A backhoe is basically three types of construction equipment that is combined into one vehicle. A backhoe loader essentially performs the duties of a tractor, a loader and a backhoe. Backhoes are commonly used digging and land clearing devices that are fitted on the rear or the front of tractors and bull dozers. They perform operations such as digging land, clearing rocky areas and flattening the ground. Backhoes are also capable of scooping up the debris and placing the load into the back of a tractor or a truck. They are used for jobs such as clearing debris from demolished buildings, leveling landfills, road buildings and surfacing, etc.

The tractor section of the device allows it to move over all types of terrain while the backhoe is used for digging and the loader is used for carrying and loading. Backhoes are also known as back actors and rear actors and are usually hydraulic or pneumatic powered and take the drive power from the device they are fitted on. Backhoes that are attached to a swiveling cab on the top of tracks are known as excavators.

These useful devices have an intricate arrangement of: hydraulic cylinders, gear trains, cables and chains. A backhoe has a digging bucket that is attached to the end of an arm, which is also known as a stick or a dipper. The bucket with a curl and digging prongs are mounted onto the boom which is attached to the main body of the backhoe. The prongs are replaceable and are made of forged steel. A skilled backhoe operator can easily breakup rocky surfaces.

Backhoes have been around since the early 1950s and were developed in the United Kingdom. They are used all over the world and there are several companies that manufacture them. Backhoes are classified by: their maximum digging depth, transport height, boom lifting power, swing arc, hydraulic system with specified operating values of fluid pressure, pry-out power, etc. Backhoes are essentially restricted to industrial use however they are used for large residential jobs. Backhoes can be extremely dangerous and only trained operators should be in control of them.

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