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100% rent a mini ex
A mini ex is not a "jump in for the first time and go to work on someone's property" piece of equipment in my opinion if you have never run one before. A mini skid with a grapple, on the other hand can be mastered pretty quickly.
But I get a sense the OP is going for old school. It's winter, he's not busy, go burn some calories chopping stuff up. I did quite a bit of that early in my career. Sure the equipment is going to help tremendously, but by the time you've rented said equipment you have already burned half a day and 7 or 800 bucks.
If you are willing to bust a bunch of hard hours out with tree planting shovel, a digging bar and a pulaski, it can be done.
But you better estimate on the high side of $1,200 unless you really have nothing better to do.
Yes we would roll in with mini skid and dump trailer plus demo hammer, and assorted hand tools and charge at least 1,500 for a full day, but we'd be done at that point. I don't think a solo guy with handtools would be done in a day.
But it is a little hard to see the whole scope of the project from the pics.
 

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Pretty quick learning curve running a modern mini excavator and I bet MowDaddy can run a backhoe with line valve controls.
Mini ex has about 10 minute learning curve to get the basics down. Won't be a pro at it, but no time like the present to gain experience.
Wow, 10 minutes? y'all must have diesel in your blood.
My point is if I was renting a mini ex and had never run one before, I would likely not want to learn driving it off the trailer into a client's back yard to start digging up stuff right off the bat, while the client watches you from the deck. . But that's just me.. Have to learn somewhere.
 
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