The larger side of compact backhoes

The right fit is the foundation of any machine’s versatility. If you can get a piece of equipment into the job but you can’t get enough power, it’s the wrong fit. Maybe you get a machine with loads of power but find it’s too big to maneuver on the site. Another bad fit.

Or worse, the machine’s dedicated tasks are limited by its design and you don’t get enough work out of it to fit your budget. For jobs in expansive landscaping, utility trenching, material moving and serious digging, larger compact backhoes with a max dig depth of between 9 and 12 feet might be what you’re looking for. With a net power range from 33 to 72 horsepower, this class of larger compact backhoes fit just right.

Doubling up – You have to like a machine with two business ends and yet only requires one operator. Larger compact backhoes differentiate themselves from smaller compact backhoe tractors with heavier frames, construction-style body designs, diesel engines, ROPS/FOPS canopies for the operator and enough power to run numerous attachments. And, for all that additional capability, their transport widths and weights let you trailer most models with a heavy-duty pickup truck.

Twin versatility – The back-end backhoe gives you 4,000 pounds of digging force on a 9-foot-dig-depth model and up to 9,262 pounds of force on a 12-foot-dig-depth machine. Reach from the swing pivot starts at 12 feet 7 inches and tops out at 15 feet 8 inches, easily getting to areas smaller compact backhoes can’t reach. Detach the backhoe and use the 3-point hitch and auxiliary hydraulics to run implements such as mowers, rakes, pulverizers and hydraulic hammers. Backhoes with dipper stick digging forces of up to 5,400 pounds provide strength for compatible compact excavator attachments.

The loader front end offers an average bucket breakout force of 6,200 pounds with dump clearances of between 7 feet 6 inches and 10 feet 6 inches; enough height to dump into a standard size dump truck. Remove the bucket, attach a set of forks and you can lift between 2,100 and 4,800 pounds, good for positioning pallets. Stability control systems keep loads level, reducing spillage of loose material and allowing precise positioning of supplies. Standard skid steer plates on several models accept skid steer attachments, upping the number of tasks the loader performs and giving greater returns on your attachment investment.

Construction-style short, sloped engine hoods provide better bucket visibility than smaller tractors, allowing you to dig and load with more accuracy and safety. Rollover protection systems and fall protection canopies that meet current construction safety standards (OSHA, SAE and ISO) are standard on industrial size backhoes because with increased power and a wider range of applications comes more operator exposure to environmental hazards such as rocky terrain and falling debris.

Hydrostatic transmissions are the norm, with four-wheel drive and two-wheel steering. The hydraulic pump flow is markedly higher on this size backhoe compared to compacts with a dig depth of less than 9 feet, pushing up to more than three times more gallons per minute for greater power and smooth performance.