The backhoe has to be one of the weirdest designs when it comes to construction equipment. It looks a little like a praying mantis, sitting ready to pounce. Despite it’s weird design, the backhoe is one of the most versatile and most effective machines in use.

Comprising of a small bucket on the front and a smaller square trench digging bucket at the back (hence the term backhoe), the backhoe can work in quite small spaces and can be found at some stage on most building sites, particularly smaller ones like housing developments.

The small square bucket is generally used to dig trenches for foundations or for services such as water and gas. The larger bucket at the front is used to backfill and to clean up around a site. Where the backhoe becomes the versatility king is in the attachments that can be added. The backhoe can be removed and replaced with attachments such as a digging spike used for breaking up rock and concrete.

If you were to take a small front end loader and cut it in half and then add a small version of an excavator, without the swiveling cab, you would have a backhoe. Experienced operators of excavators or front end loaders have little trouble operating a backhoe, the reverse is not generally the case.

For an interesting career as either a backhoe operators, front end loader operator or excavator operator then check out the training program available through ATS Heavy Equipment Operator Schools.

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