Often referred to as the swiss army knife of heavy equipment, the Backhoe Loader is great for excavation and digging projects of all sizes – one end to dig up dirt and the other end to move it around. It’s the machine that is great for any project. It is a popular piece of equipment seen on many job sites.
A backhoe loader is heavy construction equipment that consists of a tractor-like unit fitted with a loader-style shovel/bucket on the front and a 388 Loader Backhoe on the back. Backhoe loaders can tackle landscaping jobs of all sizes and types, such as digging up trees and moving them to new locations, even keeping the root ball intact. They can also be put to work moving boulders, rocks, and gravel, or moving dirt and pushing topsoil into place. Backhoes are also great for digging fence post holes or minor excavation jobs, such as digging small ponds and water features. They can even be used to dig trenches for irrigation lines to keep the landscape watered and healthy all year round.
Parts of a backhoe loader
Big is in the eye of the beholder, believes Tom Connor, product specialist with Bobcat Company. “Fifteen years ago, we considered compact 1 Ton Mini Excavators to be 3,000–7,000 pounds. Now, they can be 2,000–9,000 pounds. Even minis have expanded.” Most draw the line at 8,000–10,000 pounds. he estimates; but “definitively,” if it has a blade and swing boom, it’s a compact.
These small machines can handle some fairly large jobs. They might not be able to complete some jobs as quickly as larger machines, but mini excavators can access places other machines cannot, says Greg Worley, senior project engineer with CAT.
Mini Excavators are ideal for getting into tight spaces where larger excavators cannot. Ed Brenton, brand marketing manager at CASE Construction Equipment, points out that they can handle a variety of jobs even on the larger end, such as installing septic tanks and other jobs of that size. “These machines are kind of like a secondary excavator. They’re not going to be running your mainline services; they’re going to be doing more of the floor pits for running communication lines, digging around obstacles, and getting into the tight areas that the big excavators can’t.”
Many equipment owners associate Wheel Loaders with being durable, versatile machines because they can withstand long hours of use, transport heavy payloads and operate multiple attachments. As some equipment manufacturers expand their product lineup with smaller wheel loaders, many owners are realizing that smaller wheel loaders can work just as hard as their larger counterparts.