How to Drive a Dingo!

How to drive a Dingo: A learning curve!

By David Gordon – Baywide Dingos Napier, Hawkes Bay New Zealand

Driving a Dingo mini excavator: K9-3 or K9-4

Tips and Tricks for Best use.

  • Number one rule: keep the attachment hoses & fittings clean (caps on and caps clean). This is the main reason the pumps fail is due to contamination and debris in the hydraulic oil. The dingo does not have a very good filter setup.
  • Number two rule: keep the wheel marks and skids to a minimum and watch the tar seal damage on a hot day. Even though the dingo machines are relatively light compared to diggers and bobcats they still will make a mess of someone’s nice new lawn or tar seal driveway. Take your time to do a 4 or 5 point turn instead of skid steering
  • Try and learn to be as smooth as possible with your operating. It takes a long time to perfect it but if you can aim to drive forward and lift the bucket up in the air then drive back and place the bucket on the ground all in one flowing movement – you are well on your way to becoming a good operator. (Sounds easy eh?)
  • Be very careful working in close proximity to buildings & houses – make sure you are confident on the machine 1st and can do the above exercise.
  • Always wear ear protection: Dingos are 120DB+

Expect to be frustrated trying to learn the machine. It takes about two days to learn what does what and about 2 weeks to become confident. It takes another 2-3months of solid use to get up to a speed on all attachments and the minimum level we need for our operators. That’s about 130hrs on a machine so don’t worry if you can’t get it in the 1st couple of hours! During the last 10years in business we have clocked over 25,000 hours on our machines!
General Bucket Use
Tips and Tricks for Best use of the 4 n 1 bucket.

  • Make sure the back plate is free from dirt by clearing it with a spade or screwdriver. This will allow the pins to easily drop into place.
  • The bucket is the most versatile tool for the dingo. Master the skill of picking a pile of dirt up and getting a FULL bucket. Make sure the bucket closes right up and isn’t caught on a stick or any debris otherwise the material will fall out!
  • Master loading the trucks smoothly so no dirt falls out of the bucket on the way up and not hitting the side of the truck
  • Make sure you always travel with your bucket down, for safety and so as to not tip the machine over

Concrete Breaking
Tips and Tricks for Best use.

  • Sometimes the breaker is hard to attach to the machine. Take the male end of the breaker hose and hit the nozzle on to the breaker to release the pressure from the attachment
  • RULE #1 don’t use the breaker as a crow bar to wedge any concrete pieces out
  • RULE #2 make sure you are wearing sunglasses or eye protection
  • Break large areas of concrete out into ‘squares’ about 1mx1m to minimize time breaking plus for ease of pick up with the machine, rather than a lot of small pieces to pick up
  • Take care breaking against windows & watch the debris
  • Take the weight off the arms with the breaker so that the breakers stick is pushed up. Gently switch on. If the wheels are lifting off the ground you are putting too much weight on it
  • Breaking thick concrete: Take small chunks off at a time to avoid the breaker getting stuck in the hole. Don’t burrow the full length of the breaker into the ground or it will get stuck
  • Break for a maximum of 15seconds in one spot! If it hasn’t broken try a different spot!
  • Always Grease the breaker every 2hours (7 pumps of grease gun)

Rotary Hoeing
Tips and Tricks for Best use.

  • RULE #1: keep the attachment hoses & fittings clean (caps on and caps clean)
  • The hoe works in reverse to all the other attachments. Lift the arms up and drop the crowd raw right down so you can see the blades. Turn the attachment on (in rabbit gear) The cutting edges should be travelling clockwise into the dirt
  • Use the flow divider for long stretches
  • The roller provides a nicer finish but is not necessary during the early stages of lawn prep. If a customer only requires rotary hoeing, try to work it so you don’t have to run over the dirt you have just titivated.
  • The rotary hoe can also be an excellent method of stripping the grass only off the top of soil. Don’t use the flow divider for this otherwise you will go too deep

Trenching 150mm & 300mm
Tips and Tricks.

  • Number one rule: keep the attachment hoses & fittings clean (caps on and caps clean)
  • Trenching is a bit of an experience thing. You get the feel for it after about 500m of trench. The absolute best piece of advice I can give you is to go to the finishing point of the trench with the machine, turn around and point the machine to the start (with the trencher attached) and place the trencher on the ground and ‘scribe’ a line through the grass/dirt whilst looking at the start point. This will give you an accurate line to follow so you don’t off course. Sounds obvious but is essential.

I hope that helps you if you are just hiring a machine for the weekend or starting up a new business, you are well on your way to becoming a great operator in no time.