Difference Between an Excavator and Backhoe
The backhoe loader and excavators are the the torch bearers in the heavy construction equipment industry and constitute about 40% of the market share. While both these machines can perform most tasks there are some striking differences between the two which one should consider when considering using or buying either of equipments for their job sites.
Design: The backhoe is pretty much a tractor fitted with a shovel /bucket at front end and a backhoe on the back. the excavator on the other end consisted of a boom, stick, bucket and cabin mounted on a rotating platform. The excavators are more of speciality machines when compared to the backhoe loader which are much more versatile.
Size: The excavators are usually rather large and can weigh upto 90 metric tonnes in the standard category. The mini excavators weight upto 6 metric tonnes while the midi excavators usually weigh anything between 6-10 metric tonnes. The backhoe loaders usually weigh under 10 metric tonnes. Compared to the standard crawler excavator the backhoe loader are relatively much smaller and compact.
Wheels: The backhoe loader usually has tires while the excavator usually has tracks instead of tires. the tracks may be made of metal or rubber depending the size of the machine and requirement of the job site.The wheels of the backhoe loader leave visible tyre tracks and can damage the top layer of the soil while the tracks of the excavator are much easier on the top layer of the soil.
Swing: The excavator has a 360 degree swing while the backhoe loader has a restricted 200 degree swing on the left and right side.
Expense: The owning expense of a standard excavator is much higher compared to the standard backhoe. The storage, transportation, maintenance and renting/ leasing costs follow suit. Using a backhoe usually fits in even the most constricted budgets.
Cabin: The cab of the excavator sits on a rotating platform while the cabin in a backhoe is stationary. The backhoe loader has a swivelling seat to position the operator in the appropriate direction depending on which end of the backhoe is being used.
Transportation: The excavator needs to be transported from one place to another on a carrier vehicle. The backhoe loader on the other hand can be driven at speeds of upto 25 Kmph and transported easily on its own. The transportation costs of the excavator are relatively high when compared to those of backhoe loaders.
Job site management: The standard crawler excavators are better suited for heavy duty work on bigger job sites with sufficient open spaces. The backhoe loaders are usually preferred for relatively smaller and constricted job sites with much less leg room for movement. The backhoe loader are usually preferred for light to medium duty work.
Work profile: Backhoe loaders are usually used for light transportation of building material, construction, small demolitions, excavation, digging trenches and holes, breaking asphalt, paving roads, land scaring etc. The excavators on the other hand are primarily used for excavation jobs. However, with appropriate attachments the excavators can be used for boring, ripping, crushing, ripping and cutting etc.