A mini excavator doing garden improvement and landscaping

3 Tips To Find a Perfect Rental Mini Excavator for Your Home DIY Project

Mini excavators are great when you need to do small-scale construction work in your yard. A mini-excavator is excellent for backyard work or if you're looking into starting construction projects around your property because they have plenty of power to handle even large tasks easily.

As the name implies, a mini excavator is a scaled-down version of a regular excavator. With their compact size, they can easily navigate tight spaces and get into hard-to-reach places that larger machines cannot go.

Their primary function is earth moving, but their attachments can make them highly versatile so mini excavators can perform many tasks around the home and garden from tearing down an old shed to putting in a pool or water feature.

Thankfully, finding a rental mini excavator is very easy and you don’t need a special license to use them — which is why they are so popular among homeowners. But there are many brands, makes, and models out there to choose from. So how do you choose the best mini excavator for your DIY project?

Before deciding on which mini excavator to use for your DIY project, you have to consider these three essential factors:

  • Project Requirements
  • Rental Costs
  • Condition of the Machine

1. Project Requirements

The most important thing is to figure out your project requirements. The choice of the excavator depends on whether you need the excavator for minor landscaping work or some heavy trench work.

Bobcat mini excavators parked in a row

Bobcat mini excavators are very popular in the construction industry. A Bobcat mini excavator is available in many different models. An E10 Bobcat excavator is the lightest and is suitable for landscaping works. With an operating weight of 2593 lbs, it produces 10.2 horsepower. The max digging depth is 6 feet. If you want an economical option for doing minor landscaping work in your garden, go for E10 Bobcat. It can easily access tight spaces owing to its ultra-compact design.

If the project requires extensive excavation work, the E35 Bobcat mini excavator is the best mini excavator for the job. It produces 33 horsepower and weighs 8824 lbs which makes it perfect for heavy-duty works like heavy excavation or demolishing concrete. It also has an extendable arm and can dig up to 12.1 ft, this is ideal when you need to do deep excavation to get down to the sewer line.

A John Deere mini excavator offers a wide range of customization options. Models such as the John Deere 35G mini excavator will have multiple attachments that can be used for different tasks.

2. Rental Costs

The cheapest mini excavator is not always the best option. You’re going to need a machine that is economical and fulfills the project's needs.

Rental Period

You can rent mini excavators on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis from places like Rent1 equipment rentals. How long you’ll need to rent the machine will depend on how big your project is or how much work there is to do.

The most common mistake first-timers make is thinking they can get everything done in a day. You may think you're saving money when renting out heavy equipment for a single day, but if the weather is unpredictable and you need to rent it again the following day, and then the day after that, those costs really start adding up.

What's more, most companies offer discounts on longer rentals which means your expenses will actually decrease if you rent for a week instead of a few days.

Machine Model & Attachments

The cost of mini excavator rentals often varies from model to model depending on the weight of the machine (which increases transport costs or the attachments included).

If you do need special attachments like a hammer for breaking the concrete or an auger for making holes, it’s better to get them included in the mini excavator rental cost from the get-go. Should you avoid getting it as part of the initial rental and then discover you needed it, you’ll likely be paying extra to have that delivered to you.

Hiring An Operator

Although a tempting way to cut costs, it’s a bad idea to rent an excavator without an operator. Mini excavators are a little harder to operate than most people think. If you decide to operate the machine yourself, you’ll be liable for any damages or injuries caused.

Hiring a heavy equipment operator will protect you from potential lawsuits, reduce how long it takes to complete the project and can help you avoid unscheduled downtimes. Not to mention a lot of rental companies will offer discounts if you hire a heavy equipment operator for your machine.

3. Condition of The Machine

Like any rental, always check its physical condition before you sign anything. Ask the rental company for the model year and the fitness certificate for the machine. If the machine is not fit, any breakdown will cause delays and increase the overall project cost.

Choose a reputable brand-name machine like a CAT mini excavator to ensure reliability.

Make sure there is a clause about downtime in your rental contract. Usually, you can get a cost reduction if their machine breaks down on you. You may ask for an alternative machine if the problem persists for an extended period.

Overall, renting a mini excavator is a perfect choice for DIY projects as they can save you time and a lot of intensive labor. Now that you have this handy guide to reference, you can also avoid extra costs by following the tips mentioned above.

2020 CONEXPO base map for Rent1 blog

Rent1 at CONEXPO 2020

*Note the maps in this post were provided by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) on January 6th, 2020, and there will be an updated version released in February. We’re excited to announce that our media team will be onsite at CONEXPO 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Like other industry events, the Rent1 Heavy Equipment Rentals team will be recording interviews from the showroom floors to get our subscribers up to speed on the latest construction equipment trends, manufacturer products, and innovations in the heavy equipment sector. (more…)

How to Remove a Tree Stump with a John Deere 35G

A John Deere 35G is one of the most durable, versatile mini excavators on the market, true to its history and the simple beginnings of its founder, John Deere. In 1835, Deere was a humble, yet accomplished blacksmith known for getting things done with the resources available. Most of his clients were farmers, and they had a problem. Their plows, made for the sandy earth in the Eastern United States, kept breaking in the hardscrabble prairie soil of the Midwest. Deere quickly re-purposed a broken saw blade into a steel mold and was then able to forge a new, more durable plow. The next year, he became a full-fledged manufacturer, and an American legend was born. Fast-forward more than 180 years, where the 35G excavator continues to live up to that rich heritage.


Reasons Your Customer Wants that Tree Stump to Disappear

Whether you work for someone else or are an owner-operator catering to smaller clients, a John Deere 35G is the perfect machinery for getting work done efficiently and on-time. Compact but powerful, it was designed with input from owners and operators to excel in many environments and industries – from near-frozen construction sites in the big cities to blazing hot landscaping and everywhere in between.

If your tasks are residential tree removal, then you could not have picked a better product than this one. Today, you are onsite for a residential customer with a few tree stumps that need to be removed. As you talk your client through the job, he identifies just why those stumps must go – and you find yourself nodding in agreement:

  • Sometimes tree stumps are butt-ugly and just must go.
  • Lately, your customer has noticed the stumps have become the communal meeting spot for all sorts of critters: Squirrels, bees, birds and, worst of all, the neighborhood skunk.
  • Your customer has a houseful of kids who play in the backyard with friends, and the tree stumps are a potential hazard. Nothing says, “lawsuit” like kids not watching where they are running, with a tree stump in the middle of the yard.
  • Wow, look at that gnarly growth sprouting from the side of one of the stumps! It sure looks creepy, and did you forget your customer has kids?
  • Tree stumps get in the way of cutting the grass.
  • Your customer is planning for a built-in pool, so the stumps have to go.
  • Removing a tree stump is hard work, which is why your customer gave you a call.
  • The customer also pointed out roots on the run, interfering with his lawn and garden.
  • A realtor said they had to be removed before the house can be put up for sale.

How to Remove a Tree Stump with a John Deere 35G

  • First, get your John Deere 35G to the client location, ideally by transporting it on a flatbed trailer.
  • Make sure to park somewhere the trailer will not interfere with vehicles, pedestrians, or anything else in its path.
  • If you have not done so recently, reacquaint yourself with the operator’s manual.
  • Ideally, you have a co-worker who can guide you as you drive the excavator off the trailer. Use caution, and go slow.
  • Take a moment to assess the job site, noting the location of the customer’s residence, a flower bed, patio, and so forth.
  • To be safe, try digging out the ground around the stump first before trying to remove it.
  • If large, above-ground roots are near the stump, remove them first.
  • As you remove rocks, dirt, chunks of roots, or other debris, make sure to deposit it safely away from the work area – preferably in a dump truck.
  • As soon as you have removed all visible roots, it is time to go at it with the John Deere 35G bucket. And yes, you will need multiple attempts to completely remove it.
  • You can rock the stump back and forth using the bucket from different angles.
  • With the stump loosened, you can now angle the excavator bucket underneath it and lift slowly to lessen the risk of a tip-over.
  • Finally, you can safely remove the tree stump from the ground.

Follow These Safety Tips

Your John Deere 35G mini excavator makes tree stump removal a nearly-simple chore, but such tasks are can be dangerous if done haphazardly or without following safety procedures. The Government of Canada offers the following tips if you are using heavy machinery to remove a tree stump.

  • Determine the location of utility lines above grade or below ground and always work as if they were “live.”
  • Your local utility normally has a toll-free number you can call to have someone come out and place marker flags where power, water, and sewer lines are located before you start digging.
  • What is the minimum working distance between power lines and tree stumps? Your local municipality should be able to give that information.
  • The John Deere 35G is simple, designed to be operated by one person, but it is always a good idea to have a spotter nearby.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure the work area is free of pedestrians, animals, vehicles, or anything else that may pose a safety risk.
  • Watch the weather forecast and do not try to remove a tree stump during bad weather.
  • Only operate your John Deere 35G or other heavy machinery if you are trained to do so.
  • Use safety equipment as recommended, such as safety glasses, gloves, hard hats, and noise-canceling headphones.
  • Be wary of flying debris when removing tree stumps.

What Else Do You Need to Know?

Like any other job, removing tree trunks is the serious business that should not be taken lightly. Even if you are a “seasoned” stump removal expert, there is no such thing as an abundance of information. Here are other questions to think of before starting work, some of which may give you a sense of what your customer is thinking.

  • Do you know what species the stump was part of? Trees that grow tall and strong have tap roots to support heavy upper body weight are usually the hardest to dig out. Trees whose stumps are among the toughest to remove belong to the following species: hickories, white oaks, and walnuts.
  • Do you have to do any spot-digging to see how large the roots are?
  • Roots are notorious for branching in all directions, but where?
  • Proceed cautiously if it looks as if the roots snake under a structure or hard surface area.
  • Are you licensed and insured to perform the work for which you have been hired? Accident insurance is a must-have.
  • Is your work limited to a certain time of day?
  • Do you have access to a dump truck or other large vehicle to haul away the stumps or other debris?

Finally, do you need a license the do the stump removal?

Like This, Not That

Some tree stumps can be removed by hand, and can often be done with minimal effort in a few hours. If the stump is large and old, using a John Deere 35G is the way to go. But how? Every landscaping professional has a go-to method for this sort of work. Here are a few ideas to help along the way.

  • Give yourself work room by digging out around the stump first.
  • The work should only be done if the weather cooperates.
  • Stump removal should not present a hazard to structures or other parts of the property, like the owner’s residence, playscape, patio, and so forth.
  • Think about using a thumb attachment to make the bucket more efficient.
  • The ground beneath and around the stump can be used as leverage for the bucket.
  • The excavator blade is great for breaking the stump free of its roots.
  • A hydraulic hammer is useful for breaking the stump into smaller chunks once it’s free of the ground.
  • Pay attention to your surroundings, especially for people or animals in the area.

Choose the Best, Choose a Deere

There may be no other piece of heavy machinery as useful for removing tree stumps than a mini excavator. The John Deere 35G excavator was built with the customer in mind, and only after receiving feedback from owners and operators who use it daily. The 35G is available with numerous standard and optional features, such as:

  • A high-efficiency diesel engine compliant with government emission standards.
  • Ergonomic seating in a cab with large windows for a clear view of the work area.
  • A canopy to make the excavator usable in multiple weather conditions.
  • Power ports, making it easy to charge cell phones and other devices.
  • Monitoring systems so you know how the machine is functioning.
  • Multiple work modes.
  • The option to make the 35G quieter and more fuel thrifty, thanks to an engine that runs at lower RPMs.

The John Deere 35G is uniquely capable for many tasks, large and small. If you are committed to getting the job done efficiently and on time, only choose Deere.