How to Operate a Backhoe Loader
A backhoe loader sounds like a rather complicated piece of machinery which would require tremendous and long term training to learn to operate. While the technology used in the machine is getting more and more complicated, using it is becoming easier at the very same rate.
While the number of machines being used are increasing the number of skilled operators are yet to keep pace with the new machines that rely more on technology these days. While there aren’t many training schools or certified courses available in India at the moment, the PM Modi’s skill India campaign and efforts by the private players are all set to change that and create new and well-paying job opportunities.Here is our small 101 on how to operate a backhoe loader to give you a brief idea as to how simple if not easy operating a backhoe can really be.
- Read up to familiarize: Read the literature provided by the manufacturer of the machine to get a good idea of the capacity and controls of the machine. One you have read the brochure, get in the cab and do a practical examination to get familiar with the controls and how they are placed and function. While operating the backhoe requires a lot of hand to eye co-ordination, the trick lies in getting a feel for the hydraulics and how they work.
- Get down to it: First off the safety precautions need to be ticked off the checklist and then begins the fun. Get the stabilizers down for stability and then release the boom from its lock. Depending on your backhoe’s controls, extend the stick and open the bucket.
- Put the boom to work: Once you have opened the bucket, lower the bucket to put it to use. Keep in mind that the backhoe is a rather huge machine and so should be used with care so as not to damage things and or people on and around the dig site.
- Let the digging begin: Using the appropriate controls, curl the bucket inward and lower it at an angle to scoop up the soil.
- Lift it up: Once the soil has been scooped, use the controls smoothly in union to retract and raise the boom while keeping the bucket curled. Make it a point that the bucket is not filled beyond capacity. Usually most backhoes provide a 14 feet reach while an extend a hoe provides another 4 feet.
- Dump it: Once filled, use the controls to open the bucket, pull the stick in closer and dump the scooped soil. Make sure it is not done too fast as it can cause the backhoe to tip.
These are just a few basic steps on how to operate a backhoe’s basic function of digging and dumping the scooped up soil. While operating one of these machines is no rocket science, it isn’t a piece of cake either. It requires a lot of practice and persistence to become a skilled operator and utilize these amazing machines to their full potential.