Compact excavators are so easy to operate that many homeowners rent them during home improvement projects. However, the fact that they are easy to operate doesn't mean that all homeowners can use mini-excavators safely and efficiently. This article discusses some helpful tips that inexperienced homeowners can use to remain safe and get maximum value from rental mini-excavators.

Make Offset Marks

One of the simplest things that you can do to get full value from a mini-excavator is to mark offset lines before you start trenching. Those marks will guide you in your bid to make a straight trench minus the need to redo some sections of the trench when you later realise that they were not as straight as you had wanted. You can use stakes or make chalk marks on the ground for this purpose.

Position the Excavator Properly

Your offset marks may be of little value if you don't take the trouble to position the mini-excavator properly in relation to those marks. This is because the excavator may track away from the lines that you would like it to follow if it wasn't aligned with those lines in the first place. It is therefore vital for you to ensure that the front and the back of the mini-excavator is properly aligned with the offset marks before you start trenching.

Use Grade Control

You can never have a level trench if the mini-excavator isn't level on both sides. It may be necessary for you to compact some soil underneath the mini-excavator in case one side of the tracks is at a higher level than another side. Leveling the excavator will then result in digging a level trench. Some excavators come equipped with grade lasers or other forms of grade control. Use those tools to get feedback about how level your trench is.

Mind the Travel Direction

Always maintain situational awareness regarding the direction in which the compact excavator is moving. Don't be so taken up by where you are trenching that you forget to monitor the direction in which the tracks are moving. This will prevent the excavator from toppling into the trench when the tracks can no longer stay on the edge of the embankment.

Excavator hire companies usually guide renters on how to get the best from the compact excavators that they wish to use during DIY projects. Make use of those briefing sessions to ask as many questions as possible so that you understand the techniques that you need to employ when using the specific excavator that you wish to hire. Contact a service such as bobcat hire to find out more.