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What is an Excavator?

Excavator hire is extremely necessary for a number of demolition, earthmoving, excavation, and trenching projects. They are some of the most used machinery throughout the country and here it iSeekplant, we get substantial amounts of enquiries regarding excavator and digger hire from areas all around Australia. iSeekplant offers a number of excavators for hire including; amphibious, chameleon clamshell, demolition, hi-rail, high reach, long reach, track mounted, and wheel mounted. We have a number of plant suppliers offering excavators for hire on dry (without operator) and wet (with operator) hire options for all our diggers for hire. The many attachments available (which you’ll also find in the refine search panel on iSeekplant) also allow the equipment to function as trenching machines, pipelayers or pile drivers. Go to our website’s home page to search our wide range of excavator hire options as well as see the brilliant rates our range of suppliers offers.

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The types of Excavators

Chameleon Clamshell

iSeekplant has a number of chameleon clamshell excavators and digger hire suppliers. The chameleon clamshell excavator has a telescopic boom which extends and bends through the knuckle joint at the midpoint. This is a long reach excavator and is often used for demolition, digging vertical shafts, and underground and high rise car park construction projects. Chameleon clamshell excavators have a base, a boom, a cab and a bucket, and the cab will usually have bulletproof glass, protecting the operator from any falling debris. The base of these excavators can have either rubber-wheeled tires or crawler tracks, depending on the type of terrain. 

Image Credit: Pronto Projects

Long Reach

Long reach excavators are often hired and used in a number of projects right across Australia. With an especially long working radius, it can become dangerous for a long reach excavator to work on any kind of building demolition job because they can become unstable. For this reason, if they are required in a demolition job they are almost always aided by an electronic cut-off device that stops the machine from going further than a certain operating radius. These diverse machines are also constantly prevailing in dredging jobs around water that require the removal of a large amount of material. The machine itself is required to stay above water and its longer boom arm can reach to areas that other excavators can not. iSeekplant's long reach excavator hire suppliers are available with a wide range of attachments at great rates.

Image Credit: Wanless Machinery

Track Mounted

One of the most popular types of excavators and diggers requested to hire on iSeekplant is the track mounted excavator. These are sometimes known as crawlers, since they can drive on surfaces that are less stable, compared to the wheeled excavators which struggle with driving on sand and mud. Crawler excavators and diggers have a mechanism similar to a conveyor belt instead of wheels, and since it evenly disperses the weight of the machine across the ground, it won’t sink down into wet or muddy terrain. Since it can only be used on site, this machine requires transportation to get from one job to another. For crawler excavator hire suppliers throughout the country, search the iSeekplant platform today.

Wheel Mounted

Wheel mounted excavators are another popular type of digger hired from the iSeekplant platform. The digging performance of a typical wheeled excavator is quite like a track mounted excavator. However, the lifting performance of a wheel mounted excavator exceeds that of tracked models, with the wheeled digger capable of lifting more because of the stability of its stabilisers. The versatile and manoeuvrable wheeled excavator can also perform most of the work that a crawler excavator can do with the added advantage of being able to drive the machine between work areas. We have tonnes of wheel mounted excavator hire suppliers across the country, run a search for a wheel mounted excavator to hire today!

Hi Rail

Hi rail excavators are capable of completing projects on your usual worksite, as well as train lines. Equipped with track friendly attachments, these excavators can drive to any worksite and then be used for operations on train lines. Hi rail excavators, standing for Highway Rail Excavators, are not suitable to take the impact of heavy rolling stock and are required to only work on tracks that have been cleared of all usual coming traffic. Highway rail excavators are capable of working on roads and train tracks and are almost always insulated as a precaution and therefore are not required to use active track signalling circuits. Many operators that are required on lines that are not benefited by boom gates or other train halting services, still chose to use these technologies in order to be detected by train safety systems. Search for hi rail excavator hire suppliers throughout Australia on iSeekplant.


Amphibious excavators are capable of performing a very specific kind of excavation project. Different from other types of diggers for hire, they are designed to complete dredging in water because their chassis crawler can float on sealed pontoons. Amphibious excavators are able to complete excavations such as swampland operation, removing salty clay, shallow water operations, and clearing salted tranches. Track mounted and often with a longer reach than your common excavators, these amphibious diggers are still capable of completing a number of earthworks and land-based excavation projects. They are able to rotate 360 degrees as well as having full hydraulic operation. If you have a water dredging project, iSeekplant has a range of amphibious excavator hire suppliers capable of completing the job.

High Reach

High reach excavators have a longer boom arm than your usual excavator. They specialise in demolition and are designed to reach higher story buildings. These excavators are not involved in trenching or excavating ditches due to their especially long boom arm. In the past, smaller excavators, wrecking balls, and explosives were all used in order to complete demolition, resulting in a very dangerous project. Nowadays, high reach excavators have improved the overall safety of demolition jobs and are now able to complete these demolitions in a far more controlled environment. Their boom arms are far more capable of reaching an extended working radius that gives them yet another advantage and resulting in higher quality, precise and fast completion of all projects. High reach excavators are also able to dismantle the inside structure of buildings without completely damaging the outer shell. There's many high reach excavator hire suppliers around Australia on the iSeekplant platform, search today! 

Demolition Excavator

Demolition excavators can be hired to complete various demolition projects. This ranges from primary demolition, general dismantling, plate shearing, steel shearing, secondary processing to crushing and far more. Attachments play a big role in hiring a demolition excavator and depend on the type of demolition job it is required to do. Some attachments are best suited to crush concrete or steel shearing. Most attachments, however, are versatile and can complete a number of demolition works with a small and simple adaptation to the device. Furthermore, it is necessary for the clamp arm of the demolition excavator to be as powerful and as flexible as possible in order for the machine to hold a tight grip and grasp its maximum power. If you are looking to hire a demolition excavator that can fit in small spaces, look for one that has a small short rear swing so that the upper frame does not go beyond the crawler when it is required to swing. Search the iSeekplant website today to see our range of demolition excavators for hire.

Excavator Hire Rates

Excavator hire rates vary depending on the digger's size, weight, attachments, mobilisation costs, ground engaging tools (GET), demand for the machine, the rarity of the machine, whether it's rented on wet hire and dry hire, and much more. The larger the excavator often results in larger costs. The rates of an excavator for hire is also heavily influenced by the attachments that you find on the machine. Rates for an attachment could be anywhere between $5- $25 per hour for smaller machines and $290+ for rippers and hydraulic hammers on larger models.  Suppliers offering excavators with a skilled operator usually require a minimum hour usage such as four to eight hours. We've seen their rates vary from $90+/hour for a 1-2 tonne excavator up to $140+/hour for a 22-24 tonne excavator.

If you're looking to hire an excavator, run a search for an excavator in the location of your project. Our site will return a complete list of suppliers that have matching excavators for hire in your area. Simply call the supplier directly or send a Get Rates enquiry and the supplier will discuss their rates with you. If you have an excavation project and you want assistance in requesting rates, availability or in sourcing plant in new regions, call us today on 1300 691 912.

Some of our Excavator Hire Suppliers

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  • Fleet Size: 5

Some of the contractors who regularly use us to find gear

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Thousands of Excavator Hire Suppliers All Over Australia.

Search Australia's largest database of excavator hire suppliers. We have thousands of excavators for hire across Australia.