Rented Mini-Excavator Safety Tips

Rented mini-excavators may look like toys, but they can cause injury or death if operated improperly. Please review the safety and usage tips below. Your local, ARA-affiliated rental store professional can provide you with complete instructions. You sometimes also can view how-to video instructions at a rental store for information on using the equipment safely and effectively.


Safety tips
  • Read all manufacturer warnings and instructions prior to using a rented mini-excavator.
  • Properly secure rented mini-excavator when you transport it.
  • Follow safe practices when you hook up and tow a rented mini-excavator.
  • Wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), such as a hardhat, safety glasses and ear protection.
  • Use mini-excavator only in areas that offer adequate ventilation.
  • Keep onlookers away from the jobsite while operating the rented mini-excavator.
  • Do not allow anyone to ride in rented mini-excavator other than the operator.
  • Do not lift anyone using the bucket or boom of the rented mini-excavator.
Preparation tips
  • Mark the areas where you will dig.
  • Before you dig, call 811 — the national “Call Before You Dig” phone number — to notify utility companies of your digging plans, so that they can send out a locator to mark underground lines for free. You must wait a few days after calling before digging. The exact time requirements for waiting vary by state.
  • Usage tips
  • Rent the appropriate mini-excavator from your local ARA-affiliated rental store. See What Do You Need in a Mini-Excavator Rental? for a description of possible features available on rented mini-excavators.
  • Check and, if needed, service fluid levels in rented mini-excavator.
  • Select an attachment — approved by the manufacturer of the rented mini-excavator — that suits your intended application. Make sure to secure it to the mini-excavator properly.
  • Perform a worksite inspection, taking note of all overhead electrical lines or obstructions, as well as drop-offs and steep slopes. Maintain a minimum clearance of at least 10 feet from overhead electrical lines.
  • Follow manufacturer’s recommendations for starting and shutting off the rented mini-excavator.
  • Do not exceed the lift capacity of the rented mini-excavator.
  • Never lift a load over anyone.
  • When moving the rented mini-excavator, keep the bucket or attachment low to the ground.
Contact your local, ARA-affiliated, rental store for information on available rental products and services to meet your mini-excavator needs. To locate the rental store nearest you, use the Rental Store Quick Locator above.

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