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The Ultimate Backhoe Size and Spec Guide
10 minute read
Kevin Forestell headshot
Kevin Forestell
August 30, 2022

The Ultimate Backhoe Loader Spec Guide

Providing the option to excavate as well as move materials around the job site, backhoe loaders are incredibly versatile pieces of equipment that can be useful on any landscaping or construction project. But with backhoes being manufactured by many brands and in multiple sizes with different specifications, it isn't always easy to pick which backhoe will work best on the type of project you're working on. That's why we're here to help.

In this blog, we will go over the following:

We hope this blog provides you with enough information to make an informed decision on your next backhoe rental or purchase. Skip ahead to the backhoe brands and their specs:

OEMs and Their Backhoe Specs

The primary backhoe loader manufacturers in North America are CASE, JCB, Caterpillar, John Deere, VF Venieri, Mecalac, New Holland, and Kubota. As you're probably familiar with each of these brands already, we won't go into much detail about each one. However, we have gone through the work of consolidating all of the specs we mentioned above into an easy-to-read list below. 

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CASE has 5 backhoes loaders in its product portfolio: the 580N EP, 580N, 580 Super N, 580 Super N WT, and the 590 Super N. The CASE 560 N EP is the smallest backhoe they have with the 590 Super N being the largest. See the full table of CASE backhoe loader specs below.

CASE Backhoe Specs

ModelNet HPOperating Weight (lbs)Backhoe Dig DepthBackhoe Bucket Force (lbf)Loader Lift Capacity (lbs)Loader Breakout Force (lbf)Loader Hinge Point
580N EP7415,81014 feet, 11 inches11,3176,5039,60711 feet, 3 inches
580N9017,75114 feet, 8 inches11,5176,80810,62211 feet, 3 inches
580 Super N9719,06714 feet, 4 inches14,4527,04410,94711 feet, 3 inches
580 Super N WT11020,07714 feet, 5 inches15,7008,42510,87311 feet, 6 inches
590 Super N11020,53215 feet, 5 inches15,8538,20212,77611 feet, 6 inches

You can find all their model details on the CASE site if you'd like to read more about their backhoes.

CASE 580 Super N Backhoe Loader
CASE 580 Super N Backhoe Loader


JCB has the widest variety of options and choices out of all backhoe loader OEMs with 8 models to choose from. These include the 1CXT, 3CX Compact, 3CX, 3CX-14, 3CX-14 Super, 3CX-15 Super, 4CX-14 Super, and 4CX-15 Super. What makes JCB unique is the 1CXT model as it specifically exists to serve the small-scale, low environmental impact market with its low operating weight and size. Only Kubota and VF Venieri have models that serve this demographic. See the full JCB backhoe loader specs here.

JCB Backhoe Specs

ModelNet HPOperating Weight (lbs)Backhoe Dig DepthBackhoe Bucket Force (lbf)Loader Lift Capacity (lbs)Loader Breakout Force (lbf)Loader Hinge Point
1CXT499,57210 feet, 1 inch5,2911,4665,1809 feet, 5 inches
3CX Compact7413,51414 feet, 2 inches7,363NA8,28510 feet, 6 inches
3CX7417,19618 feet, 6 inches13,7307,70513,60011 feet, 4 inches
3CX-147416,19118 feet, 6 inches13,7307,67013,60311 feet, 4 inches
3CX-14 SUPER10917,10120 feet, 1 inch13,73010,22513,60311 feet, 4 inches
3CX-15 SUPER10918,45920 feet, 1 inch13,73010,22513,60311 feet, 4 inches
4CX-14 SUPER10917,65918 feet, 6 inches13,73010,22513,72811 feet, 4 inches
4CX-15 SUPER10919,01720 feet, 1 inch13,73010,22513,72811 feet, 4 inches

To take a look at the rest of their backhoe specs, visit the JCB backhoe brochure page.


With 7 models of backhoe loaders, Caterpillar really focuses on the heavy-duty, high-power backhoe market. Their models include the CAT 415, 416, 420, 420XE, 430, 440, and 450 which range from 70 hp and operating weights of 16,279 lbs, all the way up to 131 hp and operating weights of 24,039 lbs. This level of strength and power is only matched by John Deere in the market, which we will get to later. See the full range of Caterpillar backhoe specs here:

Caterpillar Backhoe Specs

ModelNet HPOperating Weight (lbs)Backhoe Dig DepthBackhoe Bucket Force (lbf)Loader Lift Capacity (lbs)Loader Breakout Force (lbf)Loader Hinge Point
4157016,27914 feet12,2076,73012,20711 feet, 5 inches
4168616,53214 feet12,2076,73012,20711 feet, 5 inches
4209217,27114 feet11,2167,23011,21611 feet, 5 inches
420 XE9217,27114 feet11,2167,23011,21611 feet, 5 inches
43010718,05115 feet, 2 inches11,2167,23011,21611 feet, 5 inches
44010421,54415 feet, 6 inches13,5608,78213,56011 feet, 11 inches
45013124,03917 feet13,5608,88613,56012 feet

If you'd like to compare the rest of their backhoe specs, visit the Caterpillar backhoe product page.

John Deere

One of the most popular brands in the construction, landscaping, and agriculture industries, John Deere is another backhoe loader OEM that manufactures products across the entire size spectrum. Their smallest model, the 310L EP, has an operating weight of 13,822 lbs and 69 horsepower while their largest model, the 710L, has an operating weight of 25,588, the largest in the market, and 148 horsepower. The other models, the 310L, 310SL, 310SL HL, 315SL, and 410L are all somewhere in between.

John Deere Backhoe Specs

ModelNet HPOperating Weight (lbs)Backhoe Dig DepthBackhoe Bucket Force (lbf)Loader Lift Capacity (lbs)Loader Breakout Force (lbf)Loader Hinge Point
310L10014,66914 feet, 1 inch10,8443,7729,36111 feet, 5 inches
310L EP6913,88213 feet, 8 inches10,8443,8299,41011 feet, 6 inches
310SL10315,87214 feet, 3 inches13,3647,69811,05211 feet, 5 inches
310SL HL11316,57115 feet, 1 inch15,7237,55211,11611 feet, 4 inches
315SL10317,55413 feet, 5 inches12,3617,61911,06011 feet, 4 inches
410SL11617,78615 feet, 11 inches15,723 to 17,3507,21110,64511 feet, 4 inches
710L14825,58817 feet, 3 inches17,622 to 18,9599,86616,53912 feet, 3 inches

Feel free to review John Deere's backhoe loader models and their full list of specs.

John Deere 410L Backhoe Loader
John Deere 410L Backhoe Loader

VF Venieri

With four models in their backhoe portfolio, VF models are made for power. Only one of their models, the VF 1.33B is under 100 horsepower, 52 to be exact, and has an operating weight of 8,818 lbs. Their other backhoes, the VF 8.23F, the VF 10.23D, and the VF 10.33C are all 106 horsepower and have operating weights of over 18,000 lbs.

What makes the VF Venieri backhoes unique is the telescopic excavator arm that comes with the larger models. This allows them to have more dig depth that ranges from just over 15 feet to around 19 feet. See the exact specs below.

VF Venieri Backhoe Specs

ModelNet HPOperating Weight (lbs)Backhoe Dig DepthBackhoe Bucket Force (lbf)Loader Lift Capacity (lbs)Loader Breakout Force (lbf)Loader Hinge Point
VF 1.33B528,81810 feet, 7 inches5,7321,6535,6648 feet, 3 inches
VF 8,23F10618,71715 feet, 1 inch to      17 feet, 8 inches10,0539,93915,21210 feet, 6 inches
VF 10.23D10621,87015 feet, 1 inch to      19 feet, 8 inches13,44812,78723,81011 feet, 6 inches
VF 10.33C10620,72315 feet, 1 inch to      19 feet12,12512,78720,06211 feet, 6 inches

To compare all of VF Venieri's backhoe loader specs, visit their product website.


Mecalac backhoe loaders are another great option if looking for medium to large-sized models. They have 5 backhoes that they manufacture: the TLB840R, TLB870, TLB880, TLB890, and TLB990, in order of size. All models range between 74 to 100 HP, dig depths of 17 feet and 10 inches to 18 feet and 10 inches, and operating weights between 16,000 and 19,500.

Mecalac Backhoe Specs

ModelNet HPOperating Weight (lbs)Backhoe Dig DepthBackhoe Bucket Force (lbf)Loader Lift Capacity (lbs)Loader Breakout Force (lbf)Loader Hinge Point
TLB840R7416,13817 feet, 10 inches12,1398,2879,44211 feet, 2 inches
TLB8707416,96418 feet, 10 inches15,4448,2879,44211 feet, 6 inches
TLB88010017,76918 feet, 10 inches15,5128,15710,34111 feet, 6 inches
TLB89010019,34518 feet, 8 inches15,2428,74412,45411 feet, 10 inches
TLB99010019,32318 feet, 6 inches15,2428,74412,45412 feet

You can review all Mecalac backhoe loader specs on their website.

New Holland

Known more for their work in the agriculture and farming industry, New Holland also manufactures backhoe loaders that can get the job done. They have four models: the B95C, B95C TC, B95C LR, and B110C. For simplicity's sake, the number in the model name refers to the horsepower of that machine. As such, New Holland's backhoes are on the larger size with operating weights between 17,500 lbs to 18,525 lbs.

New Holland Backhoe Specs

ModelNet HPOperating Weight (lbs)Backhoe Dig DepthBackhoe Bucket Force (lbf)Loader Lift Capacity (lbs)Loader Breakout Force (lbf)Loader Hinge Point
B95C9517,56014 feet, 6 inches12,9697,99612,00411 feet, 5 inches
B95C TC9517,73014 feet, 6 inches12,9337,60614,71111 feet, 4 inches
B95C LR9518,52515 feet, 6 inches12,9697,99612,00411 feet, 5 inches
B110C10818,52515 feet, 6 inches12,9697,88314,25311 feet, 5 inches

To see the rest of their specifications and features, check out New Holland's backhoe loaders for yourself.


While Kubota also manufactures backhoe loaders, they essentially focus all their energy on cornering small-scale projects. Their backhoes, the B26TLB, L47TLB, and M62TLB are all between 24 horsepower and 62 horsepower and with operating weights between 4,000 lbs and 9,000 lbs. It is clear that their backhoe loaders don't exist to compete with the large ones manufactured by their competitors, but rather the small-sized, low environmental impact options.

Kubota Backhoe Specs

ModelNet HPOperating Weight (lbs)Backhoe Dig DepthBackhoe Bucket Force (lbf)Loader Lift Capacity (lbs)Loader Breakout Force (lbf)Loader Hinge Point
B26TLB24.34,0018 feet, 3 inches4,2011,3012,3437 feet, 10 inches
L47TLB47.17,20510 feet, 1 inch5,8252,8484,5319 feet, 6 inches
M62TLB638,92514 feet, 2 inches6,5723,9605,99210 feet, 6 inches

You can compare the full spec list of all Kubota backhoe loaders on their website.

What Jobs Backhoes Are Good For

Backhoes are essentially a combination of a bulldozer and a mini excavator. Great for medium-sized jobs, backhoes can push, level, grade, and move materials with the loader bucket on the front and dig softer materials to an average depth of 15 feet with the excavator on the back.

Although they are a combination of two common pieces of construction equipment, backhoes are not ideal for small or large jobs. On the small side, backhoe loaders are often considered to be too heavy to work in residential areas where a mini excavator rental or skid steer with a bucket attachment would work better.

Read our in-depth mini excavator spec guide.

On the larger job side, backhoes don't have the power and lifting capacity to compete with equipment like bulldozers or excavators. Backhoes really are designed for that sweet spot right in the middle. So if your project requires more heavy-duty digging or moving, it's probably better to consider owning or renting a bulldozer or excavator.

Fortunately, there are many jobs in construction and landscaping that would be considered medium-sized jobs. This could include road building, landscaping projects like pool building or tree planting, load lifting, farming, and even snow removal. You'll just want to ensure that whatever project you're working on will provide enough open space for the backhoe loader to maneuver comfortably and safely.

Why the Size of Your Backhoe Matters

Ideally, you know the size and scope of your project before renting equipment. After all, that's why you know you might be considering a backhoe versus other options like skid steers, compact track loaders, mini-excavators, large excavators, or a bulldozer. Knowing information like dig depth requirements, the backhoe lifting capacity, and what kind of material you will be moving or digging will only help with figuring out what machine size you need.

Backhoe sizes and their models are based on a few key things like horsepower, dig depth, operating weight, and more. The higher the operating weight, the more powerful the horsepower and lift capacity, and the deeper the dig depth. And vice versa, the lower the operating weight, the lower the horsepower and lift capacity, and the shallower the dig depth.

The weight of the machine also matters. Not only for the operator who has to move around the backhoe loader but for the ground underneath the machine. Equipment like backhoes can have a real impact on the ground and just be too heavy for some landscapes and environments. Being aware of these conditions will help you pick the right size of backhoe if dig depth and lift capacity are not the main requirements for machinery.

On the other hand, if you underestimate the materials you're looking to move or the depth you're trying to dig, having a backhoe that is too small for the job could have major implications. Not only will it be frustrating that you didn't have the right equipment on the job, but pushing equipment beyond its specifications can damage the machine and put the operator at risk. This can lead to increased chances of injury, unnecessary maintenance and repair costs, and project delays. That's why when looking at your backhoe options, it's important to be clear about what specs matter most to you.

What Backhoe Specs Matter Most

As mentioned above, the backhoe specs that matter the most could change from project to project. Typically, the questions you want to ask yourself are: how deep do you need to dig, how big of a bucket you will need, and whether or not you need to have less impact on the environment. Asking these questions will help you figure out the excavator digging requirements, the breakout force needed, the required lifting capacity of the bucket, both in weight and space in cubic feet, power, and operating weight.

For example, if you need to dig between 7 to 10 feet, you probably don't need to have an incredibly big backhoe. However, if you're looking to dig to depths of 12 to 16 feet, you're going to need a size upgrade. The same would go for the movement and lifting of materials. If you're only moving light materials like dirt and sand, a smaller backhoe is probably all that is required. If you're planning on moving debris or heavier materials like stone and gravel, you probably need a machine with more lifting capacity.

Lastly, the operating weight of the machine. Working on environments like individual property, cemeteries, and golf courses requires machines that leave less of an impact or damage on the landscape. On projects like these, you will want to work with equipment that is as light as possible.

In understanding what backhoe specifications matter the most, we've created charts and tables for every backhoe OEM with each of the above listed for your benefit. We hope this helps in visualizing and simplifying the process of what backhoe loader you will need for your next project.

Renting a Backhoe

Whether you've discovered that a skid steer, mini excavator, large excavator, or bulldozer might be a better option for your next project, or you've determined that a backhoe rental is exactly what you need, we hope this spec guide has been useful for your equipment search.

At DOZR, our focus is helping contractors get the right equipment at the right time. If you want to rent construction or landscaping equipment, head to the DOZR Marketplace for your next rental.

Find Your Next Equipment Rental on DOZR
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Kevin Forestell headshot
Kevin Forestell
Kevin Forestell is CEO of DOZR and one of the co-founders. Kevin first got started as an entrepreneur when he founded Forestell Landscaping right after graduating from University. His love and passion for the industry and desire to help solve an equipment problem that contractors faced every day is what brought the founding team to start DOZR. Kevin is proud of the level of efficiency brought to the industry through DOZR and hopes that DOZR will help change the standard way equipment is rented.
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