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How Much Does it Cost to Rent a Mini Excavator?

One of the most important pieces of equipment on any work site, mini excavators are commonly used for backfilling, digging, grading, and leveling. You may not need a mini excavator permanently, though, in which case renting is the perfect solution.

Uses of a Mini Excavator

Mini excavators have a number of uses, which is why they are considered so valuable on site. These machines are used across multiple industries for a variety of purposes, such as:

  • Backfilling
  • Demolition
  • Digging ditches, holes, ponds, or trenches
  • Flattening landscaping
  • Plowing
  • Removing stumps
  • Sewer line repair

Essentially any project that requires demolition or digging is made easier with a mini excavator. The machines also have a variety of attachments available that increase their uses and improve upon existing abilities.

Using a Mini Excavator

It is important that a mini excavator is operated by someone that has been fully trained and understands the proper way to operate it. They are small, but they are still powerful and can be dangerous. Always be sure to read through any directions that come with the excavator you rent, as these include cautions and instructions specific to that model. However, there are other guidelines that should be kept in mind.

First, it is recommended that you test the mini excavator before using it for a project. Test the machine in an open area with plenty of space and a level, smooth surface to get a feel for it and get comfortable with the controls. All mini excavators require you to sit in the cab and use similar controls for operation, but some cabs rotate completely, providing full visibility.

The majority of tracks or wheels on mini excavators move forward and backward only, with right and left sides controlled separately to allow the operator to turn. It is these types of control mechanisms that make it important for the driver to fully understand the controls and feel comfortable operating the excavator.

How Much Does Renting a Mini Excavator Cost?

The cost of renting a mini excavator depends on the make, model, and size of the excavator, as well as any add-ons, length of the rental, and the dealer you rent through. That being said, what follows is a general pricing guide to provide an idea of what you can expect to pay when renting a mini excavator.

  • Mini excavators have an average rental cost between $200 and $500 per day, with heavy-duty models costing as much as $3,000 per day.
  • Mid-range models have an average rental cost between $400 and $1,200 per day.
  • Renting by the week or month typically saves costs on larger or longer projects. When renting by the week, expect to save between 20 and 30 percent of the average daily price, and up to 60 percent for monthly renting.
  • If you need to hire an operator, expect to pay between $20 and $50 an hour, but some companies include an operator with the rental fee.
  • Delivery has an average cost of $3 per mile. Total costs varying based on the distance between the rental company and the work site, but average between $70 and $150.
  • Attachments are usually considered separate rentals, with an average cost between $50 and $800 per day, depending on the attachment.

Additional Pricing

In addition to the cost of the excavator itself, there are some other costs to keep in mind:

  • Additional accessories: Though these costs are listed above, it is incredibly important to think about any accessories you may need when setting your budget. Anything such as augers, blades, grapples, or hammers are going to cost extra, and it is best to have already thought about that when it comes time to finalize your rental agreement.
  • Equipment storage: If you do not have a large enough garage, or anywhere else to properly keep the mini excavator, you’re going to need to find a storage rental where you can safely store it. Costs depend on the length of the storage rental, but average between $175 and $399.
  • Fuel: This is one that many forget about, but the cost of fuel is something you need to consider. You need to keep the machine properly fueled over the course of the rental, but also before returning it to avoid extra fees. Fuel prices fluctuate often, but average between $0.80 and $1 per liter.
  • Insurance: Just about every rental company requires you to pay for insurance that has an average cost of 12 percent of the amount you pay for the rental. However, this only covers unexpected equipment damage that is not your fault.

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