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2 tips on mini-excavator blade positioning

Operation and handling of a Mini or Compact Excavator can be very different than their heavier counterparts, for instance, the blade positioning on a 3 ton excavator becomes very important during operation. Understanding the limits of your machine will assist with your safety & productivity.

Correct Blade Positioning when Digging
On a compact excavator it is significant to have the blade positioned behind you. By doing this it is pinning the machine to the ground when the bucket digs in allowing the machine and the hydraulics to work in the way they were designed to.
Should you have had the blade positioned in front of you when digging, a 3 ton and below mini excavator will immediately tilt and lift the tracks and cab off the ground running the risk of rotating the machine over.
Correct Blade Positioning when Travelling on Flat and Sloping Ground
When traveling on a flat level ground, the position of the blade can be either in front or behind the cab but should be raised up into its high position.
When traveling on rough ground or up an inclined slope it is important to have the blade positioned behind the cab and raised up just up off the ground (not in its high position).
By having the blade raised just off the ground, it will dig into the ground should the grade of the slope become too steep for the machine.
As the blade digs into the ground this provides an early warning to the operator that they may need to counterbalance the machine by extending the boom arm forward or try to approach the slope from a different position to avoid a roll-over.
The same principle applies to loading the mini excavator onto its transport trailer. By having the blade just off the ground it lets the operator know they should further adjust their boom and stick or reassess the approach.

Dennis Ayemba
Country/ Features Editor, Kenya

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