The photo of a full sized excavator isn't consistent with the kind of digger they are talking about. Not only are full sized excavators too large, they cost over $100,000. However, even a compact excavator like one of the cute little Bobcat ones is still in the $30,000 range - used. So I'm not sure what they are talking about when they refer to abandoning diggers only worth "£5,000 or £6,000."
I find the story suspect - not that it couldn't be happening, or that it isn't happening, but the details seem off.