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How Much Does it Cost to Lease a Mini Excavator?

Mini excavators are highly valuable pieces of equipment. Though smaller than their full-sized counterparts, mini excavators offer high durability and powerful operation with the added bonus of being able to navigate smaller, tighter spaces.

Leasing Vs Buying

Deciding whether to lease or to buy is a decision that most people are faced with when looking at major machinery, and it’s a difficult one at that. When choosing between the two, consider:

  • Budget: It is very important to consider what your budget and available capital looks like when deciding to buy or lease. Leasing typically comes at a much lower (sometimes none at all) upfront cost in comparison to buying. However, leasing also tends to cost more than purchasing in the long run, so it comes down to what works best for your business. There are generally tax options that help to lower the expense of both buying and leasing.
  • Maintenance: Choosing to lease a mini excavator makes maintenance and repairs far easier, since most lessors usually handle maintenance and servicing. When you buy a mini excavator, these costs always come out of your pocket.
  • Operating hours: The operating hours of the mini excavator matter whether you are purchasing (though generally only with used models) or leasing. The higher the amount of hours on a machine, the more likely it is to underperform or have a limited lifespan. Age and quality of the excavator also matter, as the newer and better maintained a unit is, the more you get from it.
  • Attachments: You may need extra attachments for your mini excavator that allow you to use the machine for multiple applications. When leasing, you may not be able to get all of the attachments you need, so it is important to think about all possible uses of the excavator.

Types of Mini Excavators

There are two types of mini excavators: tail swing, also referred to as conventional house, and zero-tail swing. The type you need depends on the available space of your worksite and your output requirements.

  • Tail swing: These models have a rear counterweight that offsets the added weight in the bucket and stabilizes the mini excavator during operation. The counterweight extends 6″ or more beyond the width of the excavator’s tracks as the machine rotates. This presents little issue in open workspaces, but can be a problem in more confined areas when it is time to rotate the machine. However, conventional house models also offer greater bucket and arm breakout force and lifting capacities. They also provide more spacious cabs that give the operator enhanced comfort.
  • Zero-tail swing: With comparable cutting height, dig depth, dump height, and reach, zero-tail swing mini excavators offer similar power to their conventional house counterparts, but with enhanced maneuverability in tight spaces. Zero-tail swing mini excavator counterweights rotate within the width of the tracks, which allows them to rotate with fewer issues than tail swing models. These machines also offer easier maintenance, with ground-level access to major components and parts.

Comparing Mini Excavator Specifications

It goes without saying that you need a mini excavator that performs to your requirements. It is important that you consider the applications you want to use the machine for to ensure it has the correct specifications and attachments for your needs. When comparing mini excavators, look at the following:

  • Dig depth: A mini excavator’s dig depth is often one of the main factors people consider when comparing machines. Dig depths for mini excavators range between 5.6′ and 12′ deep.
  • Dump height: Another major consideration, dump height is especially when looking at models for construction applications. Mini excavator dump heights range between 6′ and 13′.
  • Fuel capacity: Mini excavators perform fairly intensive tasks, even during light-duty applications, which is why they run on diesel fuel. Depending on the size and specifications of the machine, fuel tanks range in capacity from 2.6 gallons to 33 gallons.
  • Net power: The intensity of your planned applications dictates how much power you need your mini excavator to provide. The horsepower (hp) of mini excavator’s ranges between 10 hp and 50 hp.
  • Operating weight: Mini excavators range in operating weight from 2,000 pounds to 18,500 pounds. The operating weight that works best for you depends on the job at hand and the surface you intend to use the machine on.

How Much Does Leasing a Mini Excavator Cost?

The cost of leasing a mini excavator depends on the age of the machine, any attachments, specifications of the machine, make, and the dealer you purchase through. What follows is a general pricing guide to provide an idea of what you can expect to pay when leasing a mini excavator.

A 2018 model with a retail value of $40,000 and lease pricing at 8 percent interest has an average cost of:

  • $875 per month for a 60-month lease
  • $1,054 per month for a 48-month lease
  • $1,354 per month for a 36-month lease
  • $1,954 per month for a 24-month lease
  • $3,757 per month for a 21-month lease

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