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Tips for Excavator Operation

an excavator in a large pit in alberta

In 2021 the construction equipment rental market reached a value of $118 billion. Construction equipment is always in demand, and there are many different types of machinery for various jobs. Excavators are one of the most common and are needed on a lot of work sites.

You can't just jump in one and use it though - excavator operation is quite difficult, and you need to know what you're doing.

For some key excavator operation tips, keep reading.


When renting an excavator there are a lot of different choices. The type you need will depend on the project you're using it for. If you will be excavating slopes or digging at an angle a long-reach excavator is usually a good idea. If there isn't enough reach you might have a hard time keeping the excavator stable.

At Conquip, we can help advise you to make sure you get the best equipment for your project.


When excavating it's not unusual to find yourself working on a slope. This isn't a problem, provided the slope isn't too steep. Anything over a 70% slope grade may be dangerous, so this should be the absolute maximum for operating an excavator. A 70% slope is equal to 35°.

If you think a slope might be too steep you can have it assessed by a surveyor. They can get an idea of roughly how steep it is. If they think it may be 70% or more, you should check with someone who has the site plans or someone who can measure it.


The conditions of the site can affect any work done. Operating an excavator in bad conditions can be very dangerous, so make sure you take this into account.

Things like rain, snow, ice, loose rocks, mud, etc. can make terrain very unstable. If any of these are present it can cause an excavator to slip or shift on a slope that is well below 70%.

When the weather is causing bad conditions, you should wait for it to pass before excavating. With anything like mud or loose rocks, you may need to clear the space before you can continue.



When driving up or down a slope you want to keep the center of gravity as low as possible. You can adjust this using the boom.

Putting the boom out and low to the ground will keep the excavator more stable so that it's easier to drive. You should also bear in mind that driving up or down a slope is easier than driving across one.



]Operating an excavator isn't easy. It takes a degree of skill, and several factors can make things more difficult. Someone with a lot of experience may have no trouble taking on challenging jobs, but if you're not comfortable, you shouldn't operate an excavator or any other heavy equipment.


For any excavator operation, you need to rent the right piece of machinery. Conquip Inc has a wide range of construction equipment to take on any job. We provide excavator rental in Alberta 24/7, and with our vast experience and industry knowledge, we can help you choose the perfect machine for your job.

Contact us today if you have any questions. Located in Aldersyde, we serve all of Alberta, including Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer, Grande Prairie, and all surrounding areas.


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