How To Use a Digger
Diggers are used for all types of construction and landscaping work. They come in a wide range of sizes, from very small to very, very large. Unless you own a construction company or plan to use a digger for business work, the chances are you will hire one for your specific task. This guide outlines how to go about hiring and operating a digger.
Hiring a digger
The first thing you need to do is work out which digger you are likely to require. They come in a variety of sizes and each will cost different amounts. There are some things that you will need to consider when making your choice. The first of these is your budget, how much money do you have to spend on the project. If there is no strict timescale for the project you may be able to hire out a smaller digger, use it for longer and it could still work out cheaper.
Space is one of the biggest factors as well when considering which digger you will hire out. In a large field, space is unlikely to be an issue but consider any issues with access to the field and whether the digger will physically be able to get over the terrain to the job in hand. If you are working in a garden or other small space, accessibility and manoeuvrability will probably be the biggest factor in your decision.
- Ring around various different machinery hire businesses and get quotes to find the best deal, consider other costs such as fuel surcharge etc.
Using a digger
Using a digger is actually quite simple once you have got the hang of it. All the different brands of diggers have slightly different controls but on the whole, they are largely the same.
Sit in the digger and familiarise yourself with the layout, and where things such as the engine cut and other safety features are located. Make a mental note to check the engine, oil and water temperature when using the digger.
There will be two levers that come up from the floor and are directly in front of you, between your legs. These control the movement of the digger itself and each lever controls the corresponding track. Pushing the left lever forward will make the digger turn right (as will pulling the right lever back) to rotate on the spot, pull the levers in opposite directions depending on which direction you wish to rotate.
There are two different pedals on the floor, the left (or smaller) pedal is used to up the speed when you are moving from one location to the other and the next pedal operates the digger’s bucket/boom. The throttle and blade controls will be somewhere in the cab, usually they are on the dashboard or next to the seat. The throttle will need to be sped up when digging large loads. The blade is used to stabilise the digger in use and also to act as a mini bulldozer.
- The joysticks operate this boom and the bucket and these are the primary controls for this. Pushing the left joystick forward will extend the boom and pulling it back will retract it. Moving this joystick left or right will swing the digger round. Pushing the right joystick forward will lower the boom towards the ground and pulling back will raise it. Moving this stick to the left will curl the bucket inwards (scooping) and moving it to the right will extend the bucket out (dumping).