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Heavy Equipment Glossary: Backhoes

The term backhoe is generally unknown to non-construction types. It is a piece of heavy machinery that actually has its origins in the UK. In 1953, the JCB company created the backhoe and while technology has changed a little since then, they still look remarkably similar. A backhoe is simply a digging bucket attached to an articulated arm. It can be mounted on the front or back of a tractor or front loader. Whether it is mounted on the front or the back, it is still called a backhoe.

The digging action of a backhoe is quite different to that of a bulldozer. A bulldozer pushes forward, while a backhoe draws earth backward. The articulated arm allows for more precise digging than other pieces of heavy equipment. Backhoes or backhoe loaders go by a few different names. You might hear them referred to as back actors or rear actors. In Europe they are often referred to as JCBs (in honor of the company that is credited with their invention). Whatever you choose to call this piece of machinery, it is an incredible invention that has revolutionized construction.

If you are interested in learning how to use backhoes or any other types of heavy equipment, contact us at Associated Training Services. We offer a combination of theoretical and practical learning that will give you the right amount of training to be a skilled, heavy equipment operator.

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