If your next construction project requires clearing land or moving large amounts of debris, you’ll likely need special equipment.

Most often in these cases, you’ll have to choose between backhoes or mini excavators to get the job done.

While it’s easy to mistake these machines as interchangeable, contrary to popular belief, they’re actually very different.

But how do you determine which is best for your project?

Here’s what you need to know.

Mini excavator uses

As the name implies, mini excavators are really just small excavators. Most have one arm and weigh under 12,000 pounds.

The arm is compatible with multiple attachments, such as compactors, breakers, augers, grinders, and more. Unlike a backhoe, however, mini excavators do not have loaders attached to the front.

This machinery is ideal for shallow groundwork projects, like drilling or digging, but isn’t the best when it comes to moving materials. If you have a telehandler or skid steer on site, however, this won’t be a problem.

Mini excavators are great for smaller demo projects in hard-to-access or residential areas. At Stan’s Airboat & Marsh Excavator Service, our mini marsh excavators are specially crafted with this purpose in mind. When working in any marshland or otherwise delicate environment, you’ll need one of our lightweight machines to traverse across water.

Backhoe uses

Backhoes are equipped with additional loaders attached to the front. While this loader can be used for digging, it’s best used in projects that don’t need a lot of digging, but instead require material transporting.

Similar to mini excavators, backhoes also have an arm that can be fitted with several attachments. But because of their heavier weight, the ability of backhoes to lift, dig, and move are slightly compromised—making them a poor choice for small job sites.

Backhoes require a lot of room to turn and take up a lot more space than mini excavators do. But if your project requires a digging machine that can easily move between sites, backhoes are the best choice.

Picking the best machinery for your job ultimately depends on your special project requirements. Don’t just pick what you’re most familiar with. Instead, ask professionals like those Stan’s Airboat for help. We look forward to helping you with your next project!