How to Transport a Mini Excavator

Posted on Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Since mini excavators are renowned for their versatility and suitability for a variety of jobs, it’s no surprise that they’re an especially popular small equipment rental amongst those working in construction. Renting a mini excavator is one thing, but moving it to your work site is entirely another—and when it comes to getting your mini excavator from point A to point B, proper transportation is crucial.

It’s important to recognize that moving heavy machinery like a mini excavator requires careful planning and execution to ensure both safety and efficiency. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the key steps to ensure you transport your mini excavator rental safely and securely.

Use the Right Vehicle and Trailer

The first step involves choosing the appropriate vehicle and trailer—and to do that, you need to know the size and weight of the mini excavator.

Be careful: We want to take a moment to stress that you should not estimate the weight of your mini excavator. Instead, before you load anything, consult the owner’s manual to determine the exact weight and dimensions of your machine. It’s critical to also factor in the weight of any attachments you’ll be transporting. You can then use this information to appropriately guide both your trailer and vehicle selection.

Trailer Selection Tips

We suggest choosing a trailer that’s specifically designed for hauling heavy equipment such as your mini excavator rental. In addition, be sure to look for a trailer with a weight capacity that surpasses the combined weight of the mini excavator and any attachments you’ll be transporting.

Vehicle Selection Tips

Remember that your selected vehicle needs to be able to support the weight of the trailer, the mini excavator, and any attachments included with your mini excavator for rent.

For the best results, we suggest using a truck or SUV with a sturdy towing hitch. That withstanding, don’t forget to check the towing capacity of your vehicle. Not only does exceeding the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) pose the risk of potential legal repercussions, but it’s also a safety hazard for short distances. Think about it: If your mini excavator rental is in Port Charlotte but your worksite is in Solana, you really don’t want to risk an accident while you’re crossing the bridge.

Prepare to Load the Mini Excavator

Before you can begin loading, you need to prep the trailer and loading ramps. Please note that this step requires precision and caution—so we encourage you to take your time.

Trailer Prep

Make sure you’ve parked the trailer on a level, solid surface. As an extra precaution, we suggest you chock the wheels of the trailer to prevent them from rolling.

Ramp Prep

Carefully attach and lock the ramps to the rear of your trailer. Overall, it’s best practice to use metal loading ramps with a slip-resistant surface and a weight capacity that exceeds your mini excavator. In addition, be mindful of the length and width of the ramps you use—if they create too steep an incline, you risk tipping and damaging your mini excavator rental.

Load the Mini Excavator – Including the Attachments

Once you’re ready to load the machine, slowly and carefully drive the mini excavator onto the trailer. Pay attention to where it’s positioned and be sure to distribute the weight evenly to prevent the trailer from tipping. If you’re also transporting attachments, don’t forget to load them onto the trailer, as well.

Secure the Mini Excavator

Once you’ve loaded the mini excavator onto the trailer, your next step is to properly secure both the machine and its attachments. At this time, we want to emphasize that using tools specifically designed to secure heavy equipment is imperative to safely transport your mini excavator rental.

We suggest using high-quality chains and load binders. Carefully attach the chains to the mini excavator’s frame at each corner and then secure them to the trailer frame using load binders. Be sure to tighten the binders gradually and evenly to ensure your rental is firmly secured.

For your mini excavator attachments, use heavy-duty ratchet straps to stabilize the bucket and any other loose items to the trailer. Securely fasten the straps or chains to the designated tie-down points on the trailer and the excavator’s frame to prevent them from shifting, bouncing around, or tipping during transport.

Practice Safety Procedures

No matter what you’re doing, safety is always important. But when it comes to transporting heavy machinery like mini excavators, safety should always be the top and ultimate priority.

Before you hit the road, we strongly encourage you to take a moment to review the following:

  • Make sure hydraulic hoses are positioned to avoid snags
  • Ensure that all straps are free from any twists or knots that could compromise their strength
  • Double-check that all connections are secure
    • Ensure all chains, straps, and load binders are properly tightened
  • Test the stability of the excavator by gently rocking it from side to side
    • If it moves, adjust the tie-downs accordingly until it is firmly secured
  • Make sure your trailer lights and turn signals are functioning correctly
  • Familiarize yourself with any regulations regarding oversized loads in your area
    • You may need signage depending on the size and weight of your mini excavator and trailer

Once you’re on the road, be sure to keep these safety practices top of mind:

  • Drive cautiously
    • Adjust your speed for the added weight of the excavator
    • Avoid abrupt stops, sharp turns, and rough terrain that could destabilize the trailer
    • Be aware of your surroundings
    • Anticipate wider turns
  • Adhere to all traffic laws
  • If traveling long distances, take regular breaks to inspect the load and ensure that it remains secure

Use Our Mini Excavator Pickup and Delivery Services

When you’re getting ready to start a project, there are a lot of things that you need to keep track of. From scheduling your crew to reserving your rental equipment, tracking all the different project aspects can be overwhelming—including arranging to pick up and drop off a mini excavator rental.

Fortunately, our team at The Equipment Source is here to help. We offer both pickup and delivery services, taking the logistics of transporting your mini excavator rental off your plate. With our help, you can rest assured that the tools and equipment necessary for your project will be at your worksite when you need them and then removed when you’re done using them.

Have any questions? Ready to reserve a mini excavator rental in Englewood or one of our other locations? Contact our equipment rental experts today!


Can a half-ton truck pull a mini excavator?

Maybe—it’s entirely dependent on the various specs of the truck itself and your mini excavator rental. For instance, some half-ton trucks can tow more than 10,000 pounds while others have a tow capacity closer to 5,000 pounds. We suggest reviewing the owner’s manual for both machines.

Can you haul a mini excavator on a car trailer?

The answer depends on the various specs of the car trailer itself and your mini excavator rental. In general, car trailers can tow an average of 7,000 pounds—but remember to review the owner’s manual before attempting to haul a mini excavator with a car trailer.

What size trailer do I need for a mini excavator?

Although it depends on the specs of your mini excavator rental, a 15,000-pound trailer will likely be adequate—or, at the very least, a good starting point for your research.

Are there any mini excavator rentals near me?

With seven locations, Equipment Source is ready to help you access the tools and equipment you need to finish your projects. From questions about mini excavator rentals in Naples to dropping off a Kubota mini excavator at your project site, our experienced team is here to help you get the project done. Contact our equipment rental experts today!