Construction Machinery

Back Hoe Loader

A hoe is an ancient and versatile agricultural tool used to move small amounts of soil. Common goals include weed control by agitating the surface of the soil around plants, piling soil around the base of plants (hilling), creating narrow furrows (drills) and shallow trenches for planting seeds and bulbs, to chop weeds, roots and crop residues, and even to dig or move soil, such as when harvesting root crops like potatoes.

A backhoe, also called a rear actor or back actor, is a piece of excavating equipment or digger consisting of a digging bucket on the end of a two-part articulated arm. A backhoe digs by drawing earth backwards, rather than lifting it with a forward motion like a bulldozer or a man shoveling.

They are typically mounted on the back of a tractor or front loader.

A backhoe loader is a tractor-like vehicle with an arm and bucket mounted on the back and a front loader mounted on the front. A backhoe loader is essentially a combination of:

    • A tractor
    • A loader
    • A backhoe

Backhoe has three segments:

    • The boom (arm closest to the vehicle)
    • The stick (section which carries the bucket – also known as the dipper or dipper stick)
    •  The bucket

The backhoe segments are connected by three joints, comparable to your wrist, elbow and shoulder.

JCB Backhoe loader

The archetypal backhoe loader, showing the conventional arrangement of front loader (left) and backhoe (right)

(Author Xen 1986 ; Image licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License.)

The backhoe loader was invented in the UK in 1953 by Joseph Cyril Bamford, founder of J. C. Bamford (JCB), by equipping a farm tractor with both a backhoe and a front-mounted loading bucket. Although based on a tractor, a backhoe loader is almost never called a tractor when both the loader and the backhoe are permanently attached.

This type of vehicle is often known colloquially as a JCB in Europe (after its inventor) and simply a Backhoe or a Tractor Loader Backhoe (TLB) in North America. Backhoes can be designed and manufactured from the start as such, or can be the result of a farm tractor equipped with a Front End Loader (FEL) and rear hoe.

Due to its (relatively) small size and versatility, backhoe loaders are very common in urban engineering and small construction projects (such as building a small house, fixing urban roads, etc.). They are used for a wide variety of tasks: construction, small demolitions, light transportation of building materials, powering building equipment, digging holes/excavation, landscaping, breaking asphalt, and paving roads.

The backhoe bucket can also be replaced with powered attachments such as a breaker, grapple, auger, or a stump grinder. Enhanced articulation of attachments can be achieved with intermediate attachments such as the tiltrotator. Many backhoes feature quick coupler (quick-attach) mounting systems and auxiliary hydraulic circuits for simplified attachment mounting, increasing the machine’s utilization on the job site.

Because the design is intrinsically top-heavy and the swinging weight of the backhoe could cause the vehicle to tip, most backhoe loaders use hydraulic outriggers only at the back when digging and lower the loader bucket for additional stability. This means that the bucket must be raised and the outriggers retracted when the vehicle needs to change positions, reducing efficiency. For this reason many companies offer miniature tracked excavators, which sacrifice the loader function for increased digging efficiency.


(licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License)