Mini Excavators For Landscaping: What You Need To Know

If you have a construction company, you’re probably always looking for ways to elevate and improve your inventory of machinery. By this point, you likely have years of experience in landscaping excavators, but what about mini ones? In this article, we provide an insightful guide that explores what mini excavators are and how they could help to improve your landscaping projects.

What is a mini excavator?

A mini excavator, also known as a compact excavator, is a piece of landscaping equipment designed to dig and move materials like rock, dirt, and sand. It might also be used for demolition purposes. As its name suggests, a mini excavator is more compact than a normal excavator, meaning it’s better suited to tight and narrow spaces. Due to its smaller size, a mini excavator is most commonly used on small to medium-sized construction projects.

How they work

Mini excavators are typically operated with a joystick control system and have a variety of attachments – like augers, compaction wheels, buckets, compactor plates and rippers – that allow the operator to perform functions like digging, grading, trenching, and demolition. Mini excavators typically have a diesel engine and hydraulic system that drives the tracks, enabling the machine to move over rough terrain.

Mini excavators will also include a cab, which is where the operator, who is trained to handle this machinery, will drive, manoeuvre and control it safely. Some mini excavators will have a cab that can rotate in a full circle so that it’s easy for the operator to see what they’re doing and be fully aware of their immediate surroundings.

While most mini excavators have tracks, some do come with wheels. Wheels are ideal if the mini excavator will be used on sites that have smooth surfaces, for example, concrete. Tracks, meanwhile, are best suited to rough terrains like dirt, grass, rocks, and gravel, or any site that is uneven. Tracks are typically made of steel or rubber; steel tends to be more suitable if the landscaping mini excavator has to navigate rough terrain whereas rubber is typically reserved for smoother surfaces.

Attachments for mini excavators

While they are very powerful on their own, mini excavators come with attachments that make them even more versatile, including:


Buckets are probably the most common type of attachment for landscape excavation. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes and can be used for digging trenches, grading soil, and picking up or moving large rocks and debris.


Rippers are designed to break up hard surfaces such as asphalt and concrete, making them ideal for demolition projects. They can also be used to break up large chunks of earth and rock.


Augers are a type of attachment used to dig deep holes in the ground. They are often used to plant poles or posts, and can also be used to dig foundations for buildings.


Grapples are great for moving and lifting large objects, such as logs and rocks. They are composed of a metal frame that opens and closes with hydraulics and they have claws or teeth to grip onto the object.

What kind of projects require a mini excavator?

Although mini excavators are more compact, they are still very powerful and can take on a wide range of jobs. This is, in large part, due to their many attachments, making them popular in the construction and landscaping industries as they are very adaptable to different scenarios and tasks. Below is a list of some of the tasks and projects that a mini excavator for landscaping is suitable for:

  • Digging holes
  • Creating trenches
  • Demolishing sheds or other structures
  • Flattening landscaping
  • Removing stumps
  • Digging garden ponds
  • Ploughing snow
  • Digging irrigation ditches

Mini excavators are ideal for practically any project that requires digging or demolition of some kind. They are also ideal if the job is too large for a basic handheld tool such as a shovel and requires more strength and power to achieve the desired results.

Their smaller size makes them suitable for sites that wouldn’t be able to accommodate a larger excavator or where access for construction machinery is limited. This is why they are favoured for landscaping jobs on a residential scale, such as garden renovations.

The Sany Mini Excavators

Here at YELLO Equipment™, we have a range of mini excavators for landscaping. These SANY mini excavators are small but powerful and will make great additions to your fleet of construction machinery. Below is a full list of the mini excavators available:

  • SANY SY16C 1.7T – Ideal for tough jobs in tight spaces, the SY16C 1.7T is robust and durable with pint-sized power.
  • SANY SY18C 1.8T – Extremely powerful with excellent sustainability, the SY18C 1.8T is efficient and has a powerful load-sensing hydraulic system with responsive and precise controls.
  • SANY SY26U 2.6T – Highly practical for smaller spaces, the SY26U 2.6T is an ‘all purpose’ machine that’s perfect when power and manoeuvrability are required.
  • SANY SY35U 3.8T – Compact, flexible and versatile, the SY35U 3.8 includes excellent safety features and impressive power.

To find out more about the mini excavators we have available at YELLO Equipment™, call us at 1300 093 556 today.