A backhoe can make any kind of landscape or construction job much easier and cut labor costs. For any project that requires digging, excavation, or moving large landscape items like trees or rocks, renting a backhoe might be a very useful investment. Not to mention, it can make the job safer and more manageable.
Renting a backhoe typically costs anywhere from $100-$500 per day, depending on the size and model. If you need an operator as well, you should plan to pay between $50-$100 per hour. You should also plan for a deposit that could be as much as $1500 depending on the equipment. However, compared to the purchase of around $40,500, renting is a cost-effective option for most projects.
- How Much Does it Cost to Rent a Backhoe?
- Backhoe Rental Cost By State
- Popular Brands of Backhoe Rentals
- Mini Backhoe Rental Cost
- Other Costs to Rent a Backhoe
- Home Depot Backhoe Rental Costs
- Renting a Backhoe Versus Buying
- Things to Consider When Renting a Backhoe
- Additional Backhoe Rental Cost Factors
- What are Backhoe Rentals Used For?
- What Industries Rent Backhoes?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- The Bottom Line on the Cost to Rent a Backhoe
How Much Does it Cost to Rent a Backhoe?
The cost to rent a backhoe may vary depending on the size and model of the equipment, the rental length, and geographic location. There are also other fees to consider that may increase the total cost to rent a backhoe.
However, to rent a backhoe for a day you should expect to pay anywhere from $100-$500, with bigger machines at the higher price point and smaller machines at the lower end. For more extensive projects, you may be able to rent the equipment for a weekly rate, which is often a better value.
Average Backhoe Rental Cost
The average cost to rent a backhoe varies greatly depending on the geographic location. To rent a backhoe in the United States, the price is typically higher in the south and in east coast states. More agriculturally-focused states in the midwest are generally the least expensive for heavy equipment rentals.
Average Daily Backhoe Rental Cost
The model and horsepower are also factors that drive the rental price up. Larger backhoes with more horsepower cost more to rent than smaller versions. A small 26-horsepower backhoe may cost around $275 to rent for the day, while a 63-horsepower model may cost about $75 more for the day.
Backhoe Rental Cost by Equipment Type
|Horsepower||Daily Rate||Weekly Rate|
Backhoe Rental Cost With Operator
The cost to rent a backhoe with an operator is significantly higher than equipment-only rentals. However, most reputable rental agencies will not allow you to use their equipment without having a qualified operator.
On average, a backhoe with an operator costs around $80 per hour. The price may be higher or lower depending on the geographic location, the size and model of the equipment, and how extensive the project is.
When renting a backhoe with an operator, you’ll also need to consider other fees, such as travel time to and from the job site, any additional equipment that may be needed, and minimum rental durations.
Many companies require anywhere from a 3-8 hour minimum rental period, or they require at least one full day when they’re providing an operator.
Backhoe Rental Cost with Operator
Backhoe Rental Cost By State
Geographic location is one of the biggest factors affecting the average cost to rent a backhoe. Midwestern states are typically less expensive. For example, Indiana is one of the cheapest places to rent a backhoe, with an average daily rental rate of just over $100. On the other hand, places like Florida may run upwards of $450-$500.
Average Cost to Rent a Backhoe
|Horsepower||Daily Rate||Weekly Rate|
Popular Brands of Backhoe Rentals
The United States is home to several popular manufacturers of earthmoving equipment. While you should not limit your rentals to specific brands, there may be some value in paying premium prices if these brands are available.
- John Deere
Caterpillar is a top brand of excavation and bulldozing equipment worldwide. The company was established in the early 1900s in Peoria, Illinois, and is well-known for pioneering the track-type tractors used for bulldozing today. A full-size caterpillar backhoe with four-wheel drive typically rents for $550 per day.
Best known today for agriculture tractors, John Deere makes all types of equipment, including household lawnmowers and earthmoving backhoes. John Deere started in 1837 in the farming community of Grand Detour, Illinois, with a proprietary steel plow invention. A full-size John Deere backhoe with a four-wheel drive typically rents for $550 per day.
JCB is a UK-based manufacturer founded in 1945 based on the invention of a tipping agriculture trailer. Focusing on the utility of that trailer and serving an unmet need in UK agriculture markets, JCB’s product line is geared heavily towards producing different variations of backhoes. JCB backhoes rent for $300 – $485 per day in most areas.
Case Equipment is another leading construction and farm equipment manufacturer with 175 years of success. A long-standing commitment to quality components has made Case Equipment a household name in the construction and agriculture industries. A full-size Case backhoe rents for around $375 per day or $925 per week.
Mini Backhoe Rental Cost
A mini backhoe (also sometimes called a mini excavator) is a smaller alternative to a large, heavy-duty piece of equipment. These are ideal for working in tighter spaces, so sometimes they’re the only option for your project. However, their smaller size doesn’t always equate to a cheaper rental.
Renting a 3,500 lb. mini backhoe may cost anywhere from $175-$600 per day or $500-$1,500 per week.
Like the full-size backhoes, the rental costs vary significantly based on the rental location.
To hire an operator, you should expect to pay an additional $20-$65 per hour, along with any applicable delivery and pickup fees. Accessories to complete your project will also add-on extra costs.
Other Costs to Rent a Backhoe
In addition to the flat rate to rent the equipment and the hourly rate to rent a backhoe and an operator, there are other factors that may increase your total price. These added expenses should be considered to fully understand the cost to rent a backhoe.
Attachments ($30-$75 per hour)
Extra attachments that you may need to complete the job will add additional fees to your rental costs. These attachments may include components for drilling or compacting, like an auger and bit or a concrete breaker. The cost may be higher for rentals that require a daily or weekly rate.
Backhoe Rental Cost – Attachment Add-Ons
|Attachment||Daily Rental Rate|
|Breaker - 1,500ft.-lbs||$315-$325|
|Excavator Breaker - 5,000 lbs.||$725-$750|
|Mini Excavator Bucket (12 in.)||$20-$30|
|Mini Excavator Bucket (18 in.)||$10-$20|
|Brush Hog Mower||$140-$150|
Delivery and Pickup ($45+)Source: United Rentals
Oftentimes, companies charge a fee to deliver the equipment to the job site and pick it up at the end of the rental period. However, some companies include delivery in the rental fee, but it will usually be limited to a maximum distance after which you would be charged per mile.
In either case, the average cost for delivery and pickup is about $3 per mile. In cases where the company charges a flat rate, it could be anywhere from $150-$250.
If you rent a backhoe without an operator, you will likely have to pay a significant deposit to ensure that the equipment is not damaged and is returned in the same condition that it was delivered in. Some companies may offer or require proof of insurance, or they may provide a damage waiver for purchase. These can add up to 15% to your total rental cost.
Other companies may require that you pay a deductible even with a damage waiver, so it’s important to read any documents carefully so that you understand your liability obligations. For example, you may purchase a damage waiver at 10% of the rental price, but in the event of property damage you may also be on the hook for a $1,000 deductible.
Home Depot Backhoe Rental Costs
Depending on local availability, Home Depot rents out different sizes of backhoes and mini excavators. They offer 4-hour, daily, weekly, and monthly rental rates. The availability and rates may vary based on your location, so it’s a good idea to check with your local store to get the most accurate quote.
|Equipment||4-Hour Rental||Daily Rate||Weekly Rate|
|TLB Micro (6’ dig depth)||$202||$289||$867|
|TLB Mini (8’ dig depth)||$237||$339||$1,017|
|1.5-2 Ton Mini||$202||$289||$867|
|2.5-3 Ton Mini||$223||$319||$893|
Source: The Home Depot
Renting a Backhoe Versus Buying
If you’re completing a one-time job or even a few one-time jobs, it may be more cost-efficient to rent a backhoe rather than purchasing one. However, if you’re in the business of doing work that involves excavating and moving materials around on a regular basis, you may be interested in purchasing the equipment instead.
Backhoes are very expensive to buy outright. Depending on the size, attachments, make, model, and age, they can cost well over $120,000. However, you may be able to find a smaller, used model for around $10,000.
The average cost of buying a full-size backhoe is between $40,500 and $78,600. At a monthly rental rate of $2000, it would take at least 24 months or two years to cover the investment cost. And, that doesn’t take into account the maintenance and storage costs for the equipment.
The lifespan of a typical backhoe is around 6,000 hours. If your equipment is used daily, you might get about three years out of it. Of course, less frequent use will prolong the machine’s life, but it will also take longer to recover your investment.
If you have a ton of cash on hand and don’t need to finance the equipment at high-interest rates, buying could be an option. However, in most cases, it is cheaper to rent a backhoe. Of course, if you are using any piece of equipment more than 70% of the time, it is time to consider a purchase.
For companies who fall in the middle ground, a lease can provide a good compromise. An equipment lease requires less capital upfront and builds a monthly payment around a long-term commitment of 12, 24, or 36 months. The average cost of leasing a backhoe requires a downpayment between $2500 and $5000, with a monthly payment between $750 and $1500.
Either way, longer rental periods will attract lower backhoe loader rental costs. However, if you are looking to buy an excavator with a backhoe attachment, check out our CAT excavator cost guide or the Hitachi excavator for sale review.
Things to Consider When Renting a Backhoe
If you’re going to rent a backhoe, mini backhoe, or backhoe loader, you’ll need to consider what your project requires and what your needs are before you select a piece of equipment. As you consider each option and weigh the costs, remember to think about the following factors.
- Dig depth: Smaller models will have a smaller maximum dig depth than larger models. Depending on the job, certain size backhoes may not be an option. Remember that small models will typically have a dig depth less than 10 feet, while full-sized models are good for dig depths up to 14 feet. If you need to dig deeper than that, you may need to consider an extra large option.
- Horsepower: The horsepower will determine what the machine is capable of. Remember that smaller equipment will be less powerful.
- Weight: Larger pieces of equipment weigh significantly more than small or mini backhoes. If you’re working on soft ground or don’t want to cause too much damage, you may need to look for a backhoe with a lighter operating weight.
- Loader bucket width: The front bucket will determine how much the loader can carry and what kind of accessories may be fitted onto the machine. This is something that will vary based on the size and model of the equipment.
Additional Backhoe Rental Cost Factors
In addition to the rental cost, which is mainly influenced by the above-mentioned factors, there are other costs you may incur while renting a backhoe loader.
Here are some of the additional costs that may affect the cost of renting a backhoe loader:
Choice of Attachments
For enhanced versatility, backhoe loaders are designed to use different types of attachments depending on the project. If you wish to use additional attachments other than the standard ones offers by your rental company, you may be required to pay more for each additional attachment.
With daily rentals, additional attachments will cost you between $30 and $200 a day. With most reputable rental companies, you will get a fair discount when hiring the equipment for a longer period, say monthly. Since the additional attachments will be charged per unit, more attachments will add to the rental cost significantly.
Delivery and Pickup Costs
In most cases, the equipment needs to be transported to and from the construction site. Backhoe loader deliveries and pickups are often carried out using large trucks.
Although some rental companies include transportation fees in the rental cost, they tend to restrict you to a maximum delivery distance.
With such providers, deliveries outside the maximum delivery radius will be charged a per-mile rate. Other companies will require you to pay additional transportation fees, in addition to the rental costs. In both cases, the providers will charge you an average of $3 per loaded mile.
Others will also have a minimum amount payable for deliveries. In this case, the rental company will require a minimum of about $45 or $3 per loaded mile, whichever is greater.
What are Backhoe Rentals Used For?
Renting a backhoe can be helpful for large landscaping projects, utility maintenance, and new constructions. Anytime you need to move some earth, a backhoe, which comes in various sizes, is an excellent tool to have on hand.
Some of the tasks that backhoes can help with include:
- Breaking up and moving asphalt
- Digging holes
- Sweeping streets
- Plowing snow
- Digging up trees
- Digging trenches
Backhoes can be fitted with a variety of tools to perform all sorts of specialty tasks. If you live in northern climates, these machines can plow snow and excavate frozen ground as well, which can be helpful if a utility repair can’t wait until the spring thaw.
What Industries Rent Backhoes?
Backhoes are so versatile that they are used in many different industries. Companies of all sizes choose to rent backhoes to fill a variety of demand needs. While construction may be the first use to come to mind, these other industries benefit from backhoe rentals as well:
- Waste Management
Backhoes come in many different sizes, suitable for other uses. A small backhoe or mini backhoe is a good option for smaller landscaping and hobby-farm applications. These smaller machines are a little more user-friendly for self-use. A mini backhoe rents for $100 – $200 per day.
Frequently Asked Questions
Renting a backhoe can be a significant expense, so it is essential to make sure you choose the right equipment for the job. Since there are many different options, this FAQ section should help you sort out any remaining questions.
Can You Rent Different Attachments?
Yes. Backhoes are known for their utility. There are dozens of different buckets and attachments for doing different jobs, and most rental dealers have add-on rentals for other attachments. Some attachments have a size and weight limitations, so do not use any attachments without explicit permission in your rental contract. Backhoe attachments rent for an additional $25 – $100 per day.
What is the Difference Between a Backhoe and an Excavator?
Excavators are typically built on tracks and feature a rotating cab. These machines are designed for one job — digging up the earth. Backhoes are usually built on tires and feature a fixed-position cab. Backhoes are named for their specific excavation style featuring a bucket that drags the earth backward. Backhoes can perform a variety of jobs with different attachments.
Can Backhoes Dig Frozen Ground?
Yes, with the use of a special attachment, these machines can dig into the frozen ground. For example, a frost bucket is designed explicitly for excavating the frozen ground.
What Costs Are Associated With Equipment Rental?
In addition to the rental rate and designated term (daily, weekly, monthly, etc.), you should expect to pay for other related costs. Equipment delivery and pickup are typically added to your rental at a rate of $3 per mile and/or a flat fee between $45 and $150. You will also need to provide insurance and safety training. You may also need to provide fuel to operate the equipment. And, in most jurisdictions, taxes, and fees apply to quoted prices.
Hazards of Operating a Backhoe
Tip-overs and other accidents can occur if the equipment is operated on uneven terrain. It takes some skill and safety precautions to navigate varying terrain with these machines. Inexperienced operators may have more accidents resulting in injuries and time off of work which in turn raises your liabilities for workers’ compensation and raises a red flag for an OSHA investigation. Common accidents include:
- Raising the bucket too high.
- Overturning equipment on a steep slope.
- Falls from the equipment are caused by rough terrain and lack of safety precautions.
- Accidents involving pedestrians, trees, buildings, and other objects.
- Dropping materials like dirt or debris, mainly rocks or asphalt.
Cost of Safety Training for New Operators
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to provide adequate safety training on the risks and safe operation of heavy equipment like backhoes to all employees. Operator training should be provided upon hire and at least annually after that.
However, OSHA does not indicate specific rules for performing the training or how it should be conducted. Some companies choose to conduct training in-house, while others outsource the training to firms specializing in workplace safety. The average cost of safety training in 2021 is $941 per employee.
The cost of renting a backhoe with an operator is between $50 – $100 per hour with a minimum rental between three and eight hours. That works out to between $150 and $800 per day. The average cost of renting a backhoe is $250 – $500 per day, plus the cost of training. If your use of the equipment is limited, it may be cost-effective to rent the equipment with an operator.
The Bottom Line on the Cost to Rent a Backhoe
Renting a backhoe is a much cheaper alternative to purchasing such a large piece of equipment, especially if you’re only using it for a short time.
The costs to rent a backhoe vary greatly depending on where you’re located, the size and type of equipment, and what accessories that you need to complete the job. An operator will add to the price, but it’s a necessary cost if you’re not qualified to do it yourself.
However, it’s important to consider all the potential factors that can impact the total price to make an informed decision when renting a backhoe or mini backhoe.