Digging up Backhoe Rentals

Nov. 1, 2002
Backhoes have multiple uses, from being an all-purpose unit used for truck loading, clean up, sewer and water trenching, to site preparation, digging

Backhoes have multiple uses, from being an all-purpose unit used for truck loading, clean up, sewer and water trenching, to site preparation, digging foundations, burying cables, hammer work and pipe installations. Knowing the potential renters of backhoes and their demand is important.

Some contractors do sewer and water line preparation, excavating, and highway and pipeline work. Others construct residential homes and apartments. Government facilities may require backhoes to fill voids when budgets do not allow for capital expenditures. The agricultural industry is another good possibility for rentals, using them to add extra drainage to fields. Utilities, whether they are public or private, will need backhoes when working with gas lines, sewer lines, water and cable TV. The housing market has been strong and the outlook is good. Fiber optics installations, although somewhat down, do continue to be a steady market. General contractors continue to have work and will always need that extra backhoe loader.

A rental company needs to know which sizes of backhoes are most suited to its clientele. A 14- to 15-foot digging depth machine can be just right for most applications. This digging depth meets the needs of more than 80 percent of the market, whereas the 15- to 16-foot digging depth only meets the needs of about 13 percent of the market.

It's also important to know which specifications are crucial in defining a backhoe's capabilities. Contractors are changing, and specifications are different each day. Contractors might ask if the unit has a coupler. Will my operators enjoy running the unit? Can they operate the machines with controls that are familiar to them?

Another important spec is the weight, which is key in matching the machine capabilities to the application. Lifting specs and loader bucket size are very important for contractors who do sewer and water installations. Contractors want a unit that is safe, operator friendly and low maintenance.

Knowing which specs are important will help in knowing what that customer is looking for in the rental of the backhoe. Customers may be looking for versatility and performance for loading and digging work, or they may desire ease of operation with controls familiar to the operator. Others will want to know if the unit provides good visibility or if the backhoe accepts various attachments. When working in poor traction conditions the question would be does the unit have 4WD capabilities?

Safety should rank high when considering the purchase of a backhoe. Each machine should come equipped with proper operators manuals and a safety video. The machines must have tie downs for hauling and flashers and/or beacons along with a slow moving emblem. Operational tips that should be taken into consideration are using the 4WD for extra braking, backing up steep slopes, always applying the parking brake when leaving the machine and using stabilizers for extra height and leveling.

The rental customer is going to have many questions before renting a backhoe — some as simple as what brand/brands do you carry for rental? The question is asked because the customer has rented another brand in the past and may have had trouble with the unit and will be looking for reasons why your backhoe is better. Other questions may range from how deep will it dig, how wide is the bucket, does it have attachments/forks, to how do the controls work, can my attachments fit your backhoe and are lights available? These questions should be answered by the counterperson renting the equipment or even the salesman involved with this type of equipment. The training for these members of your rental business staff should come from the factory support of the manufacturer either through personal training or written information provided by the supplier.

Questions you should ask the rental customer might vary but will try and qualify them for either a compact or full size backhoe. The questions may be what type of trenching are you doing, what type of trucks are you loading/lifting, or are the operators experienced on a backhoe? When it comes to servicing the machine, who is in charge of this, whether it is daily or preventive?

When working with customers look at who is renting the machine — what do they have in mind for usage? Look to see what the expectations of that customer may be and how you can satisfy that need. Be prepared to deal with some safety questions on the backhoe. The customer might have searched the Internet and will come in with some preconceived questions about your company and the equipment. This type of rental can provide a good return on your investment and will generate extra income from rental of other products in your facility.


With powerful performance features and a compact design, the Toro backhoe attachment, for use on Dingo compact utility loaders, works in tight, confined spaces traditionally reserved for hand digging. The unit offers an 88-inch loading height and 46-inch loading reach. For simple transportation and access to confined spaces, the product folds up to less than 36 inches wide. It features a 151-degree swing, giving operators the flexibility to dig in a large area without moving the entire machine.
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Terramite's T7 compact tractor loader backhoe comes standard with a 20.3-hp Perkins diesel engine, extended reach arms for a dump height of 96 inches, high capacity front loader bucket for faster cycle time, center mount steering, super terra grip front and rear tires for better traction and maneuverability and dual front curl cylinders.
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New Holland Construction

New Holland Construction's LB series backhoe loaders (LB75.B, LB90, LB110 and LB115.B) have been reengineered to meet the needs of today's operators. Key features include the all-around visibility, better breakout force and increased lift and bucket capacities. The view from the operator's station results from the elevated seat, sloped hood and narrow backhoe boom design. Engine power ranges from 90 to 108 gross hp. Available with full-time 4-wheel drive, the backhoe loaders are built on a one-piece mainframe for strength and reliability.
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Helac's new PowerGrip 4-in-1 backhoe bucket gives backhoes and excavators multi-task capability in a single attachment. It can be used as a trenching bucket, grading bucket, grapple or hydraulic thumb. The product has a full trenching bucket profile and has no obstructions inside the bucket shell that could restrict the handling and unloading of material. Operating independent of the bucket curl cylinder, the jaw opens to 120 degrees, giving the attachment the ability to manipulate large objects.
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The M4711 backhoe from Kubota is available for the M4900, M5700 and M6800 tractor models. This new implement further expands the popular M-series capability of performing multiple tasks with one tractor. It is a quick-attach backhoe with a full mount sub-frame to ensure structural integrity. Transport and swing locks can be locked into position from the operator seat for transport.
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JCB backhoe loaders from 212S to 217S models are designed for even harder work, increased productivity and greater comfort. Greater all around visibility is a key feature of the new cab with increased glass area, repositioned front wiper, 25 percent wider rear opening window and a low floor at the rear that improves visibility down the trench. Controlling the excavator function becomes more comfortable with the introduction of optional, fully adjustable, seat-mounted servo controls. The 4-speed Synchro Shuttle and 4-speed Powershift offer smoother gear changes as well as a longer working life and improved reliability, and the same is true of the JCB Autoshift 6-speed transmission, which speeds up cycle times with better gear spreads.
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Allmand Bros.

The new Allmand TLB-425 heavy-duty compact tractor loader backhoe features a servo-controlled hydrostatic transmission and a 25-hp Kubota D1105 diesel engine. The unit has a 65-hp rated hydrostatic transmission with a servo-control feature. The machine delivers a 4,611-pound digging force and can reach a 9-foot, 6-inch digging depth. The TLB-425 has a maximum lift capacity of 2,100 pounds and a 3,400-pound breakout force, with a maximum loading height of 90 inches.
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The Volvo BL has easy service access through the addition of a pop-up hood with gas struts, a slide-out battery tray and accessible greasing points. The loader features large front tires for better pushing ability, a single-ram bucket cylinder for improved visibility, 50-hour greasing intervals and a state-of-the-art joystick that makes operation nearly effortless. The backhoe features a curved S-style boom for easier truck loading, a cast iron pivot and base on the boom for better durability and three choices of bucket quick-attach systems for compatibility with competitive buckets. The cab is roomy and offers easy access with a 3-step entry, a comfortable seat, all-around visibility and easy-to-read control panels.
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The new Caterpillar 416D Backhoe Loader provides a Cat 3054B direct-injection, 4-cylinder diesel engine with 74 net hp. It also is available with a turbocharged 3054T that produces 80 net hp. The 416D offers 14 feet, 5 inches of backhoe digging depth with a standard stick and 18 feet, 1 inch of digging depth with an extendible stick. The 416D has the standard Caterpillar Power-Shuttle transmission.
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John Deere

The John Deere 710D is equipped with a 6059T turbo charged diesel engine with 115-hp net. A single stage torque converter drives a hydraulically-engaged four speeds forward and three speeds reverse countershaft-type power shift transmission with a forward travel speed of up to 22 mph. This machine delivers a digging force of 12,940 pounds. The loader bucket is 92 inches wide with a 1.62-cubic-yard bucket.
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Tramac's 140 hydraulic breaker offers a combination of blow energy and blow frequency for optimum productivity in trenching or demolition for loader backhoes and mini excavators. The 140 breaker provides 10 percent more blow energy than the previous 130 model and covers a wider flow range. It is designed for general applications including road repair, in-plant demolition, interior gut-out and other demanding demolition jobs. Featured, is an innovation progressive start system, which helps the operator position the tool properly against the material, holding the tool in place as full pressure is applied.
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General Equipment

General Equipment's Model 471 Dig-R-Tach hydraulically-powered earth drilling attachment system is designed for use with lower-auxiliary hydraulic system flow rates found on compact loader backhoes, mini-excavators and compact utility loaders. The model features a universal mounting bracket that readily conforms to a wide variety of loader bucket configurations. Mounted quickly and easily by one person, the unit requires no special tools, drilling or welding as the supplied bracket grips tightly with a positive locking system. The mounting bracket allows the model to be center mounted on the bucket, providing unequaled operator visibility while drilling.
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Case manufactures a choice of five M Series models — the 580M, 580 M Turbo, 580 Super M, 580 Super M Wide Track and 590 Super M — offering maximum dig depths from 14 feet 3 inches to 16 feet 4 inches. Features include the exclusive Pro Control System offering precise backhoe placement. With an anti-rebound feature that cushions quick stops, PCS eliminates over- and under-swing for faster cycle times and accurate bucket or attachment placement. Boom, dipper and stabilizer functions feature pilot-operated check valves that prevent drift. M Series machines also feature a high-visibility cab, better loader lift power, an exclusive backhoe hydraulic coupler and a more comfortable operator environment for increased performance.
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The Komatsu WB140-2/WB140PS-2 are equipped with an 86-hp turbo charged engine with a cubic displacement of 4.4 liters. The backhoe loaders use service brakes with multiple wet discs and independent circuits operated by two separate pedals. The integral braking system automatically activates 4-wheel drive when the two pedals are activated together. WB140-2 is equipped with Power Shuttle transmissions and “Power shift” inverters.
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Ditch Witch

The new Ditch Witch HT25 is designed for replacing existing service lines, installing new service lines, small utilities, footings and landscaping projects such as water sprinkler systems. At 35 1/2 inches wide, this compact trencher works in confined areas. The HT25 can be equipped with a cab, backhoe, backfill blade and one of the three available digging attachments, centerline, wide-centerline and offset. An optional drilling attachment adds to jobsite capabilities by allowing installations under sidewalks and driveways.
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