Backhoe loaders are designed for a variety of tasks. Also simply called backhoes, they are primarily used for excavation, digging up to 14 feet deep using upwards of 100 horsepower. Their loader bucket at the front adds versatility, making them popular with many companies and contractors.
What’s a Backhoe Loader?
A backhoe loader is a piece of machinery that’s two machines in one, offering the best of both worlds.
A powerful tractor body sits between the loading bucket and the backhoe. Plenty of workers simply call the machine a “backhoe” for shorthand, although this refers to the backhoe arm at the rear of the machine.
Backhoe loaders are confused with excavators since they are each used for industrial digging jobs. Excavators are more suited for heavy-duty deep digging and demolishing, whereas the backhoe loader is typically leased or financed for mid-duty tasks. Excavators overall lack the speed and front bucket or attachment of a backhoe loader.
A backhoe loader consists of the following main areas:
- Tractor: The central part of the machine
- Front Loader: The bucket at the front of the machine uses a hydraulic system to move material, such as dirt.
- Backhoe: The part that holds up the rear bucket, sometimes referred to as a “dipper stick”.
- Stabilizer Legs: These are used to prevent the machine from tipping over, located behind the rear wheels.
- Bucket: Attached to the backhoe, the bucket resembles a miniature excavator bucket.
- Cab: Just above the tractor, this is a safe area where the operator sits.
How & Where are Backhoe Loaders Used?
Although there are other options, none meet the versatility and speed of a backhoe loader. Most backhoes use wheels instead of tracks, granting them superior speed over excavators and the ability to maneuver through rough terrain.
Below we’ve listed a few industries where they’re commonly used such as landscaping, construction and farming.
Use in Landscaping
If you work in landscaping, you can automate tiring physical tasks such as:
- Digging and uprooting trees, plus moving trees to new locations.
- Lifting and moving boulders, rocks, dirt and heavy gravel.
- Breaking up pavement on roads and/or parking lots.
Use in Construction
- Smaller demolition tasks which don’t require a full-sized excavator.
- Breaking up asphalt and pavement.
- Transporting heavy materials and cleaning up a work site.
Use in Farming
- Creating and digging up small ponds up to 14ft deep.
- Digging trenches for drainage.
- Uprooting trees.
Adding Versatility With Backhoe Loader Attachments
Backhoe loaders are completely adjustable, depending on the task at hand. Whether you need to drill small post holes, sweep snow, or move heavy pallets, more likely than not, the backhoe loader will have a proper attachment for the job.
Having multiple attachments on hand saves your operation time and money by not having to invest in full-sized machines.
Backhoe loader attachments include, but are not limited to:
- Augers: Augers are corkscrew attachments used to drill holes into wood, dirt or gravel.
- Compactors: These drive thousands of pounds of pressure into the earth, flattening and strengthening the ground. They can be used in trenching, paving and even to drive in sheeting on retaining walls for landscaping.
- Hammers/Breakers: Hammers can break up obstacles like soil and rock, which can be cleared away for later improvements.
- Snow handlers: Backhoe loaders can clear snow and ice with a proper front snow handler. These include sturdy snow blades, buckets, or pushes that are effective at clearing wet, heavy snow.
- Rippers: Attached to the rear, rippers pair well with snow handlers or buckets in clearing permafrost, ice, asphalt or frozen earth.
Does it sound like a backhoe loader is just what you need for your business or operation? Contact us today if you’re interested in financing or leasing one with us.