Wondering how to make money with a mini excavator? Turning your excavator into a profitable stream of income is not as difficult as it may seem.
The best ways to make money with a mini excavator is by renting it out, doing small demolition and snow removal jobs, selling it entirely, doing hot tub/pool excavation, and helping companies with loading/unloading.
We’ll expand on each of these ways further in this article.
Average Numbers for Reference
For the purposes of this article, we’re going to assume that you have a standard mini excavator, and that you paid $35,000.
If you have a large excavator, you may need to take these ideas and gain inspiration from them.
Or, if you paid more or less than $35,000 for your mini excavator, then calculations may be slightly different. You may need to use different figures when you find out your return on your investment.
Here are some of the best ways to make money with an excavator in 2022.
#1 Rent it Out
Renting out your mini excavator is a pretty straightforward way to make money.
In an ideal world, you’d rent out your mini excavator for $350/day, rent it out for 100 days in a year, and all of your investment would be recouped.
So, can it work out like this?
Well, to be fair, no.
You’d receive 100% of your initial investment back in revenue, but there are many costs that will be associated with renting a mini excavator out.
There will likely be costs such as equipment repair, maintenance, insurance costs, and even cleaning costs.
But, you can absolutely expect to make a reasonable profit after paying out all of your costs. These costs can even potentially be paid through sweat equity, especially if you can perform repairs and maintenance on your own.
The best part about renting your equipment is that you can still use it on the days that you don’t have it rented out, so this can be used as one of several sources of income with your mini excavator, combining it with others on the list.
So, how can you rent out your mini excavator?
Put an ad up, everywhere. Post an ad on Craigslist, post an ad on Facebook, post an ad wherever you can.
The best listing sites, which you’ll want to be on, are going to be different depending on where you are.
For example, if you’re Canadian it’ll be important for you to have an ad on Kijiji. But, if you’re American then Craigslist will be one of the most important ones for you.
Make sure that you sought out legal advice around renting out your mini excavator to make sure that you cover your bases.
This article is not legal or professional advice and is only meant to be educational.
#2 Small Demo Jobs
Another thing you can do to make money with a mini excavator is by doing small demolition jobs.
Due to the size and dexterity of a mini excavator, as opposed to large excavators, it makes it the best machinery to destroy small structures. Among these include garages, decks, sheds, fences, or any other smaller structures.
Because people are able to save money by hiring someone with a mini excavator (which could be you!), rather than calling in a construction or demolition company, this option is attractive for individuals across the world.
Again, post ads on every directory site you possibly can.
Advertise on social media saying that you’re doing demolition jobs, and include all of the keywords.
You can charge at a minimum $75/hr, but likely much higher. Do some research and see what people in your city/state are charging.
Include some pictures of your excavator, yourself (if you’re comfortable), some previous jobs you’ve done, or anything else that you may find appropriate.
In your ad talk about some of your credentials, training, experience in the industry, etc.
As we’ve already discussed, doing this type of work in conjunction with renting it out is a great way to maximize your excavator’s utility.
If you’re able to work just 5 eight hour days in a month at $75/hour, then you’ve earned revenue that is equal to the cost of the excavator in just one year, and your total costs should be less than if you try renting your excavator out.
#3 Help People When the Snow Comes
One of the worst parts about the winter—shovelling your driveway.
Especially with the right type of excavator/equipment, you can solve a big problem for a lot of people.
Depending on how large the driveway that you’re clearing is, you can charge upwards of $50 for some clearing that you can do pretty quick.
If you’re able to get a whole bunch of houses done all in one neighbourhood, you can very quickly rack up a whole lot of profit.
If you know people that would love a service like this in the winter, then get them to talk to their neighbours, and offer them a discounted service!
It’ll work out great for both of you, they get their driveways cleared for cheap, and you get to clear a whole lot of houses all in close proximity to each other.
One thing to keep in mind is that in some areas, the winter weather can be harder on heavy equipment, so you must be prepared and ready for the worst-case scenario. You never want to find yourself in an unknown situation, caught off guard.
You’ll need to look at your equipment, situation in the winter, and technical knowledge to determine whether or not snow clearing is a good idea for you and your excavator.
#4 Sell Your Excavator
This one’s pretty self explanatory.
If you’ve got an excavator, and are wondering how to make money with it, one way is to sell it.
The most glaring reasons why this can be a good idea is two things;
#1 – Once your excavator is sold, you have nothing more to worry about. Just cash in your pocket. No contractual obligations to worry about, repairs, maintenance, or anything of that nature.
#2 – Rather than earning money from your excavator a little bit at a time ($4000 to rent it out for a month, for example), you get the full lump sum right away.
The second “benefit” is also kind of bittersweet. If you are earning money upfront, then you’re not turning your excavator into a stream of income, or even better yet, passive income (where you don’t need to actively work and money continues coming in).
#5 Work With Installation of Pools/Hot Tubs
Another thing that people need is holes dug out for their pools and/or hot tubs.
With a mini excavator and some technical knowledge, you can charge a pretty penny to do this for them.
Again, you can charge at a minimum $75/hour, but you’ll need to see what people in your area are charging.
You may want to consider setting a minimum of X hours on pool/hot tub mini excavator work.
For most pool and hot tub digging jobs, it’ll take several days just for the excavation alone. However, setting a minimum of, for example, 6 hours per job may be a good idea.
Many operators will also charge a delivery fee to get their excavator from wherever it currently is to the job site.
#6 Do Unloading/Loading Work
Another thing you can do to make money with an excavator is help (mainly) local businesses with loading and/or unloading.
For whatever reason, there are businesses (and also individuals) that need a hand loading or unloading gravel, sand, or a wide variety of other materials.
Similar to many of the other ways to make money with an excavator, you can charge $75/hr+ for loading and unloading work.
Again, you will want to have a minimum amount of hours per job, a delivery fee, or maybe both.
You’ll need to see what is the standard in your area, and create your rules accordingly.
Just like other work with a mini excavator, your best bet is to post ads on various different social networks as well as Craigslist.
To land work with local businesses, you may want to attend networking events, or even just give them a call out of nowhere.
Let them know that you’ve got a mini excavator and are doing services for affordable rates.
Summing it All Up
If you’re looking for how to make money with a mini excavator, this post outlined 6 of the best ways to do so.
If you read through the list and some of the ideas stuck out to you, then focus on those. If you try to spread yourself too thin, then you may have trouble making substantial money.
However, if you focus on just 2 or 3 of them, and get good at promoting your services in those verticals.
You can make very good money with a mini excavator with the right knowhow and business sense, you just need to put in the work.