There used to be a saying when I was younger – “a jack of all trades yet a master of none.” It was a phrase that pointed to a person who could do a lot of work across a variety of skills, yet they didn’t have a piece of paper to say they were qualified in any trade. When it comes to heavy equipment, backhoes are the jack (or Jill) of all trades – except you can say they were a master of all as well.
Backhoes bring together the power of an excavator, and that includes many of the attachments that excavators use, and the strength of a front end loader. Backhoes actually remind me a little of a scorpion – a mouth at the front and stinging tail at the back. In fact, that’s where they get their names from. Back hoe meaning the excavator bucket is at the back of the vehicle.
As an operator, there are a number of differences between a backhoe and other heavy equipment. To begin with, large backhoes are articulated – that is, they are joined in the middle with a pivoting point. Reversing a backhoe is a little like reversing a trailer. Good backhoe operators are in high demand because of the versatility that backhoes bring to a work site. They can be used to dig trenches, and then, using the loader scoop, fill the trench in again once a job has been completed. They can also be used to quickly remove any excess dirt or building material.
Learning to operate a backhoe is not difficult; in fact, I’d suggest you also learn how to operate an excavator and loader at the same time. This will ensure you have several skills you can rely on when working for an employer. You really will be a Jack (or Jill) of all trades then – and master of them as well.