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Best Practices

Best Practices for Compact Excavator Operation

Compact excavators are a great all-around tool that can tackle a wide variety of tasks. Follow our tips to ensure a safe and productive project.

Preliminary Checkpoints

Check fuel levels
It sounds simple, but make sure the machine has enough fuel before putting it to work. Your compact excavator should be able to operate at all times, allowing the user to dump unstable loads in case of an emergency. Low fuel levels can shut an excavator down unexpectedly, causing a potentially dangerous and unstable situation.

Attachment selection
Select an attachment that is approved by the manufacturer of the machine for the intended use. Adhere to the machine's operator's manual for safe operating ratios. Understand that the swing motor is the weakest part of the compact excavator and can be compromised by the weight of an attachment in variable conditions.

Take the time to place offset marks
It's impossible to dig a straight line without a visual guide. Whether it's with chalk, stakes or a stringline, taking this simple step at the beginning of the task will ensure an accurate end result. Also, align your tracks to the guide to help you move parallel to the dig.

In Operation

Never undercut
An undercut occurs when an operator digs the ground beneath the excavator tracks. Always be aware of the location of the lip of the hole that is being created to avoid a cave-in.

Don't overload the bucket
Know your machine's load limits, and never exceed them, as overloading can cause loss in stability and potential tip overs.

Raise the dozer blade before moving
The blade can be used as an extra stabilizing point during operation. It's important to make sure you raise the blade, however, while moving the equipment to avoid catching it on obstacles, which can result in a tip over.

Ensure the excavator remains level
It's impossible to dig a level trench from an unlevel excavator. Taking the time to pack down extra dirt below the machine's tracks will help complete the job accurately and more efficiently. Both a torpedo level in the cab or a grade laser are acceptable methods of measuring level.