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Backhoe and Excavator

Not sure if you need a backhoe or an excavator? Although they both have digging capabilities and fall under the same machinery category, there are a few characteristics that differ. Find out more about their different characteristics to determine which one is right for your next project. 

Excavator Characteristics

Excavators are a common choice for commercial and personal-use construction projects. They come in many different sizes – like mini, small, and large – making them a versatile piece of machinery. Excavators tend to be more heavy duty than a typical backhoe. You can use an excavator for the following types of work:

  • Blasting rocks
  • Shaft drilling
  • Driving piles
  • Mining work
  • Demolition
  • Felling trees

Another reason excavators are so versatile is their ability to utilize various attachments. These include saws, grinders, buckets, and other rock tools that make construction and demolition work much easier. Additionally, an excavator’s arm can rotate 360 degrees. This results in easier and faster work. 

Backhoe Characteristics

Backhoes are another type of digging machinery commonly found on construction sites. Contrary to its name, the backhoe’s bucket rests on the front of the machine instead of the back. However, the attached bucket moves earth “back” towards the machine rather than forward. 

The limited arm rotation of 200 degrees is what primarily sets the backhoe apart from the excavator. Like the excavator, attachments can also be added for various projects. Typical backhoe attachments include hammers, rakes, rippers, and drills. Additionally, the front loader can act as a forklift, plow, or broom. Its long arm can even be utilized like a crane to lift heavy objects. 

Use a backhoe for the following types of work:

  • Removing snow, rock, or earth
  • Medium-scale construction and excavation projects
  • Loading materials

Backhoe or Excavator?

Both the backhoe and excavator are good choices for specific construction projects. However, choosing the right one depends on your needs. Keep these things in mind when making your choice:

Project Tasks. Choosing between an excavator and backhoe depends on what you plan to accomplish. Although both diggers are versatile, excavators have more horsepower and are more accustomed to heavy-duty work. Excavators also come in various sizes to accommodate different needs.

Project Size. Smaller projects won’t require as much manpower or heavy-duty equipment. A backhoe is more suited to personal construction, excavation, or demolition projects. Consider an excavator for large-scale jobs. 

Transportation and Storage. Bulky machinery is hard to transport and store. Carefully consider your travel and storage needs before deciding which machinery to use. A smaller excavator or backhoe is a good choice for smaller projects as they are easier to store. 

For help shipping excavator and backhoe attachments to your desired location, contact a local rock tools professional. Rock Tools can help you find the best attachments, including rock saws, buckets, and grinders, for your digging machinery.