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Spend A Day With A Backhoe Operator

Bulldozer operators and backhoe operators are the two units of heavy equipment most likely to work on their own. They do form integral parts of teams but you will often find a backhoe out on a site doing the preparation work alone. One such job is the digging of foundations for a new building. Let’s spend a day with a backhoe operator as they dig those foundations.

A backhoe operator typically starts the day quite early. They arrive at the construction yard where they collect their work orders for that day. After an inspection of the backhoe they load it onto a truck and often drive it themselves to the site. Once on the site the backhoe is unloaded from the truck, the scene of battle surveyed, the blue prints checked then it’s on with the job.

As the name suggests, a backhoe is a piece of heavy equipment that has a hoe (the bucket) that is operated by dragging the bucket through the earth towards itself. In other words, it drags it back, it doesn’t push forward like a bulldozer of loader. As the backhoe edges forward, it is leaving a trench behind itself.

An experienced backhoe operator can dig a standard house foundation in less than a day. Once the foundations have been dug, it is time to pack up and return to the construction yard. After unloading the backhoe, the operator generally reports back to the manager on the work performed. They may even preview the following day’s work, particularly if special attachments are required.

A backhoe operator’s day finishes with another walk around inspection – this is to check for any damage the machine may have received during the day. Backhoe operators often work long hours when required and may work six day weeks. If you are looking for a heavy equipment career that provides some independence then training to become a backhoe operator could be your best option.

If a backhoe is not quite to your liking then I suggest you check out our “spend a day with” series. The series covers mobile crane operation, bulldozers, motor graders and excavators.

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