How much can an excavator dig in a day?

Excavators are very effective for any job that involves the removal of dirt from any site, which will save costs on manpower. An excavator can be used to dig between 350 to 1000 cubic yards per day and this depends on several factors that include the capacity of the bucket, the nature of the ground, and the skill of the operator to navigate certain elements during operation.


What are excavators used for?

Excavators are mainly used for digging trenches, holes, and foundation sites on construction sites. This makes the tasks to be completed easier and more efficient than when done manually. Excavators are very effective equipment for digging and have more ability than any other heavy equipment on the market. Excavators have been widely used in industries such as mining, agriculture, and construction.


Does digging capacity of an excavator vary by brand or excavator type?

Excavators are vehicles that move earth and other types of debris. They are identified by their parts which include the arm, bucket, rotating cab, and moveable tracks. Normally their digging capacity depends on their arms and bucket depth including how hard the earth that is being dug up is. In some situations, digging capacity is determined by the model of the excavator, and that specification is determined by the brand of the manufactured vehicle.

Practically, modifications in models imply that the excavators will differ in terms of details such as weight and engine capacity. However, in most situations, excavators differ in digging capacities due to variations in type. Different types of excavators were designed for specific purposes and that can only mean that their abilities were targeted when being manufactured. Therefore, the digging capacity of excavators mostly varies due to their types more than their brand specifications.


Factors that influence how much an excavator can dig

Excavators are very useful heavy-duty diggers but most of them vary in their digging capacity. Some factors affect just how much they can dig, including:

Bucket size

The bucket is the hollow-shaped part of the hydraulic excavator that is used to dislodge and move the earth from one location to another. The bucket is attached to an arm with a lever for movement. The bucket has teeth that allow it to dig into the earth and it scoops earth into its hollow surface and deposits it into the intended location. Excavator buckets differ in size and often determine how much soil they can dig at a time. Buckets are designed to withstand heavy loads and their sizes determine the type of equipment they can be used with. Bigger excavator buckets will dig up and move more earth than smaller ones.


The soil or earth conditions

Hard earth makes it more difficult for excavators to dig up dirt than the soft ones. This invariably affects the average digging conditions and amount of earth that it can move and hence its digging capacity. The presence of rocks on a construction site will slow down the job and invariably take up more time to complete.


The power of the excavator engine

Digging up the earth is a job that requires sufficient power even for a soft soil surface. This can only mean that harder jobs or sites will demand excavators of a higher power. For instance, a mini excavator can only access small sites and has a horsepower of just 13. The lift capacity ranges from 1.2kN (0.13 ton) to 7.0kN (0.71 ton). The largest excavators have a horsepower of 4,500 while weighing significantly higher and can lift and dig up more earth than most excavators.


The skill of the operator

The operator’s skill and efficiency of the particular machine can have a very big impact on how much an excavator can dig and invariably affect production speed. Inexperienced operators may find it hard to navigate the equipment and this affects digging.


How much does it cost to hire an excavator for a day?

Excavators are one of the most in-demand plant for construction and other purposes in Australia and they come in different sizes and types. The following are the rates for hiring an excavator in Australia: 

Excavator Size Average Dry Hire Rates (per hour) Average Wet Hire Rates (per hour)
1-2 Tonne Excavator $40+ GST $115+ GST
3-4 Tonne Excavator $50+ GST $120+ GST
5-6 Tonne Excavator $55+ GST $125+ GST
7-9 Tonne Excavator $60+ GST $130+ GST
10 Tonne Excavator $65+ GST $135+ GST

View our full excavator hire rates guide to make sure you’re finding the best rates for excavator hire near you and to view our full comprehensive excavator costs by size.


So, how much can an excavator dig in one day?

An efficient excavator can dig between 350 to 1000 cubic yards in a day barring any other factors including bucket capacity, operator skill, earth type, and others. This is an important factor to consider before proceeding to hire any type of excavator.


Tips for increasing digging productivity

Operating excavators correctly will always lead to improved productivity when trenching and digging at any construction site. This implies that an operator needs to take specific measures to ensure that the equipment is in top shape at all times. Some of the tips include:

Choose the appropriate excavator

Different types of excavators are suitable for specific construction sites. Ensure that you get the appropriate excavator for the type of job you wish to do to ensure improved productivity.

Take safety measures

There is always a danger of toppling over when you're operating an excavator over loose soil. This can endanger the operator and even damage the equipment as a result. Therefore, it’s important to maintain a safe distance from the edge of the soil you’re excavating and always take note of where you’re moving soil to.

Keep to maintenance schedules

Operators and construction site managers must ensure that they keep to the maintenance schedules of the excavators they use. Routine maintenance such as lubrication, pressure gauge maintenance, and others ensure that the equipment is always in top shape.

Operate the equipment correctly

Operators should be able to have a good understanding of the operating procedures of the machines before usage, and depending on the size of the machine, should have an excavator ticket or licence . This ensures that they do not encounter accidents that can endanger life and affect machine longevity.


Hire an excavator through iseekplant

Excavators are heavy-duty machines that require delicate and proper care when operating. Various factors, including the bucket size, soil conditions, excavator engine’s power, and operator’s skill, can determine how much excavation can be completed in a day. Therefore, you need to have a better idea and understand the nature of the job you want to do before hiring one for improved productivity. Contact us today at iseekplant to request quotes from different professional excavator suppliers. You can also compare hydraulic excavator quotes and excavation rates using our Get a Quote Tool , so head online today and find the best supplier for your project. If you're looking for more information on how to hire from the marketplace, email our projects team for expert advice.