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Compare Almost 600 Excavation Contractors on iseekplant

Excavation is one of the core services on offer on iseekplant, with suppliers listing over 6,500 excavators on our site. Excavation plays a vital role in both civil and commercial construction applications. iseekplant’s suppliers deploy heavy equipment such as bulldozers, backhoes, loaders, and excavators to ensure the utmost efficiency throughout the excavation process. Trust our professionals to handle all your excavation needs with precision, safety and expertise.

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Excavation Rates Guide

You’ve landed on iseekplant’s category for ‘excavation’ services - specifically excavation subcontracted services. This means you are hiring a subcontractor to perform a specified and well-defined excavation task. This varies from a usual excavator hire service, where you are hiring an excavator with or without an operator (wet hire and dry hire, respectively), to excavate at your direction over a course of time.

Rates for Excavation as a Subcontracted Service

Hiring an excavation subcontractor means you must have a clear excavation task you need doing. They will likely then scope it, quote it, and charge you based on the scope. If you go beyond the scope, there will be additional charges, called ‘variations’.

There are two common types of charging models for subcontractors:

  • Cost plus X%: which is the cost of your job plus a margin for the contractor to make a profit. This is the least risky way for a subcontractor to cost, but could increase your cost and risk if the job changes in scope, or drags on. This is the preferred method of pricing jobs in most of construction at the moment, due to the issues with supply chain and labour availability.

  • Fixed Price Quoting: In fixed priced quoting, the contractor sustains some risk in quoting the job by holding themselves accountable to a fixed price that has been pre-quoted to you before the job starts. You will get a fixed price if your job scope is accurate. If it isn’t, then you will likely get an expensive variation invoice! Variations can be extremely pricey, and contractors price variations this way to offset the risk of this type of quoting.

Excavation Subcontracted Services Rates Breakdown

Size CategoryMachine Hire (Wet)Machine Hire (Dry)Labour Charge per HourConsumables Cost per HourOther Costs (Travel, etc.)
Mini Excavators (1-3 tonnes)$70 - $90$60 - $80$30 - $40$5 - $10$10 - $30
Small Excavators (3-10 tonnes)$90 - $120$80 - $100$35 - $45$6 - $12$15 - $35
Civil Sized Excavators (10-20 tonnes)$120 - $160$100 - $140$40 - $60$8 - $15$20 - $50
Civil Large Excavators (20-40 tonnes)$160 - $200$140 - $180$45 - $70$10 - $20$25 - $60
Mining Excavators (40 tonnes and above)$200 - $300$180 - $250$50 - $80$12 - $25$30 - $70

Additional Costs to Consider:

  • Survey costs: You may need to get your land and design surveyed and certified prior to the job.
  • Supervision: The costs of a job supervisor or superintendent might be added to your excavation quote over and above machines, operators, consumables and attachments.
  • Wear and Tear: Any damage occurring to the machines or their attachments in the course of excavation might be billed to you at the end.
  • Penalty Rates: If your job occurs at any time outside of normal business hours you could be up for penalty rates. It’s usually 1.5 X rate for anything after 12pm Saturday afternoon, then 2 X rate for night times or Sundays.
  • Machine Mobilisation: If you are using multiple excavators, then you may need to pay for a low loader to mobilise the machines to site. This can cost anywhere from $200 - to $2000 each way.

Excavator Wet and Dry Hire Hourly & Day Rates

We thought it might be helpful if we included average excavator wet and dry hire hourly and daily rates. Additional considerations include the type, size, specs, make, model, location, additional attachments needed, and duration of use. Usually wet hire has a 3-4 hour minimum. Dry hire on small excavators can usually have a 4 hour minimum, but on larger excavators it will likely be a full day hire minimum.

To get a competitive and accurate excavator hire quote, use our Get a Quote tool.

Size CategoryWet Hire Hourly RateDry Hire Hourly RateWet Hire Daily RateDry Hire Daily Rate
Mini Excavators (1-3 tonnes)$70 - $90$60 - $80$500 - $650$400 - $550
Small Excavators (3-10 tonnes)$90 - $120$80 - $100$650 - $850$550 - $750
Civil Sized Excavators (10-20 tonnes)$120 - $160$100 - $140$850 - $1,200$750 - $1,100
Civil Large Excavators (20-40 tonnes)$160 - $200$140 - $180$1,200 - $1,600$1,100 - $1,500
Mining Excavators (40 tonnes and above)$200 - $300$180 - $250$1,600 - $2,500$1,500 - $2,200

General Rates for Residential Excavation Services

Below is a table of common residential excavation services and their cost ranges. We don’t bother putting cost ranges in for civil and commercial jobs because they are highly specified, and vary in scale from a couple of hundred bucks, to millions of dollars.

ServiceDetailsCost
House Foundation ExcavationTypical residential project$2,000 - $5,000
Overall range$700 - $13,000
Basement ExcavationSimple job (6m x 4m x 1m)$2,000
Complex job$8,000 - $15,000
Large basement (100 sq meters)$15,000 - $25,000
Driveway ExcavationFlat surface (3m x 6m)$300 - $1,500
Sloping surfaceadditional $250+
Standard driveway with preparation$540 - $720
Swimming Pool ExcavationLow-end costs$500 - $3,000
Typical range$1,350 - $12,000
High-end projects$7,000 - $30,000
Land LevelingAverage cost$2,500
Overall range$1,000 - $6,000

Alternative Categories on iseekplant for Excavation Services

There are plenty of ways to skin the ‘excavation cat’ on iseekplant. Excavators are the most prolific machines on iseekplant, and you can successfully excavate dirt with many other types of machines. Review the below and decide if an excavation contractor is really what you need, or if you’d be more interested in another one of our categories:

  • Mini Excavator Hire: Is the best category for mini excavators for tight access and residential applications. Mini excavators are usually below 5 tonnes in operating weight.
  • Excavator Hire: Is the category for all 6,500 excavators listed on iseekplant. If you’re looking for an excavator with or without an operator for a defined time period on your job site go there.
  • Earthmoving: Is the best category for companies who have multiple types of earthmoving equipment in their fleet, not just excavators.
  • Bulk Earthworks: These suppliers are the guys who do the mass earthworks jobs moving thousands or millions of cubes of dirt around.
  • Earthworks: This is the best category for subcontractor specialists of detailed earthworks.
  • Backhoe: Used for digging, trenching, backfilling, and material handling. Has an excavator boom arm fitted to the back. Typically smaller and more versatile with a loader bucket on the front, making it suitable for additional materials handling tasks.
  • Dozer: Used for moving large quantities of earth, leveling ground, and clearing debris. Can’t dig down, but can move a lot of dirt.
  • Wheel Loader: If you need to lift stock piles of materials from ground level.
  • Skid Steer Loader: The most flexible earthmover on the market, with hundreds of attachments, some capable of excavating. Best for small jobs, or tight access sites.
  • Trencher: Trenchers are specialist machines that dig trenches for cables, pipes and irrigation.
  • Vac Truck: A vac truck is a new type of excavator, called ‘non-destructive excavation’ or hydro excavation, which works by pumping water into soil, then sucking the soil from the area. It's very popular in built-up areas, because it removes dirt without harming underground services (which can be a very expensive problem if it happens).

Hire a Professional Excavation Subcontractor anywhere in Australia

The excavation process requires expertise and precision. iseekplant can assist you in finding the best excavation service tailored to your needs. Just visit our website, post the job you require, and get multiple quotes. Simplify your excavation project with iseekplant – your ideal partner for locating the best excavator professionals in your local area.

If you don’t want to use our ground-breaking (pun intended) marketplace features to find suppliers yourself, feel free to email [email protected] or call 1300 691 912 to speak to a professional on the phone.

Start now with our Get a Quote tool.

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Recent Excavation reviews


"Wonderful service! Roger gave us a quote based on photos of the job and held to the quote. He was polite, very professional, punctual and helped solve..."

- Ruth DView profile

"Very professional team. Did a full warehouse demolition for us, followed by excavation work. It's always a pleasure to work with Paul, he is always an..."

- John CarloView profile
CDA Group
CDA GroupWyong Creek NSW
(Oct 2023)

"Very proffesional, there are no issues with this team, the site personnel know their work and the management made my issues go away, its what you need..."

- Richard LiparView profile

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