DIY Network

How to Operate an Excavator

An excavator is a rental machine that helps with digging and refilling big holes. Host Paul Ryan shows how to use an excavator.

More in Outdoors

bobcat useful for moving large loads
  • Time

    Under Half Day

  • Price Range

    $100 - $250

  • Difficulty

    Moderate to Hard

Highlights:

Step 1: Operate the Dozer Blade

Lower the left-hand controls in position and put on the safety belt. To operate the dozer blade, control it to the far right.

Step 2: Move the Blade Up and Down

Pull back and the blade will go up, and push forward for the blade to go down. Set the blade hard into the ground for stability before starting excavating.

smooth scoop for moving loads of gravel or mulch

Step 3: Control the Left Joystick

Control the left joystick and tilt the wrist to the left to rotate the cab and bucket towards the left. Push it to the right and it rotates the cab and bucket to the right. It also will raise and lower the boom.

Step 4: Control the Right Joystick

Control the right joystick and push it forward to tilt the bucket out. Pushing backward will tilt the bucket in. To scoop, tilt it toward yourself and the bucket curls in. Tilt it away from you and the bucket curls away.

Step 5: Dig a Hole

Practice the controls to develop coordination to dig a hole and put dirt anywhere.

attachments help with moving loads of mulch

Step 6: Refill the Hole

To refill the hole, use the bucket to knock the dirt back in.

Caution: Call the local power company before digging. Watch out for overhead power lines, and be sure to shut the excavator off before getting out of the cab.

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