• Beckside Machinery

Backhoes – what are they, do I need one?

Backhoe definition:  Backhoes are pieces of heavy-duty machinery, (a two-part articulated arm to be precise) that consists of a digging bucket (and in most cases a front loader).


It can be thought of as a digger due to the digging bucket, and for all named “backhoe” they aren’t situated at the rear, but rather they get the name backhoe due to the motion that comes from the actual bucket!


Backhoes – what are they, do I need one?

Typically, you will find tractor cabs with a loader-style bucket on the front, with an additional backhoe attached to the rear.


In our opinion, backhoes are a great piece of equipment helping with a range of different projects of varied size. 


Why use a backhoe for the tractor?


Backhoes offer great stability when moving heavy loads, which is why you will often see them used when telephone cables or large pipes need to be lowered into the ground.


Supporting large scale earthwork projects and site works.


Backhoes can also save a considerable amount of time and money for projects.  As for construction and building sites, for example, you’re primarily getting an excavator and a wheel loader combined with a backhoe attachment.


In addition, these pieces of equipment are suited to work across all different terrain and are durable and robust enough to withstand all seasons and weather conditions.


The most popular uses for a backhoe include for:

  • Excavations

  • Breaking asphalt

  • Landscaping

  • Clearing snow

  • Construction

  • Lifting and positioning cables

  • Demolition

  • Paving roads

  • Trench and foundation work

  • Material transport

  • Ditch digging

  • Tree planting

  • Small scale digging

  • And when they work together with a front loader, they can also clear away dirt and debris.

The many ways a backhoe can be used is also one of the main reasons site managers and project managers love them – as they know they’ve now got a machine on site that can do a hell of a lot of work!


These pieces of equipment are not only versatile; they’re also innovative.  Great for a wide range of applications, backhoes are an extremely popular choice across many industry sectors.


Different drive capabilities


Different tractor backhoe models have different drive capabilities, allowing the backhoe to handle the different terrains and seasons with ease.


The different types of backhoes are:


2x4 – mainly used on more even terrains and in industrial yards.


4x4 – can handle rough and more uneven terrain.


Tracked backhoes – can handle any ground condition, at any time.


The operator can operate the equipment either at the front or the back, all from the cab where you will often find the bucket/hoe at the back and the loader bucket at the front.


Tractor backhoe and attachments


Hydraulic power attachments, and a wide range at that, can be fitted to backhoes to allow you to use the piece of machinery for further tasks besides digging and lifting.

These attachments include:

  • Hammers and breakers – where rocky soil and asphalt can be broken up with ease

  • Compactors

  • Couplers

  • Road sweepers

  • Rippers

  • Snowploughs

  • And more!

You will also find backhoes in a range of sizes, with backhoes able to carry a considerable and varied load, and again the backhoe you choose should be based on your overall requirements.


Operating a tractor backhoe


To operate a backhoe, you will need appropriate training.


Equipment should also be checked regularly and serviced and maintained as required.


Operators should never operate too close to the edge or on steep or uneven ground.


When working on sites, you should review all site plans, identifying any hazards before work begins.


It’s also important when operating backhoes that you:

  • Don’t raise the bucket too high.

  • Always wear your seatbelt.

  • Be careful of falling loads and hitting other objects in the vicinity.

You must also:


  • Never exceed the maximum operating weight of the machine.

  • Check blind spots.

  • Never use the bucket to carry people.

  • Stick to the speed limit!

Finding the right backhoe for you


More and more people are looking for backhoe loaders for sale due to their versatility and the efficiency they can bring to projects.  Operating almost as a multi-functional piece of machinery to help support a range of projects as required.


To find the right tractor backhoe for you, visit our range of backhoes online or call 01673 828 965, and a member of the Beckside team will be happy to talk you through our full range.



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