Construction and mining sectors require heavy machinery like excavators and backhoe loaders, also known as BHLs, to carry out on-site activities. Many people are confused by the equipment and use their names interchangeably. This article will explain the fundamental differences between a backhoe and an excavator.

1. What is an excavator? 

The primary activities carried out by an excavator on site are earth-moving tasks like trenching, backfilling, digging, and relocating. Every excavator’s main components are an engine, pump, boom, arm, bucket, and cabin. Several types of excavators are available in the market like crawler excavator, long-reach excavator, mini-excavator, each with different features capable of carrying out different tasks. 

2. What is a backhoe loader? 

Backhoe loader is an upgraded version of a tyre mount tractor with a digger attached on its rear side and a loading attachment on its front side. A backhoe loader has stabilisers operated through hydraulics which are pushed towards the ground to lift tyres for earthwork.

Key differences between an excavator and a backhoe loader 

1. Size 

Excavators are larger and weigh more than a backhoe loader. An excavator is preferred for demolition, mining, pile-driving, drilling, rock-blasting, and other activities on large-scale commercial projects. Due to its small size, a backhoe loader is more suitable for activities like farming, snow removal, loading jobs, and medium to small-scale construction and excavation projects. 

2. Versatility

The backhoe loader and excavator are versatile machines due to the number of special attachments available in the market that make them multipurpose. The backhoe loader has a higher selection of special attachments and can handle a higher variety of tasks. Backhoes are also more mobile and can be conveniently driven on the road, making them a better choice for projects with spread-out worksites. 

3. Rotation 

Backhoes and excavators have a different range of rotation. The excavator operator can rotate an excavator’s arm and chassis in a full circle, 360 degrees. A backhoe’s arm can turn in a semi-circle of about 200 degrees. 

4. Wheels 

The excavator generally has tracks for more accessibility over rough terrain. The backhoe loader usually has tires. The wheels of the backhoe loader can damage the upper layer of the soil, whereas the excavator’s tracks are softer on the terrain and provide a convenient ride for the operator over rough terrain. 

5. Cabin 

The cabin of the excavator operator is popularly known as a house and sits on a rotating platform called the undercarriage. The backhoe loader’s operator cabin has a swiveling seat that enables the operator to position himself in the appropriate direction depending upon which end of the backhoe is in use. 

Final Thoughts: 

Excavators and backhoe loaders are useful heavy machinery and integral for construction and mining projects. High-quality heavy machinery is essential for the construction and mining sectors to reduce the hours of manpower and have a quick turnaround time for their projects. Choosing the right heavy machinery for the project increases operational efficiency. 

Hyundai Construction Equipment is one of India’s most reputable manufacturers of all kinds of excavators. They have a wide distribution network, making purchasing spare parts, special attachments, and maintenance convenient regardless of the project location. Their excavators are fuel-efficient and deliver high output by consuming less fuel, helping to keep operational costs in check.