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Small Dirt Moving Equipment for Gravediggers [And Why to Use It]

As a gravedigger, it's essential for you to have the right equipment to make your company thrive. Unless you choose to dig your graves with a shovel, graveyard equipment is a good investment that makes you more efficient and your services more valuable. 

RB3000 grave digging equipment

Not sure what which pieces of equipment are best for your company?

Lightweight, small dirt moving equipment typically ensures the best results. Consider the pros and cons of the following options to help decide what's best for your work environment.

Compact Excavator

A compact excavator is a small piece of equipment that can work well as your go-to grave digger. While different brands may have different pros and cons based on your needs, we've put together the basic pros and cons of the average compact excavator below.

The Why

  • 360° turning radius
    The 360° turning radius of a compact excavator makes moving dirt while digging graves a breeze. Rather than driving a digger from one spot to another and back to move dirt while digging, this small excavator can easily swing around and dump into a portable dump trailer, wheel barrow, or other equipment used to move grave dirt.
  • Compact design
    Some small excavators are perfect for maneuvering in the tight spaces of a graveyard. Bobcat is just one of many companies that have multiple mini excavators. The smallest excavator in Bobcat's fleet features a 28" retractable track width. 
  • Lightweight
    Compact excavators weigh significantly less than their big brothers, the large excavators. This is important when thinking through how you can protect the graveyard turf. While evidence of any equipment's presence is inevitable on most lawns, lightweight equipment like these compact excavators helps reduce the likelihood of longterm lawn damage. 

The Why Not

  • Slow
    If you need to travel from one end of a large graveyard to the other, it might take a long time to drive your excavator there. Traveling at around 3 mph, this piece of equipment takes awhile to get anywhere. Backing up a trailer on the lawn to get the excavator to where you need it sooner is an option, but it also puts you at higher risk of damaging the graveyard property–a major turnoff to cemetery managers. 
  • Occasionally tears up turf
    Although a few of the mini excavator features cut down on the potential for lawn damage, it may not always be completely unavoidable. Depending on the angles of turns you need to make and the landscape features you need to avoid, you'll need to be careful regarding lawn tear-up.

With all the different mini excavators on the market, be sure to do your research. Check out all their features and weigh the pros and cons of each excavator before making a final decision. Not sure if it will be worth the investment? Try renting one for your next grave dig or two to see if it helps you maintain cemetery property and complete the job more efficiently. 

Mini Skid Steer

Your search for a small dirt moving piece of equipment might end here. The mini skid steer, sometimes called a stand-on skid steer, with a backhoe attachment is another piece of compact equipment that has been evolving across multiple companies over the past few years. 

Here's a look at the pros and cons of adding a mini skid steer to your grave digging equipment fleet.

The Why

  • Tight turning radius
    A small piece of equipment nearly always means a tight-turn radius. You'll be able to get around narrow corners of the cemetery without damaging grave markers or knocking over flowers placed on the grave by a loved one.
  • Lightweight
    Stand-on skid steers often weigh roughly 2,000-3,000 pounds, which is great news when you're trying to cut down on turf damage.

The Why Not

  • Less powerful than a large piece of equipment
    A smaller piece of equipment also means less power. Typically, however, digging a grave won't need the amount of power a regular excavator would have, so using a mini skid steer shouldn't often cause issues. 
  • Possibility of torn lawn
    Due to the mini skid steer having tracks, there again is the possibility of occasionally tearing up the grass of the property you're working on. This possibility is minimized by the equipment being lightweight. However, this is still something to keep in mind.  

Like with the compact excavator, you can always check out your local equipment rental store if you're looking to try before you buy. These popular pieces are widely available through different manufacturers, too, so there are plenty of options for you to chose from.

Note: If the equipment you're looking at has tracks over the wheels, keep in mind that some rubber tracks are likely to cause less damage to softer lawns than tracks made of other materials.

Equipter RB3000

rb3000 grave digging

Equipter offers multiple pieces of equipment fit for cemetery jobs. One of the most efficient pieces of small dirt moving equipment for the graveyard industry is the Equipter RB3000, the perfect complement to your mini skid steer or excavator.

Why? Check out the reasons below.

The Why 

  • Self-propelled driving system
    The Equipter RB3000 is powered by a 13-hp Honda engine and a drive system that allows you to navigate the trailer around the graveyard whether it's empty or full. It also allows you to temporarily move and hide the dirt to create a cleaner, more respectable burial experience.
  • Individually operated outriggers
    When it's time to return the dirt to the grave, the user can stabilize the dirt trailer with two independently operable outriggers and operate the dump lever to seamlessly slide the dirt back into the grave. 
  • Wide tires
    Equipter specifically chose wide tires for manufacturing the RB3000 in order for the equipment to evenly distribute weight when driving across different types of terrain. This leaves the gravesite you're working on free of ruts.
  • Compact
    Heavy equipment and vehicles are more likely to damage property features like headstones or small trees, but the RB3000 helps eliminate these concerns. With its tight turning radius and narrow design, this cemetery dump trailer is able to fit through spots where you typically can't go with standard utility trailers, pickup trucks, and dump trucks. 

Want more on the RB3000? Click the button below to watch our latest customer story at the Indiana Veterans Memorial Cemetery.

Watch The RB3000 In Action

The Why Not

  • Not advised for use on wet ground
    While the Equipter RB3000 is easy to drive on dry land, just like other grave digging equipment, Equipter does not advise driving the landscape dumpster across lawns after heavy rainstorms or in marshy environments. We encourage cemetery management staff to use their best judgment when choosing whether to operate the unit in these situations. We also offer track mats to reduce imprints in the ground during travel.

Smaller, more efficient equipment makes you a professional gravedigger. Invest in what respects the graveyard and its residents and shows that you care about more than just getting the job done.