One of the most versatile machines on any work site is the backhoe. If you…
Heavy equipment is a field that involves a wide range of equipment. To be successful, operators need experience on more than one type of machine. With some equipment, the types of operations are very similar, it’s just the type of equipment that is different. The easiest machinery to see this in the backhoe and the loader and excavator.
It has often been said that if you can operate a backhoe successfully, you will have no trouble operating a loader or an excavator. In truth, each of these machines is decidedly different. However, they have enough similarities that if you were trained in each you would have no trouble swapping between them at a moment’s notice.
To say that a backhoe works in the same manner as an excavator is not quite right. Sure, knowledge of dirt and the way it reacts when working with either machine is the same, and the process of digging a trench is very similar. Backhoes are generally wheeled vehicles while excavators are normally driven on tracks (also known as continuous tracks or caterpillar tracks). Maneuvering each is very different, and often stabilizing is also different.
Loaders, too, are different compared to backhoes. While the process of moving dirt is very similar, loaders are often articulated while backhoes are normally one solid unit. Articulated requires different driving skills and maneuvering can be tricky if you haven’t had any experience.
While loaders and excavators are different than backhoes, the actual work involved is often very similar. Some employers prefer to use backhoes whilst other prefer two separate machines. What is important is to have heavy equipment training that exposes you to, and gives you, in-the-seat practice in all three machinery types. That will prepare you for a career where you can operate any one of those machines with confidence, and with skill.