Deciding Between a Mini-Excavator and a Backhoe

Deciding Between a Mini-Excavator and a Backhoe

Assessing Whether a Mini-Excavator or a Backhoe Will Better Suit Your Needs

In the construction industry, the backhoe loader has long been a staple in the equipment inventory of many contractors; although the name of these machines is often shortened to just backhoe or, in generic terms, to bobcat, there is no shortage, so to speak, in their capabilities on a job site with respect to:

  • Digging
  • Trenching
  • Back-filling
  • Loading/lifting
  • Materials handling

Yet over the last several years, the backhoe has been getting a run for its money, as the saying goes, by the mini-excavator. Why? Because the product development groups of the major equipment manufacturers have found ways to incorporate the productivity and efficiencies of full-sized excavators into smaller, more compact machines.  Consequently, the mini-excavator offers increased versatility as well, thus furthering its preference over the backhoe/bobcat.

As a result, for contractors looking to optimize their return when investing in a new piece of compact equipment, a mini-excavator warrants consideration, particularly in situations where lighter equipment is needed and/or jobsite access and size are more constrained. To that end, the mini-excavator offers several advantages, including:

  • Range of access – greater maneuverability allows entry into tighter spaces
  • Ease of use – operator training for this equipment takes only a few minutes
  • Less noisy, especially when crossing hard surfaces; ideal for residential jobs
  • Less damaging – lighter weight means less scratching or grinding of surfaces
  • Easy to transport – can be loaded on a small trailer or an extended pickup bed
  • Functions like a full-size excavator, including a full swing range of 360 degrees
  • Cost-efficiency – contractors do not require special hauling permits and licenses

In addition to the above, contractors will need to reflect on some so-called bigger-picture factors before making a final decision on purchasing a mini-excavator, such as:

  • What are the types of applications most common in their jobs?
  • Are the areas of most job sites typically larger or smaller in size?
  • Is access to the job sites generally more open or tighter/narrower?
  • Is work often done in crowded/populated areas and/or underground?
  • Are job sites usually in the same vicinity or separated by some distance?

Clearly, the decision to purchase a mini-excavator versus a backhoe or bobcat requires a substantial amount of deliberation; contractors need to make sure that they invest in the right machine for the types of jobs most often completed by themselves and their crews. To ensure that they are making informed decisions in these situations, they may want to consult with the compact equipment experts from Tag Equipment in Stouffville, Ontario.

A Full Line of Mini-Excavators and Attachments for Your Job and Job Site Needs

Mini-Excavators and Attachments for Your Job

Choosing the type of compact equipment best suited to a contractor’s customary jobs and job sites can have a significant impact on performance, productivity, and profitability.

Consulting with the experienced professionals at Tag Equipment can help in the selection of that equipment, particularly in the applicability of a mini-excavator versus a backhoe, in order to ensure a maximum return on investment. Tag Equipment offers a complete range of mini-excavators, as well as mini-excavator attachments, from all of the leading manufacturers, including:

Thinking about purchasing a mini-excavator or looking for insight on the appropriateness of this type of compact equipment for your construction projects and job sites? Call the compact equipment specialists at Tag Equipment today at 647-559-3703 to speak with one of our knowledgeable representatives.