Mini excavators, such as Kato excavators, for example, are versatile equipment for a range of situations. While they are ideal for contractors and those in construction and forestry, they are also suitable for homeowners as well. They are easy to operate, are of a convenient size for small projects, and you can use them for a whole host of different tasks with attachments.
However, just because Kato excavators, and other brands, are easy to use, doesn’t mean everyone knows how to operate them safely and to their full potential. Read on to learn not only how to use a mini excavator for trenching, but in general.
Creating Guiding Marks
Homeowners who have hired, bought or borrowed a mini excavator will have a fair idea of the area they need to trench, but not the exact parameters. For a tidy, competent job, precision is everything. Create your offset lines before you start to use the equipment. The marks will act as guidance for you to create a straight trench in the exact area you needed it to be. Chalk, stakes, or spray paint will be suitable for creating these marks.
Aligning the Excavator
Your guiding marks will help you to dig the trench precisely where you need it, but they are only going to be convenient if your excavator is in the right place, to begin with. Line it up exactly with the lines. If you don’t, the excavator can veer off course and you end up trenching with less precision. Both the back and front of your mini excavator should line up within the parameters you set.
Preparing an Even Surface
If you are working in open terrain with a mini excavator, you’ll have very little trouble with creating an even surface. However, someone’s yard can be quite different. If the ground isn’t even, then your mini excavator may create an uneven trench. Even high-quality Kato excavators and other brands can only do so much when the terrain is challenging!
You can prepare an even work surface by packing soil on the lower side. It also wouldn’t hurt to check whether your excavator has a grade laser or form of grade control to measure the level.
Being Aware of Your Tracks
Sometimes, you can get so caught up in the job of trenching that you don’t know where your mini excavator is tracking. Situational awareness is everything. Know where your excavator is positioned at all times to prevent it from falling into the trench.
How to Use Your Mini Excavator Safely
Kato excavators among many brands are some of the most comfortable machines to operate. They are designed with a user-friendly approach in mind. However, the user still has to put effort into the safe use and maintenance of a mini excavator.
The first thing you need to do is to make sure you have the best safety gear. Steel-cap boots, dust masks, and hard hats are standard tools of the trade for every worksite. Accidents can happen at any time, and are more prevalent in industries with machinery.
You then need to carry out a pre-start check before you get to work. Both home users and contractors can benefit from doing so. Use the provided seatbelt, do not carry passengers, check your lights and gauges, and test your blade, slew, and boom controls before you start work.
When you work on your mini excavator for maintenance and repairs, make sure you use genuine parts and are familiar with maintenance protocols. Follow the maintenance schedule you receive with your manual. You should also never work under your mini excavator when it’s raised.
When the time comes to carry out the job, make sure you’re aware of all utility lines and that you survey your work site. Visitors and pets should be kept well away from the working area. Finally, ensure that the load you are working with is within the Safe Working Load outlined in your manual.
When the working day has finished, and you’re knocking off, set up your mini excavator on even ground with your blade or bucket lowered to the ground. Switch your RPM to low and turn your engine off with the key. Exit the machine only after you have also raised the pilot lever to ‘off’. Maintain three points of contact at all times and lock all doors and hatches.
Anyone who owns a Kato excavator or another brand will know how versatile and reliable their machine is. After all, they are made with user-friendliness in mind! However, you can’t get complacent. All machinery can be dangerous when you don’t use or maintain it as designed. Make sure you follow all safety and maintenance protocol, and that you’ve got plans in place for successful trenching operations. You can then use an excavator with confidence.