance cover.

Mini Excavator hire delivery to site

Most mini excavators are delivered on a plant lorry and therefore reasonable access to the unloading point is required. Marking out an unloading area with cones is always appreciated – especially in an “on street” environment – and it’s helpful if the hirer can spare about 20 minutes to go through the machine handover and paperwork with the driver.

The contract usually states that the hire company will deliver the machine(s) to the site and it is up to the hirer to drive the machine from the unloading point to the area in which it’s being used. If you are unfamiliar with the using the machine in the early stages this can be daunting, so check your hire company is prepared to unload and drive the digger to where you want it!

Remember also to check around the machine for obvious signs of damage and leaks from hydraulic hoses and rams. You wouldn’t take delivery of a hire car without a walk round check first, and an excavator isn’t any different in this respect.

Mini Excavator hire Demonstration

As a responsible plant hirer we always demonstrate our machines to customers and ensure that all questions are satisfactorily answered as part of our handover sequence. For hirers who haven’t driven a machine before we recommend practising with the use of the controls in an area of the site away from any structures until familiarity is gained. In reality learning to operate the machine is a skill which can be learnt very quickly and most hirers feel confident within an hour or two.

Planning the job for the mini excavator hire

Its well worth spending a bit of time planning the dig before you enthusiastically get stuck in. We have on occasions had to extricate machines from situations where hirers have literally dug themselves into a corner and can’t then move because of the multitude of excavation trenches in the way!

Off hiring the mini excavator

When you’ve finished with the machine – telephone the hire company and let them know. We always advise our customers to contact us straightaway, this ensures that hire charges stop at the off hire time, and don’t forget to insist on an “off hire number” (this ensures that the hire company have to access your hire contract on the computer in order to generate the off hire number).

It’s always a good idea to try and return the machine in as clean a condition as possible. Charges will usually be made for machines returned plastered in mud for example, and in addition, although scratches to paintwork are deemed generally acceptable, any damage caused is usually chargeable!

Mini excavator hire Collection

Check the return paperwork carefully before signing and make sure the noted telephone off hire date and time is correct on the paperwork, otherwise you will probably be charged up to the time of actual collection. Finally check the fuel used is noted correctly and that any additional buckets delivered with the machine are all returned.

Mini excavator hire invoicing

If a cash customer, you should receive your final invoice together with any refund (if applicable) either in the post or by email within a few days of collection. As an account customer your invoice for the hire will follow at some point within the month.

Hopefully this blog will help you with planning your mini excavator hire, and, as always, if you have any questions or would like more information about any of the points raised or our range of services, please do get in touch.