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Backhoe vs. Excavator: Which Is Your Loader’s Perfect Match?

Published on October 3, 2019

Are you looking to push your productivity to new heights? Pair your Bobcat skid-steer, compact track loader or all-wheel steer loader with a Bobcat excavator rather than a tractor loader backhoe.

The advantages of excavators and loaders are increased versatility, maneuverability and efficiency. Backhoes typically offer only a few attachments, but a compact loader and excavator in tandem can use up to 60 different attachments, often with better visibility to the work area because the operator is closer to the attachment. This opens the door to more jobs and increases your ability to get those jobs done faster.

Unmatched Efficiency

Excavators are designed with customer application in mind. Exclusive to Bobcat is the In-track Swing Frame, which allows you to get closer to your work and protects both your excavator and surroundings from possible damage when working in the offset dig position. Many other manufacturers have the “unicorn” effect with their swing castings and cylinders, which protrude outside the tracks and take away the ability to dig flush up against an obstacle, resulting in a decreased ability to work in tight areas when in an offset dig position. Bobcat excavators are engineered to operate in the smallest of workspaces. With the operator’s offset position in the excavator cab, there is better visibility to the bucket or other attachment. Excavators also offer unlimited spoil dumping options with 360 degrees of rotation so you can dig in any position around the machine.

By pairing a Bobcat loader with an excavator, you get double the productivity. One can dig while the other can backfill. Or they can load trucks at the same time – turning a half-day job into a two-hour job

Tracked undercarriage advantages

For projects where you may be driving across established surfaces, the rubber tracks on a compact excavator and compact track loader can minimize damage to these surfaces. A backhoe loader’s rubber tires can leave ruts in a yard, requiring extra work at the end of your project to repair the damage – costing you time and money.

Easy to transport

For the type of truck and trailer you would need for transporting a backhoe, you could transport both a mini excavator and compact loader due to their smaller size and lower weights. In fact, depending on your trailer, there may even be room for some attachments.

Below are a few of our favorite loader + excavator combinations:

  • S: Skid-steer loader
  • T: Compact track
  • A: All-wheel steer loader


Compact Excavators