Skid steer backhoe loaders
Skid steer backhoe loaders are distinguished by their manoeuvrable steering systems. The machine is controlled by varying the direction and the speed of the two sets of wheels on each side individually. The skid steer feature is very useful when operating in tight spaces. Furthermore, the skid steer zero turning radius is a huge advantage guaranteeing high manoeuvrability.
The disadvantage of the skid steer feature is the high ground friction which can rip up soft or fragile road and ground surfaces.
The vehicle or machine turns by skidding. The skid steer system is where the left-side wheels lock in synchronisation independently to the right-side wheels thus enabling the skidding effect causing better manoeuvrability.
Tracked backhoe loader
The process of having to lift or retract the stabilisers when moving the vehicle slows down the operation, and therefore there is an alternative. A tracked vehicle may be used to speed up the process as there is no need for stabilisers in many cases. However, the sacrifice here is the tracked vehicle is unable to be driven on sealed roads between sites. In the previously mentioned skid steer backhoe loader, the tracks can tear up soft or fragile road and ground coatings.
Backhoe Loaders come in all sizes but are very compact. They are designed to work in tight spaces where larger diggers and dozers are unable to work because of the limited space.
A farm tractor can be mounted with a bucket in the front and a backhoe on the back but is unsuitable for heavy work. In fact, this design is slower as the operator needs to switch seats to operate the controls on the backhoe.
A purpose-built Backhoe Loader is quicker and much stronger as it is designed to carry out heavy work. Many of these backhoes are fitted with a quick coupler which makes switching attachments such as a breaker, grapple, auger, etc. a breeze. Being able to change attachments simply and quickly makes the Backhoe Loader a very handy tool on construction sites and areas of development.
It is beyond the scope of this article to pinpoint accurate prices for Backhoe Loaders as they vary considerably, but the following are some examples of what you can expect to pay in Australia.
Backhoe prices can range from around $10,000-second hand to a top end new Backhoe Loader at around $120,000 -$185,000.
A second-hand backhoe example: 4WD hydrostatic loader backhoe which is mounted on a tractor for about $12,000.
A brand-new Loader Backhoe example is a 2016 JCB 3CX:
Description; New JCB 3CX Backhoe Loader, 92HP, four-speed power shift transmission, side shift, 4in1 bucket + bolt on edge, extenda hoe, 600mm dig bucket, manual quick hitch, air conditioned cabin, Bluetooth radio, $121,000 inc GST.