1. BigRentz
  2. Think Big Blog
  3. The Parts of a Backhoe and Their Uses

The Parts of a Backhoe and Their Uses

The Parts of a Backhoe and Their Uses

A backhoe, also sometimes called a rear actor or back actor, is a piece of construction equipment useful for agricultural, landscaping, and paving projects. A backhoe’s front-end loader and rear bucket make the machine extremely versatile, allowing it to dig, backfill, load, and trench.

Explore All Backhoes

Backhoe Parts Diagram and Their Functions

A backhoe is divided into three sections: the loader, the tractor, and the backhoe. We’ll explain the primary parts of a backhoe and their functions.

Front Loader

The front loader, as the name implies, is located at the front of the loader. Its function is to load and move material—be it snow, soil, or construction debris. The loader parts include sharp, teeth-like edges, which help the front loader can dig and load effectively.

Front Loader Attachments

The front loader itself has several attachments which include:

  • Buckets: The front bucket, similar to what you see on a skid steer, is used for digging and collecting material. There are several types of buckets to choose from depending on the job and on the weight of the material.
  • Brooms: Like any broom, a backhoe broom is designed to clear debris. With heavy-duty steel bristles, these brooms can clear anything from sand to concrete.
  • Forks: Made of heavy-duty steel, a backhoe fork is used for heavy lifting, similar to a forklift.
  • Grapples: Grapples are utilized for the removal of debris, shifting loose material, and even for auto salvage. They are designed with two sets of teeth that clamp together to hold material.
  • Snowplows: Snowplows can be attached to a backhoe for the removal of snow.


The tractor is the main component of a backhoe. Tractor parts include large, rugged tires and turbocharged diesel engines.


Also part of the tractor, the cab is where the operator sits and controls the backhoe. Located at the top of the tractor, the cab is usually but not always fully enclosed and fitted with glass windows to protect the operator from any loose debris.

Backhoe Boom

The boom is a component of the backhoe arm that is attached to the rear of the cab. It can lift, lower, and swing left or right.

Stabilizer Legs

Stabilizer legs are an important safety feature of a backhoe. Designed to keep the backhoe from falling over, these “legs” are located at the rear of the backhoe tires and help to transfer the load from the backhoe to the ground.

Backhoe Bucket

Located at the end of the loader, the backhoe loader bucket has sharp, teeth-like edges that make it suitable for earthmoving and digging. It is the component used for digging or transporting materials such as earth, snow, or debris.

Backhoe Attachments

The following attachments can be used with a backhoe:

  • Augers: Augers are corkscrew-shaped and are used for digging into the earth. Ranging in length from four to 50 inches, they have the capacity to dig up to 32 feet deep.
  • Buckets: Buckets are the component used for digging and scooping material and debris.
  • Couplers: Couplers are used to join attachments to the backhoe while you remain in the cab. This increased productivity comes in handy when several different attachments will be used for a job. A bucket cylinder enables the movement of any attachment connected by the coupler.
  • Hammers: Hammers are used to break up materials such as rock or concrete, and are mainly utilized for demolition projects.
  • Rippers: Like sharp teeth or talons, rippers are used to cut through heavy-duty surfaces like ice or rock.
  • Thumbs: Thumbs help to secure picked-up objects so that they don’t fall out of the bucket. In the case of a backhoe, this can include fallen trees or pieces of broken concrete.

Dipper Stick/Arm

A component of the backhoe arm, the dipper stick is used to keep the weight of the debris or material inside the bucket stable. The dipper stick is attached to both the bucket and the boom.

What’s the Difference Between a Backhoe and Excavator?

A backhoe and an excavator have similar functions, and you may be wondering which is the right machine for your project. There are key differences between the two. For example, an excavator rotates 360 degrees and has tracked wheels.

A backhoe can work with more attachments than an excavator and can be driven on normal roads. It is a smaller machine, so while not the best choice for massive demolition jobs, it is a versatile option for farming, excavation, and loading jobs.

what is the difference between a backhoe and excavator

How Much Does It Cost to Rent a Backhoe?

Backhoe rental will typically cost between $280 and $1,000 per day. Weekly rates range from $800 to $3,500, and monthly rates range from $2,200 to $8,000. The cost of renting a backhoe depends on various factors, including rental duration, location of the job site, size of the backhoe, and of course general market conditions.


Download our FREE backhoe rental guide e-book today!

Need to Rent a Backhoe?

BigRentz offers several backhoes for rent at competitive prices, including a 20 hp Terramite mini-backhoe, a 60 to 89 hp for a standard John Deere 310/CASE 580 backhoe, and 109 hp for a large John Deere 410/CASE 590. Contact us for pricing and to discuss the needs of your project or work site.

Explore All Backhoes

Get the latest from the Think Big Blog delivered to your inbox.

Equipment Rental Guides

Download any of our free rental guides and learn how to pick the right equipment to fit your project needs.