Backhoes are named for the extending arm that pulls dirt "back and up” from a site. While sometimes referred to as construction backhoe machines, these tools are more commonly known as diggers or backhoe loaders. Backhoes are typically smaller than excavators and are equipped with four wheels that can tread on smooth or rough terrain. We also offer narrow backhoe loader rentals with 2-wheel drive and heavier-duty 4-wheel drive models.
Backhoes can fit in narrow worksites and trailers where large earthmovers can't, but they can still complete heavy-duty work. Browse our available backhoe loaders for rent, including models with extendahoe arm extensions and options with enclosed cabs for maximum comfort. Learn more about these versatile machines in our backhoe FAQs section below.
Maximum dig depth depends on the model of the backhoe; our smallest standard backhoe can dig up to 8 feet. Our largest backhoes can dig up to 16 feet with an extendahoe available for up to 19 feet additional dig depth. Not sure what you need? Contact your local United Rentals branch, and we can find the digger you need for your project requirements.
While we offer multiple backhoe loader models, typically each bucket can hold around 1.03 cubic yards of soil. Different buckets are available for multipurpose applications. See our earthmoving attachments for more backhoe bucket options.
Backhoes and excavators look similar and can do similar jobs but are different in important ways. Typically, excavators are much bigger than backhoes, while mini excavators are around the same size and can do a lot of the same things backhoes can do. Excavators and backhoe loaders both have articulating booms, dippers and buckets, and are used for trench work, construction work and more. Excavators don't have wheels; they run on tracks, which is why they are also known as trackhoes. They have very good traction for slick, muddy sites. Excavators have 360-degree swing rotation, but backhoes only have 180- to 200-degree swing rotation. Learn more about the differences between backhoes and excavators on Project Uptime.