Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 43 total)
  • Hiring and operating a mini digger
  • Premier Icon tpbiker
    Free Member

    I’m looking to dig a pond in my garden, I reckon it’ll require around 8 tons worth of earth being excavated. Rather than spending days and days with a spade, I’m thinking a mini digger would probably do the job in a few hours.

    Can I hire one, or will they only rent them to folks trained in their operation. Never used one before, but what could possibly go wrong..

    Premier Icon nickjb
    Free Member

    They do rent them for self driving. We had one. The delivery guy gave us a quick overview. They are pretty simple to use. That said, it’s often about the same price to get one with a driver and they’ll do it quicker and probably make less mess.

    Premier Icon hexhamstu
    Free Member

    diggers

    Have a go of this first!

    Premier Icon Sui
    Free Member

    What nick says. I’ve had a couple as self drives, onyl reason being is that i had lots of bitty work to do that was going to take days and lots of faffing. If it;s a one-off job, you’ll get a local bloke for 250 probably, maybe cheaper! As Nick says it will be done quickly, tidy and well!!

    Premier Icon joshvegas
    Free Member

    The best christmas we ever had was when dad hired a mini digger. Its dead easy.

    BUT

    We KNEW for absolute certainty there was nothing where we were digging. There is a lot of stuff you can distrupt especially round a hoose.

    Premier Icon singlespeedstu
    Full Member

    I used to work for a company that hired them out.
    Though they’re pretty easy to operate we did have quite a few people put them in holes they’d just dug, de railed tracks and one person smash their own back doors in.😂

    Premier Icon frankconway
    Full Member

    but what could possibly go wrong..

    If you have to ask…

    Premier Icon Sui
    Free Member

    smash their own back doors in

    how did that get past the filter 🙂

    Premier Icon egb81
    Free Member

    one person smash their own back doors in.😂

    I’ve seen some x-rays of weird things up there but a mini digger has to take some beating.

    Premier Icon munrobiker
    Free Member

    I work with them all the time but haven’t ever driven one, though I have driven other plant. Plant is set up so a complete moron can drive it with minimal instruction.

    You’ll be able to rent on but it’s worth weighing up the cost of extra hire for you to take the time to learn how to use it, then use it slowly as you’re inexperienced, vs hiring one with a driver. A plant hire with driver company will also be able to help you dispose of the soil too. All firms in Fife are dead busy just now though.

    Premier Icon grum
    Full Member

    What no one seems to be mentioning here is how much fun it is to live out your childhood dreams driving a real life digger. It’s ace.

    Premier Icon johndoh
    Free Member

    I’ve seen some x-rays of weird things up there but a mini digger has to take some beating.

    Reminds me of that particularly hilarious Jackass episode.

    ‘He knows. I know. You know. No-one else needs to know.’

    Premier Icon Olly
    Free Member

    Yup, theyll send you one for not a lot of money. You only need tickets for working commercially, project/company insurance, competent user blah blah.

    Having said that, and worked a lot around machines from 1/4 tonne up to 40 tonne, its easy to see how people can hurt themselves and their property with one, so i’m a little surprised they do.
    All common sense stuff when you think about it, mainly to do with hitting stuff, and then machine stability. i’ve seen a couple of roll overs, invariably due to operator error.
    Most little machines can have their tracks lifted off the ground by lifting the machine on their bucket and/or blade, and then you have expanding tracks that can double the width at the base, which the hire guy may or may not explain to you.
    dont track across slopes, only up and down
    remember to lift any folding roll over bar
    and wear your seatbelt, as it stops you from getting thrown under the machine if it does go.

    Do you know where your local services are?
    Line Search Before you Dig isnt infallible, but it should have all the big stuff, is better than nothing, and its free.
    If in doubt, ask the hire company to chuck in a Cable Avoidance Tool (CAT) with the machine, and ask for a quick demo with that, they may well include it for free if you ask nicely

    Toothed bucket for ripping quickly, flat edged bucket stands a much lower chance of damaging a pipe or cable should you find one.
    And dont work under overheads. There are stand offs you have to maintain to prevent hitting them, so if you do hit one they wont take kindly to it (if you live?)

    Lastly, if in in doubt about size, go bigger. The little ones are jerkey and bouncy and barely more powerful than a spade.
    Bigger is more stable, more accurate, more powerful and ultimately safer if access and cost allows.

    Oh and get a sheet of OSB or cheap ply should you need to turn the machine on your patio or lawn. rubber scuffs and gouges dont come out easily.

    Premier Icon trail_rat
    Free Member

    The little ones are jerkey and bouncy and barely more powerful than a spade.

    sounds like youve had some busted ass little ones.

    the baby(compact sub 1 ton) bobcats are very capible and smooth machines – and much quicker and more powerful than a spade.

    on the contrary i had a 1.6ton CAT on loan for a few weeks last year and it was pathetic.

    we found lots of hire diggers are throttled back to prevent folk getting out their depth too quickly which makes them pretty pants – the Cat especially as it was right at the top end of its weight catagory and had a pants arm on – it was like a T rex and could barely dig right in front of it never mind at the end of its stroke.

    Premier Icon joshvegas
    Free Member

    What no one seems to be mentioning here is how much fun it is to live out your childhood dreams driving a real life digger. It’s ace.

    I did!

    Lets be honest in reality we are digging a wee hole but in your mind you are living out this…

    Premier Icon Sui
    Free Member

    that was an awesome programme!!

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
    Full Member

    I reckon it’ll require around 8 tons worth of earth being excavated. Rather than spending days and days with a spade,

    just have a dig and see how you get on. It’s not going to takes days and days- I doubt it would take all of a day. You’re only digging a hole and that’s what spades were made for.

    if you’re worried digging a hole takes effort imagine how much of a strain it is to ride a bicycle.

    Premier Icon JasonDS
    Full Member

    They’re ace fun! Just don’t tell your pals you’ve hired one as every bugger will be round for a go!!

    Premier Icon twinw4ll
    Free Member

    Don’t forget you’ll need to put the spoil somewhere, takes up a load more room once out of the hole. Will you need a dumper or a skip?

    Premier Icon tpbiker
    Free Member

    Cheers folks..

    Yeah the soil disposal is all planned, I just need the means to dig the hole

    The digger sounds good fun but one of the posters above has given me the image of crashing into the hole I just dug

    So I may get a driver as well..

    Premier Icon wordnumb
    Free Member

    Dynamite is quicker. Just saying.

    Premier Icon danposs86
    Full Member

    I heard using frozen sausages hammered into your planned pond area will entice the local wildlife to dig up your garden, thought of trying that first?

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
    Full Member

    Yeah the soil disposal is all planned,

    Its true that the volume to dispose of is a lot bigger than the hole you dig if you’re putting it in a skip, but depending  on the scale of your pond relative to your garden you can sort of squirrel it all away Great Escape style.

    When I was a kid the family would just on a whim dig a pond sometimes – over 6 or 7 years we dug 5 of them of various sizes then moved one, then dug one inside the greenhouse for a laugh (a neighbours tree was overshadowing it so it wasn’t really working as a greenhouse – so we dug a pond in it instead and two weeks later he cut most of the tree down – only stopped when he also nearly took his arm off with the chainsaw) so the greenhouse/pond became quite an odd ecosystem once in full sun again.

    More than 50% of the garden was water but we never disposed of any of the soil – we’d just spread it about a bit and it seemed to just vanish.

    Premier Icon singlespeedstu
    Full Member

    one of the posters above has given me the image of crashing into the hole I just dug

    I’m sure one of the guys from the hire place will be able to self extract it for you and not take the piss too much. 😁

    Premier Icon 5plusn8
    Free Member

    I agree with the others about getting a specialist in, we dig a few trenches a year and use a regular guy and his machine, he is worth his weight.

    Premier Icon wzzzz
    Free Member

    My brother in law has a mini digger and contracts for people.

    I had a go once, good fun once you get the hang of it.

    However he is about 5x times faster than me and gets the dirt in the right place, and gets the hole level and square every time.

    So if you were paying to hire one, you’ll end up paying more in days of hiring fees than paying someone a morning to do it.

    Other bonus is an operator will likely be able to take away the spoil and know of a hole that needs filling somewhere.

    Premier Icon thols2
    Free Member

    what could possibly go wrong

    Any female diggers in the neighbourhood?

    Premier Icon politecameraaction
    Free Member

    depending on the scale of your pond relative to your garden you can sort of squirrel it all away Great Escape style

    You could always just dig another hole and chuck the spoil in there.

    Premier Icon dovebiker
    Free Member

    I had the local fencing guy around to put in a 6ft deer fence around our property. He did one side fine. I looked out at the beginning of the next day to find that with the first scoop of the bucket, he’d ripped up our water supply which he then obligingly fixed. He then had to use a rock-breaker for most of the afternoon to dig the next 2 holes (we went out) to come back and find he’d put them in the wrong place. Professionals and their diggers eh? 😉

    Premier Icon Sandwich
    Full Member

    Top tip for skips is use smaller ones as the lift of the laden skip can damage your drive. Most skip collections don’t tend to use pads under the rear wheeled supports and an 8 tonne point load will break most concrete or dent block-paving.

    Premier Icon neilnevill
    Free Member

    Speaking of broken concrete drives, mine is shagged. I’m thinking I can’t put it off much longer and am considering a mini digger. Can you hire these with breakers/hydraulic chisel thingies? Since the drive is in a state I suspect I could kango it but if I can avoid the vibration numbed hands with a mini digger with breaker, then swap to bucket to shift the broken driveway to a (ply covered) shoddy lawn beside, dig the drive deeper for a better thickness of sub base, and a slightly shallower slope, old drive back in as hardcore, mot, whacker then new surface then in my mind that seems like it could be done relatively swiftly and not destroy myself with a hand tools, and wheel barrow!

    Premier Icon scuttler
    Full Member

    Try before you buy https://www.diggerland.com/

    (Although an afternoon here with kids probably costs more than renting a digger)

    Premier Icon bikesandboots
    Full Member

    If you’re into machinery and have a “feel” for machinery/cars/tools/etc., hand-eye coordination, and understand basics of gravity/physics, then it could be very satisfying and some good memories to dig it out yourself.

    Premier Icon luket
    Full Member

    As a general rule I’d say that adding the cost of the driver is comparatively very good value. However if you’re just digging a smallish hole and the spoil can go straight from digger bucket to something (dumper?) then that sounds quite easy.

    Where it gets harder is a nice finish, levelling an area, that sort of thing. I learned to do the really basic stuff in minutes, the controls are intuitive, but after many days I was still awful at eg making an area level.

    I was advised (and found out myself) that slightly bigger machines are easier to operate. Mainly through stability and having the weight and power to dig what you want, rather than lifting the machine.

    Premier Icon espressoal
    Free Member

    My mate borrowed a JCB and enjoyed it so much he re landscaped everything in sight, it looked pretty bad, dug up a gas main and knocked down the gable end of a farm outbuilding, he only stopped when the hydraulic tube came off the arm and poisoned the last remaining bit of flat garden for the next 200 years, he was really proud of it.

    I’d say if you are of an adventurous nature get someone in, or forget the pond and create a random masterpiece of sheer digger joy.

    Premier Icon longmover
    Full Member

    I agree with getting an operator, they will be quick and clean and probably work out a bit cheaper as you are paying for lest time.

    Lastly, if in in doubt about size, go bigger. The little ones are jerkey and bouncy and barely more powerful than a spade.
    Bigger is more stable, more accurate, more powerful and ultimately safer if access and cost allows.

    Bigger is always better, I once dug inspection pits with a 395 as it was the closest available digger on site. One bucket a load and done. Working in mining has skewed my perception of machines somewhat, our 349 is known as the “baby digger”.

    Premier Icon batfink
    Full Member

    Genuinely disappointed in people saying to also get an operator! IT’S A MINI DIGGER! How could you not want to do it yourself? Excluding professionals, I recon that you probably only get one chance in your lifetime to legitimately hire and operate a mini digger….. why would you not take it?!

    Yes, you might bollocks it up completely – but COME ON!

    Premier Icon scruffywelder
    Free Member

    Definitely get one with an operator!

    Tell them they will need to check with a CAT tool and genny to avoid services as hitting pipes and cables gets VERY expensive VERY quickly and it’s better their insurance takes the hit than your pocket…

    Premier Icon tthew
    Full Member

    Definitely needs a poll to decide. DIY or driver. I’m in the DIY camp myself, with batfink.

    Premier Icon tillydog
    Full Member

    What’s the worst that could happen?

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