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What Is a Truck Backhoe?

A truck backhoe, often called a loader backhoe, combines a front loader and rear excavator arm, mounted on a truck chassis. This versatile machine excels in digging, lifting, and transporting materials, making it a staple in construction and engineering projects. Intrigued by how this powerhouse operates? Discover the mechanics behind its dual-functionality and its pivotal role in modern construction.
Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari

A truck backhoe, sometimes known as a backhoe truck, is a pickup or other flatbed truck that has a backhoe attachment mounted to it. The purpose of this type of truck is to combine the convenience of a truck with both on-road and off-road capabilities with the function of a backhoe. The size of the truck backhoe can vary significantly based on the needs of the user, and the size will dictate how deep of a hole the backhoe can dig. The tailgate of the truck, if one exists, will need to be removed to allow the backhoe attachment to sit in the proper position.

The interface between the truck bed and the backhoe attachment will need to be strong and stable; the methods by which the truck backhoe will be secured will vary by manufacturer, but in most cases, some sort of structural supports will need to be secured to the truck bed. The truck backhoe attachment will rotate so it can be stored in the truck bed during transportation, as well as positioned off the rear of the truck during digging or other projects. The user will usually sit in a cockpit mounted on the backhoe attachment; the backhoe will not be operated from the cab of the truck. In some cases, the operator may stand on the ground next to the unit and control the boom from there, though this may be a less safe option.


Like other types of backhoes, the truck backhoe will feature a boom arm that is operated with hydraulics. A bucket will be mounted at the end of the boom arm for digging or breaking up material. In many cases, the bucket can be replaced with other useful attachments using a quick-coupling design. The attachments that will replace the bucket will vary according to the user's needs, and these attachments may or may not come with the backhoe unit at purchase.

The truck backhoe will need to be secured in place during use, so some models come with outriggers that will lower into place to secure the truck and the backhoe. These outriggers are also usually operated by hydraulics, and they may feature pads to prevent damage to concrete or other surfaces that are easily damaged. Once the work is done, the outriggers can be raised up and stowed out of the way for transport, just like the rest of the backhoe attachment.

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