When it comes to choosing between a backhoe and an excavator for a construction project, it can be difficult to decide which one is best for the job. Both machines have their own set of advantages and disadvantages, so it can come down to preferences or the specific needs of the project.

Before we dive into their differences, let us first learn about them in detail.

What is a Backhoe?

A backhoe is a construction vehicle used for digging. It has a digging arm on the back and a bucket on the front. The arm is attached to the vehicle body at one end and to the bucket at the other.

The operator of a backhoe sits in a cab at the rear of the vehicle and controls the machine using levers and pedals. The backhoe can be attached to a tractor, or it can be self-propelled.

Backhoes are used for digging trenches, holes, and foundations. They are commonly utilized on construction sites, but they can also be used in landscaping or farming.

Backhoe VS Excavator What One to Choose

What is an Excavator?

An excavator is a construction vehicle that is used to dig ditches, trenches, and holes. It has a large bucket on the end of an arm that can scoop up dirt, rocks, and other debris. It can then dump the material into a truck or onto a pile. They come in different sizes, depending on the job they are needed for.

Excavators can be used for small projects, such as digging a hole for a tree, or they can be used for large projects, such as creating a foundation for a building.

Backhoe VS Excavator What One to Choose

Backhoe Vs Excavator

Here is a look at some of the key differences between backhoes and excavators.

1. Size:

An excavator is typically much larger than a backhoe, meaning that it can move more materials and debris at one time. If you have a large excavation project, an excavator may be the better choice.

Since backhoes are smaller and lighter than excavators, it makes them easier to transport and use in tight spaces. However, they are not as powerful as excavators and cannot handle as large of a load.

2. Reach:

Another difference between a backhoe and an excavator is that a backhoe has a shorter reach than an excavator. This means that a backhoe can dig closer to walls or other obstacles, while an excavator can reach further away from the machine itself.

The arm of an excavator can reach much further than that of a backhoe, making it better suited for tasks such as digging trenches or moving large objects.

3. Versatility:

Backhoes are much more versatile than excavators as it comes with a wide variety of attachment options. Additionally, as they have wheels, backhoes can also travel on roads. This makes them the ideal option for construction projects that have multiple worksites as they can be transported easily on their own.

4. Wheels:

Backhoes are equipped with wheels, which allows them to move easily across the job site. Excavators have tracks instead of wheels, which makes them better suited for moving over rough terrain or unstable ground. This is why excavators are often used for larger projects that require heavy-duty equipment.

5. Movement:

The excavator can do a full 360-degree swing but the backhoe has a limited swing of about 200 degrees. The excavator is able to achieve this as it is mounted on tracks.

6. Cost:

Another difference between backhoes and excavators is cost. Backhoes are typically less expensive than excavators, making them a more economical choice for smaller projects.

Excavators are more expensive due to their increased precision and durability. The standard backhoe loaders will cost you between $50,000 and $90,000 whereas a full-sized excavator can cost you around $100,000 to $500,000.

7. Transportation:

The excavator must be put on a pickup truck for transport, while the backhoe loader can be driven on its own and can reach speeds up to 25 kilometers per hour which makes it more convenient.

Hence, the transportation expenses for the excavator are high compared to those of the backhoe loader.

8. Rotation:

Backhoes and excavators have different rotation ranges. The backhoe can rotate the entire machine’s chassis and arm in a complete circle, while the excavator is limited to about 200 degrees.


In conclusion, when choosing between a backhoe and an excavator, it is important to consider the specific needs of the project. If a greater level of precision and control is required, an excavator should be chosen.

However, if the need is for more power and digging capability, a backhoe would be the better choice. With the help of Kites Equipment Rental, you’ll be able to rent the right equipment for the job and be able to get the work done more quickly and efficiently.

Also checkBest Affordable Heavy Equipment Rental in Saudi Arabia