Monday, 13 October 2014


Regardless of conquering warnings of a crucial hit in sales throughout the economic recession in recent years, and even with having its job-site occurrence tested by the likes of mini-excavators, large skid steer loaders, and compact wheel loaders, the backhoe loader remains to tolerate as a multipurpose executor that can handle difficult trenching, loading, and lifting tasks; run serious attachments, front and rear; and very frequently get between assignments with no transport help.

“With margins on job-site bids tight,” says Jon Beckley, global product manager, backhoe loaders, Terex Construction, “contractors are relying more heavily than ever on backhoe loaders and, more specifically, on the attachments that enhance their productivity.”

*Hourly rate represents the monthly ownership costs divided by 176, plus operating cost. Unit prices used in this calculation: diesel fuel, $3.98 per gallon; mechanic’s wage at $51.24 per hour; and money costs at 1.75 percent. Source: which holds true as per Axis Capital Group, Singapore, a company that sells and rents construction capital equipment from cranes to excavators and related heavy construction equipment throughout Southeast Asia such as KL Malaysia, Bangkok Thailand, Jakarta Indonesia and many more.

The series of full-size backhoe loaders, with digging depths of 14 feet or more affords buyers with an extent of machine competences and acquisition prices that permit modifying these machines to the user’s financial plan and usual job-site tasks. Reviews say all positive feedbacks from the customers.

According to Katie Pullen, brand marketing manager, Case Construction Equipment, the size mix of backhoe loaders sold in 2013 was in line with that of the past several years, with the bulk of models still in the less-than-15-foot (digging depth) class, but with “a consistent presence of larger machines in the market.” In 2013, says Pullen, approximately 15 percent of all backhoes sold had digging depths of 15 feet or more.

“Models in the 15-foot class are grabbing market share where the added size, performance, and hydraulic capabilities of these models provide a suitable argument for replacing mid-sized excavators,” says Pullen. “The backhoe does less damage to the ground, is more maneuverable, easier to transport, and provides the lifting capacity of about a 7-ton excavator.”

Louann Hausner, backhoe loaders & tractor loaders marketing manager, John Deere Construction & Forestry, is of similar opinion: “Customers who are looking for two machines in one with a focus on transportability gravitate to backhoe loaders with dig depths of 15 feet or greater. With a backhoe this size, users have the benefits of a wheel loader and an excavator in one solution.”

Having this said, Pullen comments that it would be remiss not to acknowledge that features increasing hydraulic capability in 14-foot machines, such as Case’s PowerLift, might allow lift capacities that equal or exceed 15-foot machines, perhaps prompting some users of larger models to consider the economics of moving down in size.  

At the upper extreme, backhoe loaders exceeding 17 feet in digging depth have a comparatively minimal part of the market, however this category— exemplified by such models as the John Deere 710K, Cat 450F, Coyote C28-4LB, and the JCB 3CX-17 Super and 4CX-17 Super—appears to have devoted buyers who want the substantial dimensions and power these units provide.

“Customers buying these larger backhoes might be working on underground utilities or using them as cranes to move heavy objects around the work site,” says Rafael Nunez, JCB’s backhoe loaders product manager. “Our 17-foot machines often are purchased by customers looking to replace a 12-ton excavator, but needing the mobility and versatility they can get from a backhoe.”

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