Suppose your company‘s business involves digging or hauling earth. In that case, you should seriously think about getting an ‘excavator‘ or ‘digger‘ as they‘re often known.
Diggers are very versatile and useful on any construction, mining, or forestry job. But, like all heavy equipment, they are expensive to buy. So, try renting an excavator. They’re more cost-effective if you don‘t intend to use one all the time.
The average cost to rent an excavator ranges from $1,200 to at least $5,000/week, or $3,000 to more than $15,000/month. But, if you only have a small job, the cost per day starts from around $300 and extends to $1600/day. All prices depend on size and accessories.
In this guide, we explore excavator rental costs, so you have more useful information when making a decision and planning your project.
How Much Does It Cost To Rent An Excavator?*
Below, we‘ve put together a comparison table of different excavator hire prices to give you an idea of costs.
|Excavator size||Daily Rental Rate||Weekly Rental Rate||Monthly Rental Rate|
|Mini Excavator||$300 to $650||$800 to $1,500||$2,000 to $3,000|
|Standard Excavator||$300 to $600||$1,000 to $2,500||$6,000 to $8,000|
|Large Excavator||$1,000+||$5,000+||$5,000 to $15,000|
* The table above is an estimated pricing guide, and you should use it as an indication only. For an accurate price and the latest discounted deals, request a quote from us today.
These excavators usually weigh less than 7 tonnes (metric). Sometimes called compact excavators, they’re ideal for working in small spaces, such as landscaping gardens, planting trees, and digging pipe or cable trenches. They have hardly any tail-swing, so they’re safe to operate next to buildings. Although they aren‘t as powerful as larger excavators and might not have a large dig depth, they can:
- Easily work on soft or finished surfaces without causing damage.
- Use less fuel than larger models.
- They are great for general precision digging applications.
Note: Read more about the cheapest mini excavators on the market.
These weigh between 7 and 45 tonnes (metric). You find these on commercial construction jobs, where they can handle many different tasks with different tools on their hydraulic arms. They are relatively easy to maneuver, but because of their weight might cause damage to soft or finished surfaces. Standard excavators at the heavier end of the scale might be difficult to transport without specialist low-loaders. Excavators on the lower end of the weight scale are as easy to use as mini-excavators but have more power, a longer reach, and can dig deeper.
These excavators weigh more than 45 tonnes (metric) and are only useful for extremely heavy work. You will commonly find them used in large scale civil engineering, demolition work, and construction projects requiring deep foundations. You will also find these on mine sites and quarries. They are difficult to transport and so tend to stay on a particular site for a long time.
Excavator Rental Cost Factors
A few different factors affect excavator rental rates. But, regardless of cost, hire the model most suited to your requirements.
The weight is probably the main factor that determines excavator hire rates. You need to understand the work you need to achieve and plan your equipment accordingly. Remember that large diggers need plenty of turning room for the boom. And, if the ground is too soft, it can cause subsidence on the edge of excavations.
Medium-sized excavators can do most jobs. There‘s enough range in the weight scale to choose the correct mid-range model unless working in your back yard with a compact excavator or on a major construction project with a large one.
The available number of different excavator models means that you can probably choose the right machine for your application. We‘ll quickly look at a few so you can see what we mean.
- Standard crawler excavators have an arm and bucket that digs and lifts towards the cab. The cab can rotate 360 degrees and takes the arm with it. So, the machine can easily move dirt from one place and deposit it into a dump truck while remaining motionless. When moving, they can manage most types of terrain.
- Wheeled excavators can do the same tasks as a crawler, but their wheels are perfect for finished roads and sidewalks made from concrete or asphalt. They are easily maneuverable and travel at high speed.
- Long reach excavators have an extended boom and dipper-arm for longer or deeper reach.
- You see backhoe excavators everywhere. They combine a blade or bucket on the front and an excavator on the back. There are many tools available for these, such as augers for boring holes, jack-hammers, baling spears, blades, chainsaws, and many different buckets, to name a few.
You can transport small compact excavators on a large trailer or small truck. But, anything larger needs a purpose–made low-loader truck designed for the digger‘s weight. These trucks are typically slow–moving and might be challenging to maneuver in tight areas. Typically, you can expect to pay around $1000 for a local trip. But, many rental companies include initial delivery into the rental price.
Some hire companies supply an operator and include the cost into the rental. Otherwise, employ a qualified operator yourself, which costs extra. The operator must have the appropriate license for the weight of vehicle and must satisfy the insurance company.
Benefits of Renting an Excavator
The main benefit of renting an excavator is that you won‘t have a long term commitment. So, as soon as the task is complete, you phone the supplier and take it off–hire. Additionally, suppose you are considering purchasing one but are unsure of the type to buy. In that case, you can try out a few before making a decision.
If you only need a digger for up to a few months, it‘s more cost–effective to rent. And, if the machine breaks down, the rental company covers the cost of repair.
Disadvantages of Renting
Probably the main problem is availability. If you need one, it usually won‘t be available immediately. You‘ll also have to abide by the rental contract terms, and these might be stricter than you would like.
Suppose you need a digger, time and time again over many jobs. It might then be a good idea to consider leasing an excavator as rental costs can quickly add up.
Difference between renting and leasing an excavator
The big difference is that leasing is for long term contracts while renting is for the short term.
Renting gives you full access to the equipment within a day or so, sometimes sooner. The rental company transports to and from the site and handles all repairs and maintenance. Rentals are more flexible with the hire period, and if you finish a job early, you won‘t normally pay penalties. In most cases, you can phone the company and take it off-hire immediately. Unlike leasing a digger, which usually needs monthly payments taken directly from your bank account, renting won‘t affect your credit rating.
Lease contracts usually have a 3 to 5 years term. The letting company takes responsibility for repairs and maintenance. On the other hand, you must keep the equipment clean and in good condition. However, credit checks and paperwork take time to complete, so you might not take possession of the digger for a few weeks. And, you must be sure that you can make the payments every month. Unlike rentals, leased equipment appears on your balance sheet and depreciates over the lease term.
Always consult your tax adviser before deciding to lease. They are the experts and know how the tax regulations affect your circumstances.
Do you own the heavy equipment at the end of a lease?
Unlike leasing a car, a heavy, specialized vehicle is more difficult to sell at a profit at the end of the term. So, usually, the lease company offers you a deal to take it off their hands.
Excavator Rental FAQ
What is the difference between an excavator and a backhoe?
A backhoe has a boom and dipping–arm with a digging bucket. Its often incorporated onto a tractor unit with a shovel or blade at the front of the cab, and can rotate only about 200 degrees. Typical examples are a CAT or JCB. An excavator has the same boom and arm arrangement but is connected to the cab and can turn 360 degrees.
How deep can an excavator dig?
The answer depends on the make, model, power, and any attachments the excavator has fitted. However, a typical excavator can dig between 10 to 50 feet deep. Don‘t try to exceed the manufacturer’s specified depth, or you might damage the bucket, boom, arm, or engine. Or even worse, you might capsize into the excavation.
How much fuel does an excavator use per hour?
Fuel consumption depends on the make, model, engine size, and load.
A CAT excavator working under a low load factor uses around 2 to 2.5 gallons per hour (GPH). Under medium load factor, this increases from 2.5 to 3 GPH. Finally, at maximum load, its consumption increases from 3 to 3.8 GPH.
Leasing or renting an excavator is a good way to benefit from the machine without using your business capital.
Short term renting is the ideal way to use a digger now and again. Similarly, leasing is a good way for a 2 to 5-year arrangement, with the advantage that you can purchase the equipment at a reduced cost at the end of the term.
If you need an excavator and don‘t want to buy one, get in touch with us. Firstly, you can usually choose something suitable from our extensive range of equipment. And, our attractive excavator rental costs won‘t break the bank.
Jason is a B2B sales veteran spanning 3 decades and Founder of ApprovedCosts. Jason has scaled sales and marketing teams at a variety of enterprises and is a recognized expert in the field. Jason holds an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business.