Backhoe Attachment vs. Backhoe

Backhoe loaders are among the most commonly used heavy equipment types. Their compact size, maneuverability and versatility make backhoes a popular choice for everything from digging holes and breaking asphalt to building roads and performing various landscaping tasks.

As an alternative to using a self-contained backhoe loader machine, a backhoe attachment gives you access to many of the same functions. These work tools connect to another piece of compact earthmoving equipment — typically a skid steer loader — via quick couplers.

The Pros and Cons of Backhoes and Backhoe Attachments

If your business could benefit from renting a backhoe, you might not be sure whether the machine or attachment is the better choice for your needs. Evaluating the following factors can help you make an informed decision:

  • Cost: A backhoe loader is a fully powered piece of heavy equipment consisting of an engine, cab, tires, brakes, steering wheel and many other parts and components. A backhoe attachment is a smaller, simpler tool with fewer parts. Expect to pay significantly more when renting the machine compared to the work tool.
  • Practicality: Of course, you'll need a skid steer to accommodate a backhoe attachment rental. If you don't already own one, you'll have to rent the skid steer and the work tool. For many companies, it could be more practical to rent the backhoe loader machine and not bother with attachments.
  • Convenience: A skid steer equipped with a quick coupler facilitates fast adding or changing of attachments, and in many cases, the operator can make the switch without leaving the cab. Even so, it takes time to complete the task, and a mechanical problem could occur and prevent a smooth exchange. When you rent the loader, you don't have to worry about changing attachments.
  • Flexibility: If you're already using other work tools with your skid steer loader, a backhoe attachment gives you another option at the job site. You'll be able to use one machine to perform multiple tasks, which saves time and reduces your project costs.
  • Compatibility: When you start searching for backhoe attachments, you may be surprised by how many different types are available. Not every tool is a good fit for a specific skid steer model. If you don't make a correct match, you may not get the performance and results you expect. You could also damage the skid steer or attachment and even jeopardize your operator's safety. On the other hand, when renting a backhoe loader, your main concern will be choosing the right machine for the task.

Check Out Our Wide Assortment of Backhoes and Attachments

Whether you decide to rent a backhoe or backhoe attachment, you'll find what you're looking for at The Cat® Rental Store. Browse our inventory today and give us a call 24/7 at 1-800-RENT-CAT if you have questions or need reliable, expert assistance. You can also contact us online to request a quick quote.