Backhoe excavator machines are one of the foundations of construction, effortlessly shifting tons of material and preparing the ground for building. Construction companies, utility companies and agriculture make extensive use of this machinery for clearing rubble or digging trenches. From the small mini-excavators that can fit on the back of a pick up, to the huge behemoths used in quarries, buying or hiring a backhoe excavator machine is a sound investment that will soon pay for itself. Choosing the best earth-moving machine for the task can be difficult, considering the array of shapes, sizes and manufacturers, but there are a few little pointers that will help you navigate the morass.
What are Backhoe Excavator Machines?
The basic layout of a backhoe excavator consists of a powerful extendable hydraulic arm mounted on a 360-degree pivot point, with the operator’s cab sited alongside. This assembly, in turn, is located upon a wheeled or caterpillar tracked undercarriage, allowing the machine to operate in rough terrain.
Buying backhoe excavator machines involves a large commitment of capital, and you need to know exactly what you expect of an excavator, to avoid expensive mistakes through buying the wrong machine for your specific needs. There are two main types of backhoe excavator machine; useful mini-excavators and the powerful full-sized excavator, both perfectly suited to performing a variety of tasks.
Mini backhoe excavators are a great investment for smaller businesses and are a fraction of the cost of their larger cousins. Mini excavators are an invaluable asset to construction companies and landscaping businesses, digging trenches and holes much more quickly than laborers with shovels. Mini backhoe excavators weigh between one and eight tons and this portability, coupled with ease of operation, means that these versatile little machines are becoming ever more popular. Whilst they are much easier to operate than full-sized excavators, they are ultimately limited in the size of task that they can adequately perform.
Full Size Excavators
Full sized backhoe excavator machines are designed for the larger tasks, where tons of material needs to be moved to make deep and extensive holes and trenches. The vast majority of excavators weigh between 9 and 45 Tons, and are generally only within the budget of large or specialist companies who need the material handling capacity and reach of larger backhoe machines. Although it is possible to buy larger excavators, these are too large to be transported from site to site, finding exclusive use in quarries, mines and landfill sites.
Guide to Buying Plant Machinery – New, Used or Reconditioned
If you are planning to invest in a backhoe excavator machine, you need to consider a number of distinct factors. The first consideration is your total budget. You need to calculate exactly how much you can afford, every year, including the loan repayments, running costs and maintenance. If you have a limited budget, you can look at the used and reconditioned excavator markets, and attempt to pick up a reconditioned or used excavator in excellent condition, for a bargain price. Older plant machinery will always incur slightly higher running and maintenance costs, but it is better to buy a reconditioned, high quality machine than a cheap new one.
Backhoes – Bigger Is Not Always Better
The next important consideration is the size of excavator that you are likely to need, and it is important to find the balance between power and cost. Obviously, you need an excavator that has the power, reach and height for your specific needs, but bigger is not always better. The purchase price and running costs for large machines are a major investment and drain on finances, so a machine with too much overcapacity burns money.
Large machines require gallons of extra fuel, and this easily avoided expense mounts up over the course of a year. For some tasks, such as landscaping and agricultural work, the sheer weight of a large excavator can compress the ground and cause a lot of damage, one of the reasons why mini excavators are rising in popularity.
Excavators and Multitasking
When deciding upon the best machine for your business, you should look at the tasks that you want the excavator to perform. Backhoe excavators are more than just earth-moving machines, and a number of accessories make these machines into versatile multi-taskers. Apart from a large variety and sizes of bucket, excavators can be fitted with jackhammers, for breaking up concrete, or drills for boring post holes.
Finding The Right Brand
Once you are happy that you know the specifications that you need, you can start to look at the various brands and models. This is a matter of balancing your budget against quality and additional services, such as after care and warranties. Lesser-known brands are often cheaper than the well-known heavyweight manufacturers, but you have to balance any savings against the entire lifetime of the machine, which should span at least two decades.
Cheaper machines are not as robust or durable, and this inevitably results in higher maintenance and running costs, especially if you have to buy a replacement sooner. There are some excellent budget options, but you need to be very careful and look for feedback on the machines before you sign anything and hand over any money.
Buying Backhoe Excavators – Financing
Once you have considered all of these important needs and decided upon the best machine for your business, you need to look at securing financing if you have nit done so. Banks and finance companies offer good deals for buying machinery, but many manufacturer’s offer excellent hire-purchase agreements and loans.
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