Mini Excavators: Equipment Spotlight

Mini Excavators by Kobelco Construction Machinery USA, Volvo, John Deere, Bobcat Company, Case, Hitachi, Hyundai Construction, Caterpillar, New Holland, Kubota and Doosan.

Kobelco Construction Machinery USA
Kobelco’s line of compact excavators feature four small but powerful models ranging from the 3,000 to 12,000 pound classes. Kobelco’s smallest model, the 3,640 pound SK17SR has a compact footprint and zero-tail overhang with tracks that retract to a slim width of 39 inches, perfect for jobs in tight spaces. Kobelco’s larger 5,870 pound SK27SR and 8,200 pound SK35SR models provide a bit more muscle for heavier-duty digging and lifting. The largest 12,295 pound 55SRx machine boasts a 39 hp engine and is a versatile, short radius excavator providing full-size performance. Kobelco’s compact excavators are agile machines offering operators maximum productivity and maneuverability in even the tightest of spaces. 281.888.8430,


When space is in short supply, Volvo’s ECR58D and ECR88D short swing radius compact excavators are in their element. Both models feature automatic two-speed travel for superior traction, and hydraulic travel pedals for easy and accurate track control. Featuring a narrow body design and centrally positioned boom, the superstructure on the ECR58D and ECR88D is so compact that its rear swings within its track shoe, allowing operators to work extremely close to other objects without risk of collision. The excavators are available with a mono-boom (or an optional two-piece boom on the ECR88D), several arm configurations and blade. The D-Series also offers a variety of optional quick couplers and a new and extensive range of genuine Volvo attachments. 828.650.2000,

John Deere

The 50G and 60G units feature a wide variety of improvements, many of which affect the cab design to improve visibility, operator comfort and thus productivity. These new models are particularly well suited for the rental, and underground segments. A widened and lengthened cab for improved operator comfort and a Final Tier 4 solution offer a seamless operation experience with no interruption. Both models incorporate the auto-idle feature that slows engine speed when the pilot-control levers are momentarily released – for reduced fuel consumption and noise. A new door design improves entry and visibility to the left hand side of the machine. The door design also widens the size of the opening for entering the cab. Within the operator station, a new multifunction monitor provides a coolant temperature and fuel gauge, clock, two trip meters, regeneration inhibit, auto shut down control, and machine hours among the many functions. 800.503.3373,

Bobcat Company

With 8,069 foot-pounds of arm force and increased bucket force, the new Bobcat E85 compact excavator provides exceptional productivity when excavating or trenching. Additionally, it has an impressive 14,509 foot-pounds of breakout force – an 18 percent increase over its predecessor for class-leading productivity, and has a dig depth of 15 feet 6 inches. For improved uptime protection, the E85 has new boom cylinder guards protecting the boom cylinder when the excavator is digging. Integrated into the undercarriage are four convenient tie-down points to simplify trailer loading for transport. 866.823.7898,


Case Construction Equipment’s CX55B minimum tail swing compact excavator features a large boom and arm for excellent reach and power. The CX55B delivers 11,240 foot-pounds of bucket digging force. Its 39.3-hp engine, operating weight of 12,295 pounds and dig depth of 12 feet 10 inches – combined with the minimum tail swing design – make it ideal for working in tight locations. 262.636.6011,


Hitachi Construction’s ZX27U-3 compact excavator boasts reduced fuel consumption with a cleaner, more powerful Interim Tier 4 engine. Efficient zero- and near-zero-tail-swing designs lower the center of gravity, increase stability and let you work in tight areas. Features of the robust machine include fast and easy bucket and attachment switchovers; boom-mounted auxiliary hydraulic lines and an auxiliary return-flow selector valve accommodate both one- and two-way hydraulically driven attachments. Maintenance is easy with the 2,000 hour hydraulic oil and 500 hour engine oil interval. The ZX27U-3 delivers 2,970 pounds of arm force, a bucket force of 4,994 pounds, and swing speed is 9.1 rpm while digging 9 feet 6 inches deep.

Hyundai Construction

The new R25Z-9A zero swing excavator provides operators with enhanced features and benefits compared to its prior model including a certified Interim Tier 4 engine upgrade, improved hydraulics, increased operator comfort and added durability. The R25Z-9A is part of Hyundai’s new line of 9A series excavators, all of which meet Tier 4 Interim standards. The 5,730 pounds excavator is powered by a 23-hp Interim Tier 4, Mitsubishi S3L2 engine. The machine boasts a dig depth of 7 feet 11 inches, bucket digging force of 4,740 foot-pounds and bucket capacity of 0.09 cubic yards. A dozer blade comes standard for light grading, backfilling and for stability while excavating. The R25Z-9A offers a tail swing radius of 2 feet 7 inches giving end-users easy, efficient operation on sites where space is limited. 877.509.2254,


The five compact-radius Cat E Series Mini Hydraulic Excavators—303.5E CR, 304E CR, 305E CR, 305.5E CR and 308E CR SB—all Stage IIIA /Tier 4 Interim emissions regulations and incorporate features such as the COMPASS digital control panel, standard high-ambient cooling package, more efficient auxiliary hydraulics, and redesigned control layout. The models are designed to carry on the solid performance of their D Series predecessor, while adding even greater value for the customer. Built into the COMPASS monitor are an anti-theft system, which requires a five-digit alphanumeric password to start the machine, and an Economy Mode feature (3.5- to 5.5-ton machines), which potentially can lower fuel use up to 20 percent by adjusting engine speed. An automatic engine-idle system drops engine rpm to idle after 4 seconds of inactivity.

New Holland

New Holland offers a full-line of compact excavators that range in size from the E18B with variable-width track spacing, to the E50B that delivers best-in-class productivity. All standard model configurations provide zero-tail swing for access to the most space restricted areas. Other features include center swing boom/arm combination for digging, filling and grading along near-perpendicular angles like footings, curbs and foundations. A robust hydraulically controlled dozer blade adds extra versatility for site-prep, back-filling and general grading. An optional 4-way angle blade is available for even more versatility. 888.365.6423,


Kubota’s new 4-ton KX040-4 packs superior performance, versatility and comfort into one compact machine. The KX040-4 replaces the KX121-3 and prioritizes the economy while supporting the environment with its “Eco Plus” system, giving operators the option of “eco mode” for up to 20 percent less fuel consumption than the prior model. The KX040-4 features a deluxe interior that rivals larger models with a spacious air-conditioned cab, wide entrance, fully flat floor, deluxe suspension seat, and an easy access up-front control panel. The KX040-4 also boasts auto downshift travel motors, which shift automatically to improve productivity. 877.582.6826,


The new Tier 4-compliant Doosan DX63-3 and DX85R-3 excavators have been upgraded with a number of conveniences that provide operators with higher-precision controls, greater force and overall enhanced productivity. Improvements to the 6.3-metric-ton DX63-3 compact conventional tail swing excavator and the 8.5-metric-ton Doosan DX85R-3 reduced tail swing excavator include a blade float, multi-function joysticks, color instrumentation panel, Auto-Shift drive system and standard rubber tracks. The DX63-3’s hp has increased 13.5 percent to 59.4 to match the DX85R-3. The DX63-3’s 11.6 inches of tail swing overhang helps when working on side slopes. It is engineered to dig to depths of 13 feet 6 inches. It also offers 5,767 foot-pounds of arm force, while bucket force has increased to 9,731 foot-pounds. 701.476.4258,