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Steel Deals - Backhoe Loader

Backhoe loaders aren’t something farmers talk a lot about buying, but once they have one they probably wondered how they got along without it. A backhoe is indispensable for a myriad of uses such as construction work around the farm or fixing tile in the field.

Dave Mowitz is the executive machinery editor for Successful Farming magazine. He says backhoe loaders are defined by their digging depth and basically come in two classes.

"There’s the backhoe loader that has a 14’-15’ digging depth and they have a lift capacity that ranges from 5,500 lbs. up to about 8,500 lbs," he says. "And there’s a bigger class of backhoe loaders, they have a 15’-16’ digging depth and they have higher lift capacities from 6,300 lbs. up to almost 9,000 lbs. 

Some might also be equipped with extra bells and whistles such as an extend-a-boom feature.

Most backhoe loaders that come up for sale have been used in the construction industry. If you’re in the market for one of these machines, Mowitz says to expect a lot of hours on it, and thoroughly inspect it for wear and tear.

"You’re dealing with a machine that is being used not only every day, but it’s often times not always being used by its owner. These things are being bought and employees are running them often times at construction sites," says Mowitz. "So, you have to be cognizant of the fact that maybe their care and maintenance is not on the same level that you would find in farm equipment."