Here Are Summaries and Specs for 17 Different Mini Excavator Product Lines (Courtesy of the 2022 Spec Guide)

Caterpillar excavator

In 2022, the mini or compact excavator segment is one of the hottest machine markets in U.S. construction equipment. These small, tool-carrier excavators are growing in popularity both in the equipment fleet and the rental lot. Like most categories in this spec guide, versatility and size are the key to popularity. Compact excavators can be transported easily and can tackle a variety of applications onsite, such as digging basements, burying downspouts, compacting soil, trenching service lines, augering holes for trees or grappling obscenely big, decorative rocks.

Defined as excavators under 6 metric tons (although we cover a few bigger ones in this magazine as well), these are small excavation machines engineered with an undercarriage and tracks, a long digging arm and a cab or ROPS enclosure. Typically, with a dig depth between 5 and 15 ft + and an operating weight between 2,000 and 20,000 lbs, compact excavators can fit into cramped worksites and still give big dig power. These units have grown so popular that the number of manufacturers offering models is a little overwhelming — Bobcat, Caterpillar, Yanmar, Volvo, John Deere, Kubota, Kobelco, Takeuchi, Case, New Holland, Hitachi and beyond.

The 3.5- to 4-metric-ton class continues to drive the compact hydraulic excavator market (especially in rental), and the 5- to 6-metric-ton size class is beginning to heat up. Conventional-style compact excavators continue to share space with the minimum and zero tail swing designs. Zero tail swing, or ZTS, continues to be a popular option (excavators that are designed to keep their cabs within the width of their tracks). In addition to an excavator’s many features (enclosed cabs, backfill blades, extendable sticks, retractable undercarriages), a plethora of attachments are readily available to take on tasks beyond digging (hydraulic thumbs, breakers, specialty buckets, augers, grapples, mowers and more). Also, one of the latest trends in the category is commercially available electric and hybrid variants.

How do you choose? Most applications for compact excavators are project-based, so what will the dig depth of your job be, and what are the installation specs of the product (drainage pipe, fiber optics, tree transplants or caskets)? Weigh those project details with the particular specifications of the compact excavator you’re eyeing. Popular mini ex specs include operating weight, digging depth, bucket breakout force and maximum reach.

Bobcat Mini Excavators Summarized
Case Mini Excavators Summarized
Caterpillar Mini Excavators Summarized

Doosan Infracore North America Mini Excavators Summarized
Hitachi Construction Machinery Americas Inc. Mini Excavators Summarized
JCB Mini Excavators Summarized
John Deere Mini Excavators Summarized

Kobelco Construction Machinery USA Mini Excavators Summarized
Kubota Mini Excavators Summarized

LiuGong North America Mini Excavators Summarized
Mecalac Mini Excavators Summarized
New Holland Mini Excavators Summarized

Takeuchi Mini Excavators Summarized
Sany America Mini Excavators Summarized
Volvo Construction Equipment Mini Excavators Summarized
Wacker Neuson Mini Excavators Summarized

Yanmar Compact Equipment Mini Excavators Summarized

Keith Gribbins is publisher of Compact Equipment.

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