What is a Quality Backhoe?

Drive by any construction site on a regular basis and you are likely to see a backhoe. Resembling a human arm, it is a two-limbed attachment that is tail-ended by a digging bucket.

Backhoes Work By Means of Hydraulics

Some backhoes are engineered for agricultural use. More heavy-duty models are outfitted for construction. Working this implement, however, is the same regardless of application. Operating the backhoe begins with knowledge of its mechanical anatomy: the upper limb, known as the boom; the lower limb, called the dipper or stick; and the bucket, which does the digging. As with most heavy machinery, backhoes move by means of hydraulics, where pistons propel oil (or another incompressible fluid) to press against other pistons thereby moving the limbs. So the boom, for example, is lowered when a control in the cab activates a pump to move the fluid from piston to piston, causing the boom to descend.

Backhoe tractor in Houston - Kubota BX25D-1.

2015 Kubota BX25D

Backhoes Are Useful For a Variety of Applications

Although both are designed to dig, the backhoe differs from the excavator in two important respects. The excavator is a vehicle that powers its own digging functions. The backhoe can either self-propel or be moved and powered by a separate machine (a tractor, for example). The second distinction lies in the unique motion of the backhoe. Like a garden hoe, it pulls soil in the direction of the operator. This makes it useful for a variety of applications.

What Makes a Backhoe Useful

What makes the backhoe’s particular delving motion useful? Some excavation work is below ground level and the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration advises caution when doing trench excavation, i.e. digging cavities below ground that are deeper than they are wide. The narrow bucket and jointed limbs of the backhoe make it more suited to trenches than a shovel or front-loaded excavator. Water mains, gas mains, and telecommunications cable are all set in trenches, making backhoes invaluable for civil engineering projects and commercial development projects. In addition, backhoes are used to dig up hard materials when laying the foundations of a home.

Farms and ranches use backhoes to clean out cattle pens and help level the terrain. Other applications are in the field or archaeology as well as in the area of military engineering. All in all, the backhoe is at once a powerful mover of earth and a maneuverable precision digger. Coming in varying sizes, backhoes work well in projects ranging from DIY home improvement to multi-million dollar real estate development projects.

Looking for backhoes in Houston? Lansdowne-Moody Company backhoes are currently in stock in each of our stores surrounding the Greater Houston area. Contact us for more information.

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