Milwaukee excavating contractor Howard LePine uses mini-excavators, scaled down versions of the bigger machines used for mining and heavy construction. Much of LePine's work is in close quarters that rule out using larger machines. The small size of the units helps LePine move equipment on and off the job without damaging landscaping. Optional rubber shoes can replace the steel track shoes that might chew up asphalt or grass surfaces. The unit also is unlikely to harm surfaces because of its light weight. A short tail swing radius lets the units operate without interference.