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Backhoes Under Challenge From Excavators

Backhoes were once the machinery of choice when it came to ‘light’ excavations. These are jobs like shallow trenches, foundations for houses and landscape gardening. Backhoes were smaller, lighter and more flexible than other heavy equipment – they could go in, get the job done and be out again in next to no time. This preference is now being challenged by excavators – albeit mini-excavators.

Where a mini-excavator does lose popularity is in the area of flexibility and the fact that mini-excavators still rely on tracks rather than wheels. However, some mini-excavators are smaller than the smallest backhoes so flexibility doesn’t enter the equation – that just leaves those tracks.

Backhoes have a real advantage having wheels rather than tracks – they can drive quite quickly on public roads. Excavators, with their tracks, are still slow in comparison. However, despite some of these negatives, mini-excavators are gaining in popularity and it is at the expense of backhoes.

With this trend, what should you specialize in, backhoes or excavators? I’ll let you in on a little secret – you can do both. Backhoes, excavators and loaders all complement each other when it comes to skills. Yes, each piece of equipment is operated differently. However, sometimes those differences are not that great. With a backhoe, you have the combined skills of an excavator and a loader.

To gain these skills you need to complete a heavy equipment training program such as that offered by ATS Heavy Equipment Operator Schools. Our training program will provide you with experience on a range of heavy equipment including backhoes, excavators and loaders. Our training programs are nationally recognized, which means your skills upon graduation will be recognized nationally. Excavators may be trying to take over from backhoes but they will never do it – if they do, you will have all the skills necessary to operate either one – and a loader as well.

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