You’d better decide what applications you will be using the Excavator for before deciding to buy one when we have a perfectly good backhoe – We’re not contractors

I initially asked Jim smith what  the difference between the backhoe and the excavator and the difference lies in the fact that an excavator because of its 360 degree ability can dig closer to a building.  The fact that more contractors are now buying mini-excavator is not the same reason applicable to the town of white springs.  as i have stated before, they both can dig ditches which ray vaughn stated they could not through stacy tebo’s comment at the last meeting.  r e a l l y  ? ? ?


we currently have a backhoe which kenny used like a master.  if the backhoe is paid for, why do we need to buy an excavator just because it moves 360 degrees.  where is that application going to be used.  are we going to fill in the school where is fell into a hole after the flood?  or are we going to use it as we used the backhole to fill in what was initially thought to be a sink hole but was a busted water pipe.


i have to agree with jim, with a perfectly good backhoe which is paid for, why not just rent an excavator if it is needed.  it is ridiculous to buy one outright, unless we are able to sell the backhoe first.


furthermore, the Town used to allow the backhoe’s use with operator (Kenny) for $75.00 an hour.  You can read my other blog post on what he accomplished for us.  If you sell the backhoe and can used the excavator for the same types of projects in town, I guess it will be someone’s decision but not one of the public’s because why buy something new when the old Backhoe works just fine.  Is it to give a benefit to our new public works department or is there a practical use for it, especially when our Backhoe with its attachments does just fine.



One of the larger pieces of construction equipment, an excavator, has multiple uses for many different jobs. A feature that sets the excavator apart is the ability to rotate the chassis and boom as one unit 360 degrees. Excavators can weigh anywhere from 3,500 to 200,000 lbs.

An excavator is primarily used on industrial and commercial sites, where it performs a variety of jobs including digging holes and trenches, lifting and placement, landscaping, demolition, and brush cutting with proper attachments. Excavators use different hydraulic attachments such as a breaker, grapple, auger and quick coupler, this equipment allows for a variety of digging methods for use on almost any construction site. Excavators are an ideal candidate for medium to heavy-duty workloads.



Backhoes are much smaller than excavators and are a standard tractor that supports an arm consisting of two segments, the dipper and the boom. The boom further supports the dipper, which holds the bucket. They have acquired the name backhoe by pulling dirt back towards itself.

Unlike the excavator, the backhoe only has a rotation of 200 degrees radius to the right and left. Backhoes are very flexible pieces of equipment that use different attachments to perform various jobs, drilling deep holes, digging trenches of various sizes and carrying heavy tools. By utilizing different attachments such as a tilt rotator, auger, breaker and grapple the backhoe is able to dig deep or shallow. The backhoe is commonly used on farming and industrial sites averaging around 17,000 lbs. Backhoes are ideal for light to medium-duty work.


Backhoes and excavators have a shared general purpose — digging

Excavator Applications

Excavators have a wide range of industrial and commercial applications. They can dredge rivers, help clear spaces to manage forest fires, cut brush (with the right attachments), demolish buildings, grade soil for landscapers, dig holes and trenches, help with mining and heavy lifting, and even drive piles.

Backhoe Applications

Backhoes are also useful for digging different types of holes or trenches. Common hydraulic attachments include tilt rotators, grapples, augers and breakers, allowing backhoes to do everything from drilling deeper holes to carrying heavy tools. However, excavators and their smaller version, the mini-excavator, are making the backhoe obsolete outside of farming applications.

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.  

Karin for the blog

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