Choosing the Best Earthmoving Equipment for Your Jobsite

Whether you are just starting in the mining, construction, or civil construction industry, or if you have many years of experience under your belt, you likely know that the key to a successfully run operation is the right equipment.

However, it is not always easy to know which piece of earthmoving equipment will get the job done quickly and effectively. Of course, a bit of common sense will dictate some of your choices. For example, if you plan to dig post holes, you can leave the dozer back in the yard. In other situations, the right choice is not always so apparent.

Here at ESM Resources, we have decades of experience working with heavy machinery. Because we are a family-owned company, we are available to offer our guidance and assistance to our customers. We put this guide together to help you decide on the best earthmoving equipment for your project. However, we are always here for you to answer any questions or address your concerns.


An Overview of Earthmoving Equipment

Comparing equipment specifications side by side is typically a helpful way to choose what will work best for you. Here is a look at a half-dozen popular pieces of earthmoving equipment along with their strengths and typical uses. Additionally, any inherent weaknesses will be a part of the guide.


1. Mini Loaders

Mini loader.

The small but powerful machines are frequently called dingos. Unlike most earthmoving equipment, the operator stands on the back of the loader and uses levers to control its movements.


  • Mini Loaders excel in tight places. For this reason, they are a top choice to use for landscaping.
  • Because of their compact size, dingos are a favourite option for working at job sites with many people.
  • The relatively lightweight mini loader does minimal damage to yards where it is in use.
  • Easy to transport due to its weight and size


  • A smaller engine that is not as powerful as full-size loaders
  • Limited depth for digging

Typical Uses:

  • Demolition of smaller objects in a yard
  • Excavating
  • Removal of dirt and debris
  • Work on water and sewer pipes
  • Pool or jacuzzi installation
  • Civil projects, including street repairs
  • Agricultural work


2. Skid Steer Loader

Skid Steer.

You ought to think about using a skid steer loader if you need versatility on your job site. While slightly larger than the mini loader, the skid steer boasts excellent performance in small spaces where you have little room to maneuver. Because they have a tight turning radius and more power than the mini loader, the skid steer loader is the first choice after a mini loader.

The skid steer is useful in many settings, and some professionals see it as the most comprehensive small machine on their job site.


  • Highly maneuverable even in small spaces
  • Tight turning radius
  • Useful in a variety of settings
  • A variety of equipment will attach to the skid steer loader. This includes:
  • Dozer blade
  • Palette forks
  • Auger
  • Chain digger
  • Hammer
  • Rotary hoe
  • Power broom


  • It tends to tear up lawns when it move
  • May need tracks depending on the terrain
  • Adding a track limits maneuverability

Typical uses:

  • Battering and benching
  • Compacting
  • Excavating
  • Lifting materials
  • Loading
  • Mixing materials
  • Rock breaking
  • Site clean up
  • Stripping and spreading topsoil


3. The Posi Track Loader

Posi track loader.

Many professionals prefer the posi track loader to other loaders. The posi track loader tends to be more powerful than skid steer loaders and has an edge when it comes to speed. They also have great ground clearance and can climb easily.


  • Ideal for earthmoving in wet or muddy conditions
  • Works well in areas where loaders with wheels cannot operate
  • Comparatively low maintenance costs
  • Available in a wide range of power options
  • Offers enhanced ride comfort


  • Limited operating radius (200 degrees to the left or the right)
  • The tracks can limit the use of a posi track loader

Typical Uses

  • Jobsites with wet terrain
  • Compacting
  • Excavating
  • Loading
  • Job site cleanup
  • Tearing up topsoil


4. Dozer


A somewhat specialised piece of earthmoving equipment is the dozer. Most people are familiar with this machine. It works to move vast amounts of dirt, making room for other kinds of equipment to do specific tasks.

Dozers operate on wheels or tracks, depending on the type and the conditions on the job site. The blade on the front of a dozer adjusts to various angles as well as heights or depths. Most dozers have an attachment on the back of the machine called a ripper. This is useful when large pieces of large rock or other debris are in the way.


  • The dozer is efficient and can move a great deal of dirt in a single pass
  • Adjustable to various depths
  • Straightforward for an experienced operator to use on any job site


  • Inexperienced operators can easily dig too deep
  • Exacting standards are necessary for correct angle and depth

Typical Uses

  • Battering and benching
  • Bulk excavation
  • Cut and fill
  • Land clearing
  • Levelling
  • Ripping
  • Stripping topsoil
  • Topsoil spreading and smoothing
  • Towing (most dozers have an attachment on the back)


5. Excavator


The undisputed giants of most job sites, excavators are essential for projects where you are digging tonnes of earth. Even though people envision excavators as behemoths, they range from mini one-tonne machines up to eight-tonne models. Remember, even the most impressive looking machine still must get to your job site and have adequate space to operate. Bigger is not always better.


  • A 360-degree turning radius
  • Can dig to depths of around five meters (depending on the unit’s size)
  • Most excavators can work with several attachments adding versatility to your worksite
  • Available in various sizes to suit a variety of jobs


  • Needs large areas to work- not suitable for compact spaces
  • It can be challenging to get to job sites

Typical Uses (Some operations may require attachments)

  • Battering and benching
  • Backfilling
  • Boxing
  • Compacting
  • Cutting
  • Drilling
  • Loading
  • Pipelaying
  • Rock breaking
  • Site cleanup


6. Dump Truck

Tipper truck.

A piece of earthmoving equipment that no job site is complete without is the dump truck. Your crew can dig to the centre of the earth, but with no place for the tonnes of dirt and debris to go, it would be for naught. Even though several earth-moving machines can move dirt and debris around a worksite, the process is inefficient, at best.


  • Works well when used in tandem with excavators providing a swift removal of excess dirt
  •  Available in several sizes so you can customise your equipment as it relates to your project
  • Generally easy to operate


  • Can be too large for tight spaces
  • Only hauls away dirt and debris it must be loaded

Typical uses:

  • Dump trucks are useful on nearly all types of worksites


Much of the Previously Mentioned Equipment Is Said to Be Versatile. How Is This Possible?

Remember that many of these machines can operate with a variety of attachments. This increases their usefulness in a variety of settings. The attachments can also streamline your job site as well as your budget. A few examples of such attachments include:

  • Augers
  • Auger Drives
  • Buckets
  • Cement Mixing Bowls
  • Drum Cutters
  • Flail Mowers
  • Grabs
  • Mulchers
  • Plate Compactors
  • Ramps
  • Rock Breaker
  • Rock Saws


Why Dry Hire?

The conversation regarding wet hire versus dry hire is continuous. Both types of hiring equipment indeed have their merits. At ESM Resources, we maintain a dry hire (equipment only, no operator) operation for several reasons that are as much about customer satisfaction as they are about our company.

  • Ease of scheduling – We can meet the needs of more customers by arranging the services of a machine (which is likely one of many) than by scheduling a machine with an operator (who may be one of just a few qualified for a particular job)
  • Crew familiarity – When you work alongside the same crew day in and day out for many years, you know what to expect, and many minute details can go unsaid. However, adding an operator to the machine you hired can add some bumps in the road.
  • Customer savings – You are paying your team and paying for the machinery you hire. Adding the cost of an operator just makes your bill that much more extensive.

The hit the construction, civil, and mining industries took as a result of the pandemic is indisputable. Pumping the breaks on a segment of the economy spending roughly 15 trillion dollars was brutal to countless Australian businesses. As the construction and mining sectors begin a rebound from the devastating economic impact of Covid-19, we are seeing an increase in requests for versatility and multi-tasking capability. Our dry hire earthmoving equipment can be the answer to many of your job site needs.

After looking over this guide, you can make an informed choice about which earthmoving equipment you need for the job that is ahead of you. As always, you can count on ESM Resources to hire out well maintained, high-quality equipment at a fair price. If you would like to place an order or have a few questions, please feel free to contact us. We are here for you.