Big landscape and construction projects often require heavy equipment like backhoes and trenchers to get the job done, but this equipment is way out of the price range of the average person. Even renting heavy equipment can run you hundreds of dollars a day. Fortunately, there is an affordable middle ground. A portable backhoe is great alternative to a huge piece of machinery and will get the job done. Read through our towable backhoe reviews before you make your choice and find out which one is best for you.
What is a Mini Towable Backhoe?
A pull behind backhoe is just a smaller version of the larger equipment that you find on big commercial construction sites. You can connect a towable backhoe to your car or SUV and use it where you need it. They have a bucket that can either dig dirt or fill it in and a chair where you can operate the bucket from using levers. This type of backhoe has only two wheels rather than four, and it can handle projects that are too big for a shovel.
What to Look for in a Towable Mini Excavator
The first thing that you need to consider is the type of terrain that you are going to be using the equipment in. Will you be using it to dig through top soil, clay or some other type of soil? Are you going to be using it frequently to move large amounts of dirt or just occasionally? There are a couple of different models that we reviewed, but not all have the same durability or digging power, so finding one that works for how you need to use it is important.
Trailer or no Trailer
Some units need to be connected to a tractor while other models can be more easily towed. If you don?t already own a tractor, then pick a machine that you can tow with a pickup or vehicle.
Space for Storage
While all of these are smaller versions of a commercial backhoe, you are still going to need a place to store them when not in use. Sizing isn?t standard and each model will have a unique size, so make sure that you have some place to store it.
Digging holes is great but can you get different attachments for the machine that allows you to do different jobs as well? For instance, can you get a grapple bucket or thumb attachment if needed?
Digging Depth and Range
Most backhoes of this size allow you to dig between 7?8 feet down and the boom has a range between 60 -120 degrees left and right. The more range you have, the faster you can get a project done.
Best Ride on Trencher: Towable Ride-On Trencher Special
Digging Depth: 7 feet
Digging Width: 13 inches
Boom Travel: 60 degrees
This towable trencher is perfect for all of your digging projects. It comes with a three tooth bucket that is 13 inches wide and can dig to a depth of 7 feet. It can be attached to a tractor or pick-up truck and comes with large DOT certified 12 inch wheels for greater stability. It is smaller than the other models on our list, so you can store it easily in a garage or barn when not using. Despite its smaller size, it is a rugged unit that can get the job done.
Best Walk Behind Digger: 7′ ft 3 Point Backhoe with Thumb Excavator Attachments Kubota Deere
Digging Depth: 8 feet
Digging Width: 16 inches
Boom Travel: 120 degrees
This towable trencher can handle any of your excavating jobs and fits on Category 1 tractors and runs on a 3 point linkage system. It can dig up to 8 feet with a wide 16 inch bucket and lift just over 1,000 lbs. It is a bit more complicated to set up than the other models as it will have to be connected to your tractor?s hydraulic system, but that is a fair trade off for the stability and power that you will get with this machine. It is made by Titan and has loads of accessories that can make your machine do so much more.
Best Overall Pick: HOC TE301H Towable Excavator Backhoe + 9 HP + 1 Year Warranty
Digging Depth: 7 feet
Digging Width: 12 inches
Boom Travel: 120 degrees
This 9 hp towable backhoe is made by Honda, so you don?t have to worry about quality or performance. It comes with a 2 tooth trencher that reaches depths of 8 feet and the boom has a range of 120 degrees. The hitch coupler is included with purchase so you can connect it to your truck and the tires are DOT compliant 12 inches and can hold up to 3,500 lbs. It has a fairly comfortable seat for long days of excavating. This is a great overall pick and can handle any job you throw at it.
There are a couple of different accessories that can go with your backhoe to give you more functionality. To start, you can switch the bucket for a trencher bucket or a grapple bucket. This allows you to grab and move material rather than just dig. It is perfect for when you have to move logs or anything cylindrical.
If you don?t want to switch to a grapple bucket then you can just get the thumb that can attach to your existing bucket, giving you more options as to what you can pick up.
There are also furrow attachments that are perfect for planting and harvesting. You can also get a forklift attachment for when you need to lift and move things. Lastly, you can turn your machine into a heavy duty snow blower.
Building Your Own Trailer Backhoe
There are plans all over the internet on how to build your own backhoe, but it isn?t easy, especially if you don?t have a background in heavy duty equipment mechanic. It is not a weekend DIY project. Also you have to ask yourself how much does it cost to build a homemade towable backhoe? While it is possible to do it yourself, once you factor in the cost of materials and the time you spend, it may be easier just to buy one instead. Also, when you purchase one instead of building one, then you know you can add available attachments to it when you want more functionality.
Landscaping and construction projects sometimes require a variety of tools and equipment to get the job done. Using a shovel to dig or move earth takes too long and is way too much work. That?s when a tow behind backhoe is the perfect tool for the job. Any of our recommendations are up to the task and can make a perfect addition to your landscaping equipment.
- Best Ride on Trencher: Towable Ride-On Trencher Special
- Best Walk Behind Digger: 7′ ft 3 Point Backhoe with Thumb Excavator Attachments Kubota Deere
- Best Overall Pick: HOC TE301H Towable Excavator Backhoe + 9 HP + 1 Year Warranty
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