Mini Excavator for Less: Understanding the Cost of Buying a Used Machine
Last Updated: January 11, 2023
Fact Checked By: Ryan Maguire
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Mini excavators are essential pieces of equipment in the construction industry. They're used in site preparation for digging holes and trenches, grading, leveling, and backfilling. They save loads of, not only dirt, but time and energy that make smaller construction projects possible without lots of manual labor.
Mini excavators, also called compact excavators, are similar to their larger counterparts. The major difference is that they're designed to fit in tight spaces. They still offer a lot of strength and power, just with a smaller machine.
Buying a mini excavator is a significant investment, which is why many construction and landscaping firms choose to purchased used or refurbished models. For a fraction of the price you can buy a gently used model that performs all the same functions as a brand new machine.
Used Mini Excavator Average Costs #
Like new models, prices for used mini excavators vary based on the size of the machine, the depth it is capable of digging, the horsepower and the features. Most fall in the $15,000 to $35,000 range, compared to anywhere from $35,000 to $90,000 for new models.
- For $20,000 to $25,000, expect to find used mini excavators with less than 20 horsepower and less than 10 feet of digging depth.
- For around $35,000, you might find a mini excavator with 25-plus horsepower and 10 feet to 12 feet of digging depth.
Keep in mind that the above figures are just guidelines. The age and condition of a used or refurbished mini excavator also plays a big role in the price. Late models that are in excellent condition or have been refurbished to manufacturer's standards will cost more. Older models with a few dings and scrapes will sell for less.
Used Mini Excavator Sample Prices #
- $39,000 for a 2004 Bobcat 331 Excavator W/ Lots Of Extra buckets and 1068 Hours
- $32,000 for a 2007 BOBCAT 435G Mini Excavator (up to 12,000 lbs)
- $12,000 for a 2021 Shandong Rippa R319 BLT
- $29,000 for a 2013 John Deere 35D Mini with 5200 hours
- $29,500 for a 2017 Yanmar ViO35-6A with 1500 hours
Choosing a Used Mini Excavator #
The first step to buying a used mini excavator is setting a budget. Then decide what size machine you need and make a list of all the features you'd like. Will the standard digging depth of 10 feet be enough? What size bucket do you need? How much horsepower do you want?
Next, do some research on various brands. Read industry blogs and talk to other people in your field about their experiences. It helps to approach a dealer with some idea of what brands you prefer. Keep in mind that when purchasing a used mini excavator, it's always best to buy from a dealer. Making a blind purchase over the internet is risky because you never know exactly what you're getting.