Compact Excavator Features and Options

Compact (Mini) Excavator Buyer’s Guide: Part 4 of 6 

From cab amenities to deluxe instrumentation, you’ll find plenty of specially engineered features and optional upgrades in compact excavators.  

Table of Contents: 

Close Up of a Touch Screen Inside the Cab of a Bobcat Compact Excavator

Compact Excavator Features & Options  

As the demand for compact excavators grows, manufacturers continue to incorporate advanced features that enhance productivity, efficiency, and operator comfort. The following are some of the features and options you can choose from when purchasing a compact excavator.

Comfort Features  

The comfortable operation of a compact excavator is essential to an operator’s productivity. Comfort features minimize operator fatigue and enhance the overall operator experience. Compact excavators that are more pleasant to operate can also help you reduce employee turnover in a tight labor market.


Good visibility from the cab is crucial for safe and efficient operation. Ensure the compact excavator has adequate design features to provide optimal visibility for the operator.  

Learn More: Clear Visibility & Lighting  

Cab Amenities  

Comfort features are more than just a collection of nice-to-have options. The more comfortable you are, the more productive you are. So don’t overlook the details in your compact excavator cab.  

Learn More: Premium Cab 


Operator controls should be ergonomically designed and easy to use for maximum productivity.   

Ergonomically designed controls should be designed for simplicity, flexibility and maximum productivity. Whether you’re digging, backfilling or operating an attachment that requires secondary hydraulics, the joysticks, travel control pedals and attachment controls must be simple and comfortable to work with – so you can stay productive all day long. Bobcat's predictable control system ensures the excavator's movements are consistent and precise, making it easier for operators to complete tasks accurately and efficiently.  

Learn More: Controls and Predictable Controls  

Display Options  

Touch Displays  

Compact excavators are increasingly equipped with touch displays in the cab, enabling quick operator access and control with a simple touch. The Bobcat touch display provides detailed machine information and an unprecedented level of device connectivity, making this optional feature a must-have for many operators. The Bobcat touch display allows operators to easily view and toggle through machine performance information on the wide, easy-to-use touchscreen, which supports seven languages. It features an 800 x 480-pixel display resolution. Plus, it’s waterproof and hardened to reduce scratching.  

Learn More: Touch Displays  

Standard Display  

Included as a standard feature of Bobcat compact (mini) excavators, the easy-to-read cab display provides full-featured machine interaction and monitoring capabilities from right in the cab.   

Diagnostics and detailed operation information can be accessed through the display, including monitoring, troubleshooting and error conditions. If there’s a problem with the system voltage, engine oil pressure, engine coolant temperature or other major functions, you’ll know. You can also use it to activate or deactivate auto idle.   

Get a quick handle on maintenance needs with engine hour tracking that is visible from any screen on the Bobcat display. Run your excavator more efficiently and solve more problems in the field with the standard display, which supports multiple languages.  

Learn More: Standard Display  

Deluxe Instrumentation  

When you’re working, fast access to machine information is crucial. Deluxe instrumentation puts key functions at your fingertips. It brings upgraded communication, monitoring, productivity and control to your compact (mini) excavator. More importantly, the panel boosts your productivity and peace of mind all year long. Critical information is clearly visible on an ultra-sharp LCD panel and simple interface.   

Learn More: Deluxe Instrumentation   

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Retractable Undercarriage  

A retractable undercarriage allows for extra flexibility in work environments of all sizes. When equipped with a retractable undercarriage, the compact excavator's tracks can provide greater maneuverability in tight spaces when retracted, then can be extended to their normal position for optimum stability.   

Learn More: 6 Tips to Extend the Life of Your Undercarriage  

Additional Features  

Two-Speed Travel  

Two-speed travel enables operators to switch between a slower speed for precise control during tasks and a faster speed for moving around the job site more quickly.  

Auto Idle  

Auto idle systems automatically reduce engine speed when the compact excavator is not in use, conserving fuel and reducing noise and emissions.  

Depth Check System  

The depth check system in Bobcat compact excavators ensures operators dig to the correct depth, improving efficiency and reducing the risk of over- or under-digging.  

Learn More: Depth Check System  

Auxiliary Hydraulics  

Auxiliary hydraulics allow compact excavators to power various attachments, such as hydraulic breakers or augers, increasing their versatility and capabilities.  

Learn More: Advanced Hydraulics  

Angle Blade  

An angle blade provides greater functionality with simultaneous up/down and angle adjustment, and the ability to direct soil to the left or right as you backfill. A replaceable cutting edge also extends the life of your angle blade, which can lower operating costs, especially when it’s easy to replace.  

In-Track Swing Frame  

The in-track swing frame, an exclusive feature of Bobcat compact excavators, is engineered to help you operate in the smallest of workspaces. The in-track swing frame allows you to get closer to your work, as the swing castings and cylinders stay within the tracks when you dig in an offset position. This not only helps to prevent impact with nearby obstacles, but it also gives you more degrees of swing for maneuvering your bucket or placing spoil.  

Compact Excavator Telematics (Bobcat Machine IQ)

Learn More: Machine IQ

Making an Informed Buying Decision  

In the rapidly evolving landscape of compact excavators, manufacturers are continually introducing new features and options to meet evolving operator expectations.

From comfort features to advanced instrumentation, these enhancements are designed to increase operator productivity, efficiency and satisfaction.   

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