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Heavy-duty construction equipment might seem similar but can differ in functionality. Choosing the proper piece of equipment is a vital part of any construction project. The primary differences between an excavator and backhoe are the size, weight and capabilities of each machine. Although the mini-excavator has taken over many jobs the backhoe once performed, backhoes still maintain a significant role in farming and small to medium sized construction projects.

Here at One Stop Rental we have all the equipment you need. Read on to discover the difference between an excavator and backhoe.



One of the larger pieces of construction equipment, an excavator, has multiple uses for many different jobs. A feature that sets the excavator apart is the ability to rotate the chassis and boom as one unit 360 degrees. Excavators can weigh anywhere from 3,500 to 200,000 lbs.

An excavator is primarily used on industrial and commercial sites, where it performs a variety of jobs including digging holes and trenches, lifting and placement, landscaping, demolition, and brush cutting with proper attachments. Excavators use different hydraulic attachments such as a breaker, grapple, auger and quick coupler, this equipment allows for a variety of digging methods for use on almost any construction site. Excavators are an ideal candidate for medium to heavy-duty workloads.



Backhoes are much smaller than excavators and are a standard tractor that supports an arm consisting of two segments, the dipper and the boom. The boom further supports the dipper, which holds the bucket. They have acquired the name backhoe by pulling dirt back towards itself.

Unlike the excavator, the backhoe only has a rotation of 200 degrees radius to the right and left. Backhoes are very flexible pieces of equipment that use different attachments to perform various jobs, drilling deep holes, digging trenches of various sizes and carrying heavy tools. By utilizing different attachments such as a tilt rotator, auger, breaker and grapple the backhoe is able to dig deep or shallow. The backhoe is commonly used on farming and industrial sites averaging around 17,000 lbs. Backhoes are ideal for light to medium-duty work.

Knowing the differences between an excavator and backhoe will let you choose the right equipment for your project. Visit either of our One Stop Rental locations in the greater Cincinnati area and don’t forget to share your project on our social channels! If you have any questions or would like further assistance choosing your piece of equipment, please contact us.