The backhoe loader, often referred to as a backhoe or a loader backhoe, is essentially a tractor equipped with a loader shovel or bucket in the front and a backhoe in the rear. A coupler, mounted in the front or back of the machine, facilitates the use of a wide range of attachments that make the backhoe one of the more versatile types of construction machinery. This versatility allows the backhoe to be used in a variety of construction, industrial, and agricultural applications, including building, material handling, demolition, site preparation, road construction, and utilities. The ability to handle these multiple applications has also made the machine a favorite of government fleets, which are often put to work in a variety of situations. The backhoe is often the one indispensable piece of machinery for municipalities. For many years, it was one of the best-selling pieces of construction machinery before experiencing a long period of decline, beginning in the late 2000s. More recently, however, interest in the backhoe has picked up and sales have begun to recover, despite a setback in 2019.
We examine the renewed interest in the backhoe and provide estimates of OEMs’ sales and production levels from 2015 to 2019, a regional analysis of sales and end-users in North America, estimates of imports and exports, a discussion of industry and market trends, field population estimates, a five-year forecast of sales and production, profiles of suppliers in North America, and an overview of machine specifications. The report does not cover compact tractors that are equipped with a backhoe attachment but still classified as a tractor. Furthermore, we no longer divide backhoe loaders into compact (rated with less than 60 horsepower) and standard models, as earlier reports did.