What Are the Different Backhoe Parts?

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  • Written By: Christian Petersen
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 29 November 2018
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A backhoe is a type of digging equipment consisting of a digging shovel at the end of an articulated arm. It is mounted on the rear of a heavy tractor, which often has a front-mounted loading bucket or shovel. Vehicles of this type are often called backhoe loaders. Backhoe parts are the various components that make up the actual backhoe itself. Numerous specialized attachments for backhoes can be installed in place of the digging shovel, which is also called the bucket.

The articulated arm that makes up the main portion of a backhoe is in two parts. The larger section, which connects to the rear of the tractor by means of a pivoting joint known as a kingpost, is called the boom. The joint connecting the boom to the tractor allows it to move in two planes. It can move up and down, which extends and retracts the arm, and pivot from side to side.

Other main backhoe parts are mounted at the end of the boom away from the tractor. This second section of the arm of the backhoe is connected to the boom by a joint similar to a human elbow but which only moves in one plane. This second section is called the dipper or, sometimes, the dipperstick.


A bucket, which is sometimes known as a digger or shovel, is the third of the three main types of backhoe parts. The bucket on a backhoe is mounted in such a way as to dig by pulling in a backward motion towards the tractor. It is attached to the dipper by a single-plane simple joint which allows the bucket to curl up and under the dipper stick as it digs. A bucket may sometimes be outfitted with an attached metal bar, called a thumb. This bar works much like a human thumb when using the bucket to pick up objects.

A wide variety of attachments for backhoes that are used in place of the bucket make up another category of backhoe parts. Grapples, which are a claw-like assembly for gripping objects are one of the most common. Some other common backhoe attachments include tree stumpers, pavement and concrete pulverizers, jackhammers, and root grapples, which are a type of rake-like grapple used to grasp masses of tree roots and pull them from the ground.


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