What Is a Mini Excavator Bucket?

Lori Kilchermann

A mini excavator bucket is an attachment that is mounted onto the boom and pick of a mini excavator to allow the operator to accomplish many digging and trenching tasks. Often much wider than the standard mini excavator bucket, optional buckets are equipped with tilting mechanisms and can be much wider than the typical excavator bucket. This enables the mini excavator to load dump trucks and trailers often, in a short time. The standard mini excavator bucket is used when trenching to lay sewer pipe, electric cable and other buried utilities where a full-size excavator is too large and hand-digging would be too difficult.

Man with a drill
Man with a drill

The mini excavator is often available to rent, making home repair and small- to medium-sized projects much easier to complete while doing minimal damage to the landscape. The mini excavator bucket is able to dig through most difficult obstacles encountered when digging, such as stone, tree roots and hard clay. When utilizing the mini excavator bucket to bury utility cable or pipe, the narrowest bucket is often suitable for the job, while spreading sand for concrete support or a swimming pool may require a larger bucket style. Many mini excavators also include a small dozer-like blade that makes back-filling a trench as easy as straddling the trench and driving the machine forward.

Much like the larger version, the mini excavator bucket has teeth welded to the cutting edge of the bucket to enable the bucket to power through hard ground. The teeth also work fine for removing tree roots and even small bushes and shrubs. By placing the teeth in the root system, the mini excavator bucket is able to dislodge even the most stubborn roots, allowing the operator to pull the unwanted foliage from the ground and place it in a dump truck, pickup truck or trailer for disposal.

There are two basic styles of mini excavator used in the home rental industry: the open cab stand up version and the cabbed ride-in machine. While the cab style replicates the full-sized version, both styles use a very similar type of mini excavator bucket. When renting a mini excavator, the rental agent will typically ask about the intended use of the machine and will install the proper bucket for the job.

It is never wise to ride or give others a ride in a mini excavator bucket. Serious injury and death could result from a slight mistake. The mini excavator may seem almost toy-like in design, however, it is very strong and can do serious damage if care is not taken to operate the machine in a professional manner.

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