Backhoe Hire: How Does a Backhoe Work?

Backhoes, while not extremely popular in Australia, are capable of completing the work of excavators, skid steer loaders, front loaders and other construction excavation equipment. Backhoes can be found on construction site across Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, working on both major infrastructure projects, to small neighbourhood construction. While backhoes can be found on construction sites across Australia, very few people know how they function and what they offer on-site.

But before we get into the functions of a backhoe, here’s a short history on how they came to be. Backhoes were originally based on tractors, and so were invented by predominantly tractor and agricultural companies, such as JCB and Case. They were first heard of in the 1950’s and in 1957 Case introduced their first model to the industry. The idea being that backhoes would be able to cut time lost in slower machines, or hire costs in hiring threes or more machines. Backhoes are very popular for these reasons across the USA, Europe and Asia.

A backhoe is broken up into three sections, the loader section, the backhoe section, and the tractor section. Below we go through each section of the backhoe, how it works and why in order for you to better understand how a backhoe benefits a construction site.

How the Loader Section Works

The loader section of the backhoe is the front section, it looks like a front loader or skid steer loader bucket and functions in much the same way. The loader section has digging and lifting capabilities, making it useful in transporting materials around the site, or from the excavation to the materials removal truck.

The bucket for the loader is more often than not detachable and can be swapped out for any number of skid steer or front loader attachments. A few examples of loader attachments are:

  • Auger
  • Ripper
  • Hydraulic breaker
  • Compaction wheel
  • Grapple
  • Fork tyne

The loader section of the backhoe is the faster part of the construction machine. The backhoe is able to pick up materials and transport them around the construction site at the same speed and agility as a skid steer loader or front loader.

How the Backhoe Section Works

The backhoe section of a backhoe is the back boom arm, it acts like an excavator’s boom, capable of excavating a range of materials. Although the bucket is narrower than a standard excavator bucket, there are different bucket attachments that can be swapped if a wider digging capability is needed. The backhoe section of a backhoe makes the construction machine unique, enabling the backhoe to complete the work of an excavator and a skid steer loader.

In order to safely operate the backhoe part of the backhoe, the operator’s seat is able to swivel to the back of the cab for direct operation. To keep the backhoe stable when excavating hard soils stabiliser legs are deployed, removing the potential for the body of the backhoe rock or tip.

How the Tractor Section Works

The tractor section is the workhorse of the backhoe, it contains all the electronics, a powerful, turbocharged diesel engine, rugged tires and all the operating controls. The tractor unit of the backhoe is based on a standard tractor body. As with standard tractors, backhoes are said to be reliable and capable of continuous work. Their reliability is one of the main reasons why backhoes are found all over the world.

Where Would You Find a Backhoe Working?

Backhoes have found a niche in the construction industry due to their narrow frame and easy manoeuvrability on the construction site. Often needed for smaller urban engineering projects such as construction and repairs in areas too small for larger equipment, they can be found on road reconstruction, utility construction and subdivisions and housing estate constructions.

Drop a Line to the Team at Eastern Plant Hire Today

If you’re looking to speak with an industry expert about world-class plant hire packages, material cartage, truck hire or anything in between, then give EPH a call today. Speak with one of our friendly staff members about an obligation-free quote, receive incisive advice and get the ball rolling on your next earthmoving project. Alternatively, fill out one of our online enquiry forms and we will respond to your request as soon as possible. For all plant hire jobs, big or small, Eastern Plant Hire are the team you can trust!

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