FOCUS ON: Mini Excavators

Can you dig it?

Don't let their size fool you. Mini excavators offer lots of power as well as versatility for lots of tasks. And their small size allows them to go where other machines can't. They can fit in tight places and through small openings to get to hard to reach jobs. They combine power and versatility in a compact piece of equipment. Compact excavators are powerful enough to complete a wide range of jobs and offer landscape professionals various attachments and digging depths. Take a look at what manufacturers are offering. If you need more information about the following compact excavators, use the circle numbers provided at the end of each product description.


The ASV RC-60 Rubber Track Loader is designed to be a platform for utility excavation, with 1,770 inches of track on the ground, which allows the machine to be stable with a backhoe attachment. The Quick-Attach Backhoe includes a remote operator station in front of the machine cab. The remote station allows visibility for maximum productivity. Dig depth of the backhoe is up to 8 feet. Hydraulically extendible outriggers are included for added stability. Five pin-on buckets are available for the RC-60 Backhoe, ranging from 9 to 24 inches wide.
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Bobcat Company introduces the 430 and 435 FastTrack ZHS Excavators, which feature an all-hydrostatic drive system. Equipped with separate piston pumps and high-torque drive motors to power the left and right tracks, the FastTrack system replaces the conventional hydraulic drive system found on other excavators. The ZHS series of excavators feature improved dual-blade cylinders mounted on each side of the backfill blade. This design reduces the amount of dirt and debris that can build up on the top of the blade structure.
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Case CX compact excavators offer zero tail swing and a center-swing boom for maximum productivity in even the tightest working spaces. The five models deliver from 11.9 to 36.5 net hp, bucket digging forces up to 8,747 pounds and dig depths from 6 feet 11 inches to 11 feet 11 inches. All are equipped with a hydraulically controlled backfill blade for added machine stability and light dozing work.
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IHI introduces 12 mini excavators that come equipped with digging depths of 5 feet 2 inches to 14 feet 1 inch and powerful bucket forces of 2,160 pounds to 14,730 pounds. IHI offers smaller units to appeal to small utility contractors and also provides larger units to meet general contractors' deeper digging depth and power requests. Even with such compact designs, the excavators have all of the features of a larger mini excavator.
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Ditch Witch announces the release of the MX272, MX352 and MX502 mini excavators that come equipped with Komatsu engines. These units are configured with a tight tail swing that can be converted to zero-tail-swing by removing the standard integrated counterweight. The full-circle operator station rotation and pivoting boom design enable the operator to make offset excavations adjacent to foundations, fences and other obstacles, and also permit digging and depositing soil by the machine without having to reposition it. An optional cab comes equipped with a large rear glass, for visibility and protection from the elements, and an upper-rail sliding door.
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Caterpillar introduces the 301.6 and 301.8 Mini Hydraulic Excavators that feature 22 percent more bucket digging force and greater than 10 percent more stick digging force than the previous models. Designed to get more work done faster, the new machines have about 4 percent more horsepower (to 18.1 hp) and increased hydraulic flow and pressure. The units offer spacious operator compartments, suspension seats and ergonomic controls. A choice of stick lengths, Cat Work Tools and dozer float function increase versatility.
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Gehl Company introduces the 503Z, 603, 753Z and 803 excavator models. These machines include zero-tail-swing and short-tail-swing models in 5-, 6-, 7- and 8-metric ton classes. The excavators are equipped with Yanmar TNV Series Tier II diesel engines, which range from 47 to 69 hp. These engines are completely isolated from the operator's compartment to minimize high temperatures and noise in the cab. The cab is ergonomically built with an adjustable seat headrest and armrests, to accommodate the operator with the optimum height and position. Ample legroom and a comfortable operator's seat provide for operator comfort and increased productivity.
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Kubota's K008-3 ultra-compact excavator is powered by a Kubota liquid-cooled, 3-cylinder, 10.2-hp diesel engine. With an operating weight of 2,200 pounds, the K008-3 can operate on sensitive surfaces without damaging the ground. Despite the machine's compact size, its maximum digging depth is rated at 5 feet 8 inches, maximum reach at ground level is 9 feet 11 inches, maximum digging height is 9 feet 5 inches and maximum dumping height is rated 6 feet 8 inches with bucket breakout force of 2,200 pounds.
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Ranging in size from 3 to 5 metric tons, the John Deere 35D and 50D zero-tail-swing compact excavators provide reduced cycle times; better comfort with updated controls and cab; and lower operating costs with the introduction of auto-idle and longer oil change intervals. A new, long arm and heavy counterweight option provides an additional foot of dig depth and reach. Automatic shifting between high and low travel speeds allows the machine to automatically shift into low when more power is needed. The D-Series machines are powered by Yanmar large displacement, Tier II compliant engines with a higher torque curve than previous models.
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Komatsu introduces the PC09-1 compact hydraulic excavator for contractors in a variety of construction, utility, land-scaping and other small- to mid-sized applications. The PC09-1 has an overall width of 2 feet 4 inches and has a slender tail design. Its expandable undercarriage allows passage through narrow doorways, while offering expandability for increased stability during excavation. Its triple flanged bottom track rollers aid in machine stability when traveling or excavating. The auxiliary hydraulic flow of 5.8 gpm supplies hydraulic speed. The machine has an operating weight of 1,960 pounds and a bucket breakout force of 2,370 pounds.
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Mustang Manufacturing introduces the 5003ZT, 6003, 7503ZT and 8003 compact excavators. Models 5003ZT and 7503Zt have a zero-tail-swing design, creating improved maneuverability and visibility for the operator. Models 6003 and 8003 have a short-tail design that helps improve maneuverability and visibility while maintaining lifting capacity. The side-mounted engine compartment on each model was designed with a built-in barrier that limits engine noise and vibration.
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The PT-2430 bucket loader/backhoe from Power Trac may be small in size (8 feet 1 inch long and 4 feet 5 inches wide), but with its 1,200 pounds of lift capacity and lift height of 8 feet, it is big in performance. The backhoe has a breakout force of 3,000 pounds, a 9-foot 10-inch reach and a digging depth of 7 feet. The 4-wheel hydrostatic drive tractor has a 30-hp diesel engine and a sturdy steel frame. Along with a removable backhoe, there are over 40 front-mounted attachments available including buckets, forks, trenchers and tillers.
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The EH15.B, EH27.B, EH30.B and EH50.B compact excavators from New Holland Construction have the size and power to make quick work of tough jobs. With standard auxiliary hydraulics and pattern control changer, these machines are suited for smaller scale excavation needs. With their zero-tail-swing design, the EH.B Series compact excavators can move and work in tight spaces without damaging the machine or the job site. The models range from 3,240 pounds to 10,384 pounds and produce 11.9 to 40.8 net hp. They provide bucket breakout forces up to 8,914 pounds and maximum digging depths from 6 feet 11 inches to 11 feet 9 inches.
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The CX219z compact excavator from Vermeer Manufacturing features variable-width tracks for increased stability, auxiliary hydraulics for attachment add-ons, SEA/ISO controls and working lights as standard equipment. The CX219z weighs 3,968 pounds and is 3.3 -feet wide. It has the ability to dig to a depth of 8.3 feet, has 12.4 feet of reach and the bucket breakout force is 3,307 pounds. The maximum digging height of the CX219z is 11.4 feet and it has a dumping height of 7.8 feet. The machine has the ability to swing up to 50 degrees to the left and 85 degrees to the right. The excavator can also fit into and maneuver through smaller spaces to get the job done.
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Takeuchi introduces the TB135 compact excavator that incorporates a variety of new safety and performance enhancing features. Safety features include standard travel alarm, TOPS/FOPS canopy or cab, retractable seat belt and control tower lockout system of the excavator's operating controls and travel levers. Electrohydraulic control buttons for the auxiliary hydraulic circuit, horn and engine decelerator buttons are all conveniently located on the joystick for improved operator comfort and control. The TB135 also features a tilt-up operator's platform for quick service access and an engine shutdown/return to idle system, which helps guard against abnormal engine temperature or oil pressure conditions.
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Thomas Equipment's T75 excavator weighs in at 16,667 pounds and is available with a choice of either rubber or steel tracks. The T75 has 11,668 pounds of breakout force and a digging depth of 14 feet. Two-speed travel combing with a reach of more than 22.5 feet and a high-loading height of more than 15 feet ensures quick cycle times and maximum productivity. Low noise levels as well as a certified ROPS/FOPS cab complete with heater and air ventilation system are standard equipment along with a comfortable suspension seat and AM/FM radio. The ergonomically designed hydraulic pilot operated control levers provide smooth, precise control or all excavator functions.
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