How many and what attachments can be used with mini excavators? Is it worth renting them or buying them? Where can I find spare parts?
In the field of Earthmoving Machinery, these and other questions are common among non-experts.
In this article, we want to take stock of the issue, showing you the main types of mini-excavator attachments, with some tips for getting the most out of them!
The mini-excavator: what it is and why it's called that
The mini excavator is nothing more than a small excavator. Generally, the differentiator between "typical" excavators and their "mini" version is weight. If the machine weighs less than 50-60 quintals, we are dealing with a mini excavator.
The low weight of these machines has a direct impact on their maneuverability. In fact, they can be transported on trucks, where they can be climbed by means of the special ramp.
Being light vehicles, they are also easier to drive. This fact, combined with the prevalent (but not exclusive) use of crawlers, allows mini-excavators to reach and operate in places where a "full size" excavator would not reach.
On construction sites in the mountains, in the open country, in the woods, along roads and railroads, and generally where it is necessary to operate with the smallest possible footprint, you are very likely to find one or more mini-excavators at work.
One of the most famous manufacturers is Doosan. The historic Korean brand has put into production a full range of mini-excavators in every class starting with the DX10Z, all the way up to the DX85R-3.
Although they are smaller, and on average cheaper machines, mini-excavators can be used for all the typical functions of excavators. As a result, a variety of attachments can be mounted on their booms, depending on the type of work to be done.
What accessories for mini excavators?
Buckets are among the most widely used mini excavator attachments, and consequently among the most popular. Resembling toothed spoons or shovels depending on the model, they are used for digging, lifting objects out of the ground, and a host of other uses in construction, land clearing, excavation, or demolition.
Although they are very durable attachments, buckets can break or wear out, blocking work in progress. Given the scope of mini excavators, which often operate on road or temporary construction sites, it is very important to be prepared to provide a quick replacement.
The teeth are the part subjected to the greatest stress, and in fact are damaged most frequently. In our workshop we always have replacement bucket teeth and the corresponding tooth retainer ready.
Shovel buckets can also deteriorate. In fact, the blades are subjected to high friction while working the ground, and therefore, after heavy use, they tend to wear out. Replacing the old worn blade with a blade made of Hardox, a highly abrasion-resistant steel, can greatly extend the life of the bucket.
These attachments, which are generally categorized by weight, are particularly useful for demolition firms, but not only.
By means of a rapid percussive motion controlled by a hydraulic system, they allow them to break up construction works or rocks with extreme precision. In the area of demolition hammers, the best-known specialist is certainly the Italian company Indeco, which has been in business since 1976.
The tips of demolition hammers can have two shapes: double-cone and chisel. The double-cone bit is used to drill into surfaces. The chisel tip is used for chiseling.
Being subjected to very high stress, the breaker hammer wears out easily, and with it its components.
The most popular breaker spare parts are: diaphragm, hammer mass, nitrogen charge, the seal kit and, of course, the bit.
Pliers and shears
They are the "hands" and "scissors" of mini-excavators, respectively. Specifically, the grapples are for crushing. Shears, on the other hand, cut sheet metal and metal material.
Regarding mini-excavators specifically, it is very important to assess the right size of these attachments, because if they are too large they tend to give machines balance problems, which can end up tipping over.
The parts for grapples and shears that we get the most requests for are bushings and tubes. The latter can be customized upon request.
Augers, Brushcutters and Flail Mowers
These accessories are relatively rare to encounter on the job site, as they have uses in very specialized areas.
- Augers are used for drilling. From experience, we can tell you that they are very durable tools, and generally do not require replacement parts.
- Brush cutters and mulchers are used for vegetation cover removal. You can find them on roadsides, intent on mowing grass or removing brambles and weeds.
We mentioned at the beginning that mini-excavators can be transported more easily than excavators. In fact, they can comfortably climb onto a truck via special ramps.
In order to avoid sad surprises such as sagging or tipping, we always recommend getting ramps in good condition and, in case the ones you have are worn out, replacing them.
Mini-excavator accessories: rental or purchase?
Actually, there is no single answer to this question. Thus, renting or buying a mini-excavator attachment may be more or less convenient depending on different variables.
The first variable is the work you will have to do. Buying might be a very convenient solution in these cases:
- If the task to be done requires several hours of activity
- If the amount of the job order is high
- If the job site is large
If, on the other hand, the task is limited or marginal, renting tends to be more convenient.
The second variable is the model of your machine. If you own a model compatible with a few brands of accessories, it pays to own everything you need to limit the risk of not finding the component you are looking for.
By acquiring attachments for your mini-excavator, among other things, you can create your own collection of attachments to be mounted on the mini-excavator as needed without having to wait for supply times.
You are not obliged, by the way, to buy new components. If you have patience, you can get great deals on used parts too!
In this brief overview we have illustrated the world of mini-excavator attachments. If you have any doubts or curiosity, please do not hesitate to contact us! We will be glad to give you all the information you need to correctly choose mini excavator attachments and related spare parts!