How to Operate a Backhoe | Tractor Loader Backhoe Training

Sharing buttons:

-Hey, everyone. This video is going to be basic,

beginner level, how to operate a backhoe.

Now, this video is brought to you by Ariat.

They reached out and they're sponsoring this content.

Without them, we wouldn't be able to provide you this video

and these series of videos.

We'll link to some of their product below.

With that said, let's go ahead and get right into it.




Basic controls on a backhoe that we're going to go over here.

First thing as I say, I'm not an expert on these.

I'm going to show you what I've learned.

I just want to go over the controls.

I would say safety, obviously, number one.

We've already done the pre-op inspection.

Three points of contact getting in or out of equipment.

First thing, seatbelt.

Put that on,

you'll hear that in every one of my videos.

Don't listen to the operators say don't wear your seatbelt.

You're in a protection system.

You got to be secured to it.

You don't want to throw yourself out of these things

if you were to roll it.

After that, we're going to start this thing.

Now, we're in a John Deere 310SL.

Big shout out to RDO Equipment.

They actually provide us the backhoe for these videos.

Now when we're in it,

first thing we're going to do and I'm going to--

We have a handheld camera.

We're trying a little bit something different here.

We've had a lot of people say

they want to see some of the controls.

If you can't see them there, I'm going to hold a camera here

and try to show you some.

On these, one-click

turns them on their key list for the John Deere's.

Then I hold that to start it.


Now, what I'll say, we're going to go over this John Deere 310.

Backhoes are relatively similar.

Whether or not we go over this one or another one,

they're going to be pretty similar.

We'll go over these controls.

Now, first thing you always notice

and again on this display is very similar to crossover from skids.

John Deere keeps it pretty consistent,

which is what I really like between their different pieces.

We have the parking brake right there.

It's going to always start as on.

If we did want to stop it right there,

but ultimately I'm looking, I got the parking brake symbol right there.

That means this machine will not go anywhere with that on.

That's obviously always really important.

Now, when you come into this thing,

first thing,

this is a steering wheel that you're going to go up and down with

and then if I need to adjust my seat.

Usually, you're going to curl those down.

You have a little better--

it's right there in front of you.

Now with these backhoes,

again, I don't think they're really good at any one thing.

They're used for a lot of different purposes,

but they're not.

Some people use them in a lot of different areas of different markets,

but they're not real popular in the Midwest,

but they really are a combination of a frontend loader or an excavator.

I think they don't do either one really well,

but the fact that one machine does both, it can be handy.

You should know how to operate them.

With that said, I'm going to go over some of the basic just controls here

and I'll use my handheld camera to show you some of these things.

On the control panel, we already went over everything

there at least for the starting.

Other stuff you're not necessarily going to need here,

there's a disconnect if there's a quick attach on then.

Your hazard lights, your Eco; is a Eco Mode has on lighting.

Auxiliary hydraulics if you were to have it on there.

This changes your control pattern whether you're running ISO or SAE

or backhoe controls.

I always keep ISO.

People love CAT controls recommend those.

Unlock our auxiliary hydraulics.

Some of these, this is our ride control.

If you turn that on, it'll make your smoother ride.

Some of these aren't actives.

This one doesn't have an auto.

This will be an automatic transmission,

but it's not on there, that way.

Then you got your menu.

Below that, this is your four-wheel drive.

It's a mechanical that turns on the front

and then you've got wipers and air conditioning controls there.

That's all of there.

Then outside on the steering,

we're going to go over our right joystick in a sec

and to boom and bucket controls.

On the steering, you've got lights here,

turn signals,

and then your shifter is over here.

You got forward, neutral, reverse,

and then these are your speed settings on there.

Outside of that, you got your foot pedals.

Two brakes that are basically these.

You can flip that little lever up

and you can do either a right or a left.

The cool thing about backhoes,

a lot of times I'll use it for snow plowing.

If you do that, you can disconnect.

If you want to help turn, you just push down the left brake,

it would turn that machine to the left.

I can help but very rarely do I see that use.

Then we got our throttle right there on that side.

I'm not going to go over that. I'll go over the back controls,

the backhoe when we spin the seat around.

We're just going to go over the front for right now.

Now, with that said,

our boom and bucket controls.

If I pull back on this,

it's going to raise the bucket up.

Again, very similar. These are going to be similar to a skid steer,

a frontend loader,

any piece like that.

Up right there, right-hand right,

opens the bucket.

Right hand left, closes the bucket.

Then right hand forward is going to bring it back down.

That's the front.

Then my shifter,

I like to use just either one foot or the other.

It depends. Some people do the two feet on it.

It really is personal preference.

There's no right or wrong on that.

Then all we would do, we're going to take the parking brake off.

What we're going to do is we're going to start by just doing the front.

We're going to drive over to an area we just take a few scoops

and show you those controls.

Then we're going to spin around and show you the backhoe portion.

Parking brake off,


While I'm driving over, you've probably heard in the beginning

and I said this is brought to by Ariat.

We're relatively new to sponsored content.

As a small channel growing,

we can't provide-- All this has been provided by ourselves.

It takes a lot of time, expense for us to do these videos.

Ariat reached out.

What I love about them,

they didn't want to just get to a marketing video.

We pitched them, "Hey, we'd really like to provide the value

with a training video."

They've sent us some product.

You'll see I got Ariat boots on, the hat.

They've got amazing product,

but more importantly, they were more about supporting the workforce.

They have Ariat boots, work boots,

they have a whole line of-- I know for cowboy boots,

but I didn't realize how much they do in the side of basically work attire,

things like that, so go check them out.

Now, when I was driving there, if you saw as into--

I can flip that speed one way or the other.

I can basically--

whatever speed you're in,

it's going to automatically start at that lowest speed and work its way.

You generally see those have the "D" there,

that'll flip through automatically on there.

If you're going to scoop things like that,

usually I'm in "2" is a good indicator there.

Now, I am going to find a spot to scoop over here.

Now, just to use the front here.

I'm not going to go. We're in a very large gravel pile.

Just looking at it, we've had been on this pile before,

but you generally want to be careful how tall this.

This thing's well above my machine.

I'm going to grab some here at the beginning,

but you want to be careful.

Any of that stuff, that whole wall can collapse onto the machine.

You definitely don't want that.

With this, I'm just going to grab some material right here

at the base of it.

If I go in forward here,

generally you're just going to lower that all the way down

and get your bucket flat.

Now the only way you can really tell and the same as our wheeler,

I'll show on the camera.

If you can see that top line,

that matches the bucket angle and the bottom, the blade angle.

I can't obviously go in like that,

but I also if I have it down too much,

I'm actually creating a downward slope.

You can't see the front.

It's really important

that you're making sure you're flat to the ground like that.

Then all you're doing is you're driving into it.

Now, this is where to get a really full scoop.

You're driving in.

If you start pulling back in the boom while you're driving in,

what you're doing is you're putting downward pressure on the front axle.

That's going to give you more power to drive into that.

That's why you want to be pulling both at the same time.

It's an up and in, up and in, up and in.

I'm trying to do both to get a really full bucket.

There we go and I'm backing up.

Watching where you're going.

I think it's super aggressive on this one,

just because of that large pile in front of me.

I really don't want to be manipulating that pile too much.

Then after that, if I want to dump,

let's say same spot, raising it up,

you'll see these things have that auto-level function

what you've seen on other machines that'll curl it over from you,

which is good because you don't want to--

These won't actually let you curl it over but raise it up.

Once I'm at the base, my tires are at the base,

that's where I'm going to be dumping.

A lot of times you can shake that bucket a little bit

and make sure you clear everything out.

Watch where you're reversing.

Again, you've got mirrors on this up above you.

I'll bring it down, do it one more time.

The key again is trying to be flat to the ground

when you're going into that.

As I'm driving, you're trying to also avoid spinning your tires at all.

Then backing up with it.

Now, when you're traveling with these,

always being low and tight to the ground.

You never want to have this up very high.

The higher, your backhoes are extremely top-heavy.

If I'm driving around

anything above your hood,

this machine is a lot less stable.

This is where

it is a lot easier to get in a lot of trouble with a backhoe

when you're up high like that.

Generally, you want to be low and tight to the ground.

Try not to dump all your material when I'm coming back down.

I dump that.

Then a final piece, actually with me actually dumping some of that,

I can drop this down.

These have a blade that floats

just like you've seen in the other equipment.

Generally, you can either be flat

or have the blade at an angle. I'm going to go at an angle here.

If I set it down there and if I take this right joystick

and just push it all the forward and locks forward,

and then I'm going in reverse

and you'll see I can see behind and I'll use the camera here

because it's tough to see off the side.

I can see basically right behind the blade there.

It'll float the blade. I'll go right through that.

Then at the end of that,

just instead of just pulling straight back on that right hand,

I'm slowly raising it

so I don't leave a big pile of dirt.

Then there we go and curl it back in.

We're going to go back over to our side

so I can show you the back of the machine.

Again, I can shift on the fly on these.

Some will have a transmission an older backhoe will.

These all are shift on the fly so I can flip it to "3" right there

and it'll go faster,

pretty obvious.

First thing, we put in neutral.

I'm going to set that bucket flat on the ground.

Now, generally, I recommend flat or just barely touching it.

When I spin around, I'm actually going to raise up the back

and it's going to put a little downward pressure.

The other option, if you're in a really soft area,

you got concerned about being pulled

and some people will just do this anyways.

I don't think it's right or wrong, but some people will actually

drive in, spin that open, and do it like that

because it actually puts the blade into the ground.

Again, I don't generally will do that

unless I'm afraid I'm going to get pulled,

but usually just flat is fine.

Set it down flat like that.

I'm in neutral.

I generally recommend putting the parking brake on.

We'll go over some in the next video.

We'll talk about, if you leave it in neutral,

it can push your machine,

but I'm going to put it in park right now,

and then I'm good to go.

Then flipping that steering wheel out of the way

and then there is a little lever right here.

That's how I'm going to flip around. I'm going to flip this around

and we're going to move our cameras around

so we can see the back of the machine.

Now, spinning around.

Backhoe controls on the back.

Basically, it's an excavator arm.

If you know how to run--

Again, we're going to do standard ISO controls.

I'll go over that in a moment.

Typically, these are pilot controls

meaning they'll pull back to me.

A lot of the newer machines will have that.

Some will have levers in the front

that are still old school backhoe controls.

I shouldn't say old school

because a lot of people are using that.

The newer machines will have this because it also chooses patterns.

What you'll do, is you pull these back to you.

Once I pull those back, I can't activate them any other way.

There's a switch then

and I'm going to show you

right here on the John Deere that's an unlock switch.

Now, before you do that,

we're going to drop our jerk.

You'll see,

there's basically two right there.

If I push these forward,

you can bring them both down at the same time.

You're basically going until you feel a little bit of downward pressure.

Then you're just trying to.

Getting the wheels off the ground just a hair is good or fine.

Some people keep the wheels on the ground.

Really up to you.

What you don't want to do is keep--

I don't want to keep jacking this thing up.

The higher I go, the higher my center of gravity.

You just want to be firm on the ground,

but you don't want to be all the way as high as you can go.

That also will push my front end in the ground a little bit there.

Now, after that, again, I've got my to unlock my controls there.

I click that and I can actually see once I do that

on my control

that I've got my joystick activated

and then I've got my manual throttle here.

Usually, you're going to want to ramp up your throttle a little bit

when you're doing that.

Then you've got your boom lock on these.

Whenever you're traveling, you want these boom locked.

With that, this lever in the center here

is our boom lock lever right there.

You'll see, I got to pull back

in my right hand or right pull pressure

and you'll see that little thing pop up there.

I'll do that.

Now outside of that, now I'm unlocked.

Now with this, the controls, right is your boom and bucket.

Left is your stick stick and swing.

Now I'm going to extend this away from me first.

This is your stick or dipper, some people call it.

In and out like that.

I'm in an ISO standard excavator controls

and then left and right is my swing.

One way or the other like that.

Then my right joystick is boom and bucket.

If I go forward, I'm going to bring the boom down,

pull back, bring the boom up.

No different than a standard excavator ISO controls.

Right is open the bucket,

left is close the bucket.

Standard controls there.

They call an extender hoe.

Basically makes that stick longer.

With that, I'm going to show you this foot pedal down here.

Right there is how I'm going to extend that.

If I push that forward,

stand out,

push back on that.

Oh, hey,

cool Ariat boots right there.

Didn't even mean to get that in. There you go.

I got some cool boots from them.

I love their-- Actually, their work boots are amazing.

That's the controls there. Now to dig a hole,

I am just going to extend out.

Generally, I'm going to extend that thing as far as it'll go.

I'm going to reach out.

I look at that extender hoe as really being used more for transport

because I can dig all the way almost right up to me.

You might as well go with your max reach.

Now, here's the biggest challenge of the backhoe.

If you're trenching, you generally want to do it in line

because you're going to try and push your machine forward.

You'll see, it's really difficult to see my bucket

unless I go left or right to see that thing.

All I'm doing is going down and then you're going to shaving,

slicing off a corner here.

This is where I'm pulling in, curling the bucket.

You want to try and get those teeth horizontal

to slice through the ground there.

Now, new operators, I know you've seen me say this.

Don't worry about doing multiple emotions at once.

Just get used to the control. I'm going to raise this up.

Usually, you want to go over 2 feet or so from your pile

or from your trench

to dump and I'm going to open.

For a new operator, if you're just training,

sometimes the easiest thing to do,

and this is not how you'll do when you're doing this regularly,

go down one hand and one motion at a time.

Right-hand right, right-hand left, right-hand back.

Now again, I know you're not going to do that

mainly because if there's utilities, you always want to dig in layers.

However, if you're brand new to this,

I just want you to learn the controls.

I don't want you to get overwhelmed with doing multiple motions.

Then my left dumps it.

You'll see again, the proper way then is all I'm doing.

You'll see how these things shake.

They're not great at any one thing

but I can shave layers off here.

I'm just trying to get maybe 6 inches off the ground.

Not a beautiful trench.

We'll go over trenching in the next video.

Again, showing you the--

Basically, I have all of them all the way

extended with the extender hoe.

I can pull it up to get a little bit closer

but also trying to manage your foot control

and doing all that same.

It's fairly challenging.

That's how to use those controls.

Finally, backfilling with a backhoe.

Again, if you can scrape up

just a little bit without creating a new hole,

drag it over.

They don't necessarily recommend using this.

If I go like this and use the side of this bucket,

not great for the machine,

it's not designed to go laterally.

If you're just talking about finished grade,

sometimes you can just slide through that

and you'll get it back to grade there, so basic controls there.

Now the key here to finish with this back

is retracting it all the way.

You have to have that all the way in

before you can travel with this thing.

Then you're just pulling this bucket, curling it all the way,

pulling stick all the way in.

Unless if you have a quick attach,

you might have issues with curling it all the way in,

but not usually.

Just be careful if you know you're too close

to that then you might scrape it.

Then always storing that thing. Again, locking it.

I'm pulling that up.

Before I come all the way, I'm going to--

You'll see the John Deere there. I have to go down a little bit,

pulling back on that to go up.

You'll see that little lever came up

and then pulling back on the right, dropping it in.

Once you're dropped in,

just go down like that to lock it in.

Now, this is travel mode.

Straight line. I highly recommend that.

Some people, if you try and go sideways like this,

you're just moving your center of gravity over.

It makes no sense to do it. It makes you shorter,

but it's actually less stable. Generally, you want to be aligned.

This is transport mode. Then when you're done there,

all you're doing is pulling your jerks gently down,

pull them all the way up.

I do recommend at the end be careful if you have dirt on there.

Sometimes I've slammed these things hard.

Then there we go.

Then from there, turning throttle down.

You can push these away from you.

We'll lock them out. I saw actually the symbol.

I'll see the lockout go there and then I can spin it back around.

For this, I'm going to go ahead.

We're going to park the machine and get on out.

Everyone, those are basic controls for a backhoe.

Again, I always say this in every one.

If you're an operator, use these all the time,

share your tips or tricks in the comments below.

We'd love to hear it. Finally again,

a big shout out and Thanks to Ariat.

This video would not have happened without Ariat.

Please, we'll put a link below.

That's the way you can help support us

is go check out the sponsor that helped put this together.

Again, thanks a lot. We'll see you in the next episode.