Anyone had a Mini Digger for a weekend ?

John

Moderator
Thinking of hiring one to do a bit of work in the garden. Just wondered what anyones experiences of them are ?
I would also have to hire a mini dumpster to move the spoil so was am weighing up the option of hiring a contractor
I am looking at about £350 for the hire of both items

When i say bit of work, I mean foundations & a bit of leveling, which would be the hardest part I am lead to believe :thumbsup:
 

IronGiant

Moderator
My B-I-L hired one to dig foundations when he terraced his back garden, it was incredibly useful and great fun (think Digger Land :)).
 

John

Moderator
I was taking it as a given it would be great fun :D
 
This looks great fun.

Want some help?

:)

 

kav

Distinguished Member
I hired one to dig the foundations for my garage - superb fun. I started with a spade and dug about a ton of earth before thinking, screw this. Hired the digger for a weekend and had the full job done in four hours. Spent the rest of the weekend trying little stunts and shoving stuff around for the fun of it. :D

One thing, beware of waste pipes and their ilk. They're supposed to be a minimum of 18 inches underground but as I found out they sometimes aren't. Luckily the repair job I had was straightforward. Dig shallowly rather than going for the supermaxpowerdepth approach.
 
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clc.sheff

Distinguished Member
I have hired one loads.

they are vey easy machines to use. You will get to grips with the basics in five minutes.......However

Levelling is the harder bit as it involves moving the arm, elbow and bucket at the same time. this requires you to use your hands more independantly.

Best advice I could give regarding levelling (said in a yoda voice works best ). DONT think about it too much it will make you worse not better. Feeel the bucket working as an extension of yourself.

NOW FOR THE REALLY IMPORTANT BIT!

A massive dose of common sense is required. Study the are carefully for anything that might show underground pipes / cables etc. This includes inside the house. Scrape the surface down in thin layers and be wary of everything you see. Plastic, Areas of sand, anything. Get off the digger and have a look. Get a spade and explore carefully if needs be.

Be careful of overhead obstructions and hitting things like gutters / softfits / downpipes.

Other random advice:

- Changing buckets can be a bit tricky. A decent lump hammer and something like a cold chisel may help you here. Try to set the bucket gently down on the floor so you can drag one out and another back into place to put the pin back in.

- If you get a mate to help drive the dumper quite often the smaller ones dont have a safety bar on them. Don't accidentally knock his head off by swinging the bucket round too quick.

- Plan your route out. i.e. don't dig yourself into a corner.

Edit: meant to say dumper not digger.
 
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kav

Distinguished Member
All great advice from clc.sheff - if you're getting the digger delivered you should also get a decent run-down from the owner along those lines. My guy was very helpful.
 

IronGiant

Moderator
Best advice I can give is don't accidentally knock your neighbour's fence down :D

:blush:
 

Dony

Distinguished Member
Best advice I can give is don't treat it as a toy and something to have fun on. I work in the industry, and every accident I've ever attended / reported on have been down to operator error, including a number of fatalities.

There are experienced operators currently doing time for manslaughter following a couple of fatalities during the construction of the Olympic site.
 

kav

Distinguished Member
Best advice I can give is don't treat it as a toy and something to have fun on. I work in the industry, and every accident I've ever attended / reported on have been down to operator error, including a number of fatalities.

There are experienced operators currently doing time for manslaughter following a couple of fatalities during the construction of the Olympic site.

That does not surprise me in the least - I came close to doing what Dave mentioned above, clipping my neighbours' fence. It just took a moment's lapse of concentration. Even a nudge from them is so powerful it can do serious damage. I can easily see why getting complacent on one could be potentially fatal.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Neighbour is digging out his garden with one. If he goes any deeper he'll hit the Number 2 Rhondda seam of coal. Local guy charging £150 per day for digger and operative.
 

John

Moderator
Well this weekend [-]is[/-] was the weekend I was going to hire the digger . Except my ground workers came through in the end so I will pay them instead. Good job too and there is an unmarked soil pipe running along (not across) the bottom of the trench (bugger). So much for paying extra for planning a 3.5m extension instead of 3m.
And I knew there was going to be soil, lots of it. But OH MY GOD !!
 

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