In the Know

Backhoe Loader vs. Mini Excavator | What Works For You?

Backhoe Loaders have long been a staple on a job site. In recent years, more contractors are opting for a mini hydraulic excavator instead of a backhoe loader. Both machines can benefit your project, but understanding your jobsite applications is the key to making the right decision for your job. According to the Caterpillar blog, "Deciding Whether a Backhoe Loader or Mini Hydraulic Excavator is a Better Fit," Roy Brookhart discusses the importance of asking the right questions because these two machines differ greatly in versatility, mobility, and transportability. Be sure to assess the pros and cons before your make your decision. Ask yourself these three questions. 

Which machine will be more appropriate for my application?

  • Backhoe loaders can perform not only trenching, lifting, excavating and loading jobs, but they can also travel at higher speeds in a wide variety of applications including snow removal.
  • Mini hydraulic excavators are compact and lightweight to minimize track marks and top ground damage. They are also capable of a 360-degree swing.

How large is my jobsite?

  • Backhoe loaders can travel easily across a jobsite to complete more than one task, and a extended line of work tools improves versatility.
  • Mini hydraulic excavators can fit through small gates and around crowded sites to complete jobs in tight spaces, like occupied parking lots and indoor projects.

How far apart are my jobsites?

  • Backhoe loaders can drive 25 mph on road surfaces between worksites.
  • Mini hydraulic excavators can be transported by trailer or utility truck from one jobsite to another for easy transfer.  

Contact a Hawthorne Cat representative to discuss your options.

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Ross Farmer

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