If you are thinking about a large-scale construction project, then the odds are you need some equipment. One very useful piece of equipment for large-scale projects (and even small-scale projects) is a backhoe. If your project involves moving large amounts of dirt and earth, then you may need to look into renting or buying a backhoe.
In short, it can cost anywhere between $10,000-$300,000 to buy a backhoe, depending on the brand, model, size, and whether it is new or used. For example, the Kubota L39 has a lift capacity of 2,800 pounds and a digging depth of 10 feet and costs a base price of about $40,000. A brand new CAT Excavator can cost up to $400,000. Smaller used models can run as low as $10,000-$20,0000. Alternatively, it costs $40-$80 per hour to buy backhoe services from a company, and it costs anywhere between $200-$500 a day to rent a backhoe for DIY projects.
Buying a backhoe involves more than just the cost of the machinery. So we put together this comprehensive guide on how much a backhoe costs.
What Backhoe Specs Affect Price?
When it comes to most machinery, people look at just horsepower. However, a backhoe also has hydraulic systems so you need to take those into account too. Here are things that affect the cost of a backhoe.
- Digging Depth. A smaller backhoe on the cheaper end of the spectrum might be able to dig up to 7’-10’. Larger more expensive backhoes can dig up to 30 feet deep and deeper.
- Bucket Width. The larger the front and back buckets, the more earth you can move at once. Bucket width is relevant if you are renting and need to maximize your time with the machine. A typical rear bucket is about 12 inches wide and can move 2.6 cubic feet of material.
- Weight. Heavier backhoes have a greater environmental impact and require more fuel. So they will cost more to operate than smaller machines.
- Load capacity. A typical mid-sized backhoe can lift around 350 pounds with the rear bucket and around 1,500 pounds with the front bucket. Make sure you buy or rent the right size backhoe for your project.
- New or used. Like most heavy machinery, brand new backhoes are substantially more expensive than used backhoes, even though used backhoes can perform just as well. So it’s generally in your best interest to consider used backhoes instead of buying a brand new one.
The costs of a backhoe vary widely based on make, model, size, and whether it is used or new.
- Small. Small backhoes have a digging depth between 6-10 feet. New models start at around $25,000 while used models with thousands of hours of use. start at around $10,000. For example, a heavily used compact Caterpillar loader costs around $10,500 while a used John Deere backhoe can start at about $25,000-$30,000.
- Medium. Medium-sized backhoes can dig between 14-18 feet and usually start between $50,000-$120,000. For example, a brand new CAT 420 with a 14-feet digging depth starts at $125,000 from the manufacturer. Comparatively, a used 2014 JCB 3CX 14-feet backhoe loader starts at about $65,000.
- Larger. Larger backhoes are ones that can dig 16 feet or deeper. Large backhoes start at over $100,000 and some models can reach over $500,000 brand new. For example, a brand new JCB 3CX 17 with a 17-foot maximum digging depth costs $140,000 brand new. A new CAT 320 excavator can cost around $240,000 while larger used models with a few thousand hours start at $120,000.
There are just average figures and actual prices will also vary based on your location and unit availability. So we will consider the average costs of some of the more famous brands of backhoes to give more concrete numbers.
Average Kubota Backhoe Cost
Kubota has been in the US marketplace for about 50 years and has made a name for its highly versatile and compact construction equipment. Their main line of backhoe loaders is the TLB series, which includes 3 base models of different sizes and with several modifications to fit your project needs.
- B26TLB. This model is the smallest one and has a 24.3 HP engine.
- L47TLB. This Kubota model has a 47.1 HP diesel power engine and a total lift capacity of 2,800 pounds.
- M62TLB. This is the largest model Kubota offers and has a large 63 HP engine.
Generally speaking, the smaller models cost less and the larger models cost more, but costs differ depending on the vendor and location., A medium-sized Kubota backhoe with a dig depth of 15 feet costs approximately $110-$!50,000 while a larger model with a dig depth greater than 16 feet starts at over $150,000. You can expect to pay anywhere between $8,000-$10,000 extra for each model for buckets and other necessary attachments.
Average Caterpillar Backhoe Cost
Caterpillar (CAT) backhoes are extremely popular and high-quality. Most CAT machines are pretty large and so they are also pretty expensive compared to other brands. However. CAT quality is praised industry-wide so when you buy CAT, you are buying something reliable. CAT machines can last up to 20-30 years if maintained properly.
CAT offers 4 basic backhoe models
- CAT 416E. This model has a 74 horsepower engine and can dig up to 14 feet deep. The CAT 416 model starts at around $80,000 brand new.
- CAT 420E. The CAT 420E is the mid-sized model from CAT and has an 89 HP engine and dig depth of 15 feet. It starts at just over $90,000.
- CAT 430E. The CAT 430E has a large 97 HP engine and usually starts at just under $100,000. It has a max dig depth of 16 feet.
- CAT 450E. The CAT 450E is the largest model. And features a 124 HP engine and a max dig depth of 17 feet. The CAT 450E starts at over $150,000.
In addition to these base prices, you can expect to pay another $10,000 for attachments. Most CAT models also come with a canopy upgrade if you want more coverage in the cabin for an extra $10,000.
Average Terramite Backhoe Cost
Terramite is another popular heavy construction machinery manufacturer that has been around for over 50 years. Terramite advanced the split hydraulic system commonly found in modern tunneling equipment and their line of backhoes includes 3 major models of differing sizes. Most Terramite backhoe loaders fall in the compact to small size ranges.
- T5 CTLB. The T5 CTLB has a 25 HP engine and a lift capacity of 1,700 pounds. New models of the T% start at around $25,000 for just the frame. You can expect to pay another $8,000 for buckets and either attachment.
- T7 CTLB. The T7 CTLB is a larger model with a dump height of 96” and a total lift capacity of 1,700 pounds. The T7 has a more powerful diesel engine and a higher breakout force as well. New units of the T7 model start at around $32,000. Attachments start at around $10,000.
- T9 CTLB. The T9 CTLB is the largest model they offer and has a powerful 32 HP engine as well as 2-wheel and 4-wheel drive options. The T9 CTLB starts at $40,000 new and attachments cost about $12,000.
Other Backhoe Costs
The basic machinery is just part of the cost. Most backhoes allow you to switch attachments and buckets for different jobs. You will most likely need at least one or two different buckets or attachments for whatever projects you want to do. Here is a quick list of some of the most popular attachments and their costs.
- Hammers. Hammers attach to the rear hydraulic so you can break down structures like brick and concrete. They can also be used to break up the ground. Hammers cost about $4,000 per attachment.
- Fork pallets. Fork pallets are used to lift pallets without a separate forklift unit. These attachments are fairly cheap and cost around $600-$700.
- High-tip buckets. High tip buckets give you more reach so you can take advantage of higher clearance. High-tip buckets cost about $3,000.
- Side tip buckets. Side-tip buckets load from the side and are designed for unloading in narrow spaces like hallways and tunnels. A side-loading bucket costs about as much as a regular bucket; between $1,500-$3,000.
- Bale spikes. Bale spikes are used by farmers to transport large bales of hay. Average costs for bale spikes start at about $300-$500.
- Grinders. Grinders are used to remove tree stumps and other root systems deep in the earth. Grinder costs can range greatly due to tree size but they fall between $1,000-$5,000.
- Crushers. Crushers are similar to hammers and can be used to demolish and pulverize concrete, bricks, and other materials. Crushers are also used for mining applications. Prices for crushers vary due to materials but usually cost about $2,000-$4,000.
Lastly, you may also have to pay a fee to remove dirt from your site. Local disposal fees can cost up to $300 depending on your location. It may also be necessary for you to work with a disposal company that can load the dirt in trucks and take it away.
Financing a Backhoe
Most people do not have the working capital to outright buy a backhoe. Most manufacturers offer some kind of financing plan so you can pay in affordable installments. Make sure that you talk to your manufacturer about financing options if you plan to buy.
Rent or Lease a Backhoe
If you don’t want to outright buy a backhoe, you can opt to rent one for the short term or lease one for the long term.
Backhoes and other large equipment are typically rented by the day or half-day. If you want to rent a backhoe for the short-term, you can expect to pay anywhere between $300-$500 a day. For example, you can rent a Kubota B26 backhoe with a 26 HP engine starting at $275 per day. Most companies also charge a delivery fee.
If you rent a backhoe, then you will most likely also have to buy insurance. You will also have to put down a deposit between $500-$1,500. Attachments can also cost anywhere between $20-$100 per day so make sure you budget for those accordingly.
If you need a backhoe for a longer project but do not want to outright buy one, you can lease a backhoe instead. If you have good credit, you could pay as little as $1,000 per month for a backhoe with a base market value of $50,000.
The good thing about a lease is that you normally do not have to pay any money upfront. Most leases also have a buyout clause so you can outright buy the machine at any time during the lease if you want to. Leasing may be a viable option for some projects, but after a certain point, it might be better financially to just buy one.
Backhoes are useful pieces of equipment and are used for all kinds of construction projects. If you have a construction process, then odds are you will need a backhoe;
Like most heavy machinery, backhoes are expensive so they are a large capital investment. So there are options to rent or lease if you do not want to buy. We recommend considering renting a backhoe or leasing one first before considering buying.
But, if you do want to buy, most manufacturers and sellers offer some kind of financing program so you can pay for it in installments. Either way, make sure you understand all the relevant costs before buying, leasing, or renting a backhoe.