What is the Right Excavator for your Job?


Deciding which is the right excavator to hire for the job is often the hardest part of the hire process. Excavators come in all shapes and sizes with a range of purposes to make your life on site easier. From long reach excavators to compact excavators we can help you decide which excavator you need to hire.

Excavators are one of the most prevalent construction machines in the industry, so finding and hiring the one you need isn’t a difficult process. The main problem you will find is availability, one day you may be able to get an excavator to site in an hour and another day all excavators may be booked out for a week.

If you need to hire an excavator with an operator, which is called ‘wet hire’ in the industry, availability can vary even more. It’s important to be flexible with your own availability and work with the excavator hire company to get the job done. We have come up with a few key questions you need to answer that will help you decide which is the right excavator for your job.

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What is the size of your job?

The size of your job will directly determine the size excavator you need to hire. This includes the amount of work there needs to be done and the space available to accommodate an excavator. If you are completing a residential job, such as digging a pool in the backyard of a house the maximum size excavator you would need to hire would be an 8 tonne excavator.

Residential jobs almost always need mini excavators as there is simply not enough room for larger excavators to safely operate between utility lines, power lines and houses. However, if you live rurally and have the space, it is cost effective to hire a bigger excavator that can get the work done faster.

Generally, commercial excavator hire means bigger excavators, but it all comes down to the size of the job. If you land a job expecting to take a few weeks, you’ll need a big excavator, but if it’s a smaller project expecting to take a few days a smaller excavator will do the job. If you're unsure which excavator size is best for your job, be sure to contact our suppliers directly or iSeekplant can get you in touch.

What type of excavator for hire do you need?

The type of excavator you need to hire depends on your job, the different types of excavators for hire we have on iSeekplant are:

  1. Standard Excavator
    A standard excavator is used for the majority of excavator hires and is able to use a range of attachments. Standard excavators can be anywhere from 10 tonne to 80 tonne in size, though special purpose excavators can go up to 350 tonnes.
  2. Mini Excavator
    Mini excavators are a smaller version of a standard excavator with all the same features. They specialise in tight access and residential work and go up to 5.5 tonnes in size.
  3. High Reach Excavator
    High reach excavators are predominantly used on tall building demolitions as the high boom allows for the operator to avoid falling debris. The high boom also provides more accurate and targeted demolition.
  4. Long Reach Excavator
    Long reach excavators are used for difficult earthworks, demolition works and where a standard excavator boom can not reach. They are used because of their increased accuracy and safety.
  5. Amphibious Excavator
    Amphibious excavators are designed to go through and work around water. They are predominantly used for dredging purposes and are safer to use for these jobs than standard excavators.
  6. Spider Excavator
    A spider excavator is used for all terrain excavation and they are equipped with four wheels and four hydraulic stabilizing claws. They are predominantly used in rural, alpine and forestry locations where their all-terrain design is needed.
  7. Chameleon Clamshell Excavator
    A chameleon clamshell excavator has a special boom that allows the operator to extent it down 30m to complete underground excavation, then retract it and drop the load into transport. They are used predominantly in inner city and underground constructions.


Does the excavator hire need attachments?

Excavators are hired to dig holes and move loose materials, but they are also hired for a range of other uses. Excavator attachment hire is an important part of an excavator hire as generally a job needs an excavator to perform more than one task. Popular excavator attachments are augers, rock breakers, hydraulic grabs and trenchers.

Hiring an excavator with multiple attachments is often cheaper and faster than hiring a range of construction machines or equipment. An excavator hire with an auger attachment makes drilling post holes and moving the leftover earth a two step process for the excavator. An excavator hire with a rock breaker attachment makes light work of a road demolition and clean up.

Things to consider before hiring an excavator

Before you contact excavator hire companies there are a few things you can do to make your life a little bit easier. If you have been hired to complete the job, find out as much information as you can. This means going to the site, if possible, and seeing the work needing completed, taking photos and speaking in depth about the project with your client.

If you’re looking to hire someone to complete your excavation job, ensure you have measurements and photos of the site, the type of ground material and estimated time frame ready for the excavator hire company. These things will greatly help the hiring company decide what excavator you need and how long it will take them to complete the job across Australia.

If your job doesn't fit these generalisations, it’s best to call us on 1300 691 912 or an excavator hire company to discuss the job requirements. Often challenging excavator hire jobs will need to be planned, with extra time and services allocated to ensure the excavation job will be finished on time and on budget.

How to Hire an Excavator

Our extensive network of suppliers offer quality excavator hire across Australia in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Canberra, Adelaide and Darwin as just some of the locations available.

Excavator Hire Get Rates Form

If you need an excavator today? Use the iSeekplant get a quote tool to have suppliers contact you.


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