How to Buy a Used Backhoe
If you are considering a purchase of a used backhoe, you better be on your toes and understand what items you need to look at prior to the purchase. Certain parts are going to be expensive enough that might it could make the purchase unreasonable based upon the cost to replace and repair.
The following video is an overview of what you should check on a used backhoe. If a need arises, contact ConEquip for your Aftermarket New, Used, or Rebuilt Backhoe parts.
Call one of our backhoe parts specialists today
So you're thinking about buying a used backhoe?
My name's Ben Krentz co-owner of ConEquip Parts and I'm here to help you out about looking at a used backhoe.
A couple pointers and some things that you might want to look for.
We'll start up front here first thing there's a lot of hydraulic cylinders on these machines and with hydraulic cylinders there's a
couple things you want to look for just solely on that
I'll kind of go through these pretty quick some might be basic to some some others might say hey you know what thanks for that and that's
what we're going for.
So, hydraulic cylinders first off want to make sure that the seals aren't leaking all over the place
So you'll be able to visually see it just a bunch of hydraulic fluid coming out underneath the cylinders.
We got some other cylinders back here. These would be the lift cylinders.
So these cylinders up here would be the bucket tilt cylinders.
You want to see if there's a lot of play in the pins and bushings inside the hydraulic cylinders. Kind of a simple way to do it and see how
loose she is here you ready to give it a little little... she's got some planer. It's all right. It's a used machine you chose to pay
thousands of dollars less versus a new one. That's a consideration.
Pins and Bushings
We got them available... they're gonna' range between a hundred some of the big excavators for you a couple hundred dollars.
Next thing up front here double-check the loader arms okay you got to really look at these. These things crack. A lot of stress gets put into
these things so please be vigilant in looking them over. They have some factory weld that seems together those are okay. But typically up by
the pins and the connection here there'll be some fractures you can see in it. Likewise up in this area and down where the bucket connects as well.
Next thing on the front end here... you have to decide what type of material and conditions am I going to be using this machine for.
"do I need a two-wheel-drive do I need a four-wheel drive", well up front here this particular JCB backhoe is a four-wheel drive unit. It can
go through snow like we have here in Buffalo. We get a couple feet or so a year. It could go through some mud as long as the tire tread is good.
Which is another thing to look for.
With four-wheel drive there's some components up front because it has a front axle assembly. So let's take a look at that again shall we?
You got to get down and dirty. Oh look at that's a beauty. Yep that's a solid front axle assembly. Center differential doesn't look like
it's leaking too much. I'm also looking at the swing or the swivels. The swivels are good and there's no cracks in the swivels.
Tie rod ends and steering cylinders look good. You got to check that over. That stuff can get expensive. So it depends on what you're looking for.
If you got a landscape yard you're just gonna use the backhoe for loading mulch and a couple odds and ends two wheel drive might be okay for you.
That'll save you a few thousand dollars in initial cost up front but also thousands of dollars down the road when you have to buy a rebuilt front
axle assembly. So, four-wheel drive versus two-wheel drive.
The next thing too would be the bucket up in front. Some machines come like this one has a four in one bucket combination bucket whatever you
want to call it. You might not need it for your application but these buckets are expensive. They also have hydraulic cylinders on them as well.
Again maybe at a landscape yard you need a bigger bucket a one-yard bucket one-and-a-half yard buckets you can load customers efficiently and
quick, that might be an option for you. Because a bucket alone probably be about twelve hundred bucks (good used).
If we move on back center part of the cab we actually have the cab. Depending on where you're from. In Buffalo New York I would want a cab that
has glass and a thing called a heater. Yes we need that very very important for this area up in the Northeast they do have ones that have just
We have to hold on for UPS here yeah hey buddy ain't nothing wrong with UPS okay they do a lot of shipping for us.
If you're looking at one with the cab on it we can get cab glass fairly inexpensive typically under two three hundred bucks apiece.
The other thing to look for on a cab itself is the floor of the cab and a button to even open the door. If you look on the floor of the cab (edit)
it could be completely rusted out.
You know you think about it up here in the Northeast again you guys that are running heavy boots that got a lot of salt in them from the
wintertime, it's just gonna rust the floor out. Okay, out on the ocean side you got a lot of salt out there too. It just happens. So, you got to
replace a cab, now you're talking four or five six grand sometimes to get a cab replacement, let alone the labor to do so.
You got hydraulic tanks one side typically the diesels on the other side.
A side note when you're doing it make sure your operators know how to read hydraulic versus diesel you don't want to switch them bad things happen.
They get rusted on the inside. So, it's kind of hard to tell. Just on the outside you can't open the cap and look in and say yeah it looks good...
there's fluid there.
Okay, just visually look at it on the outside maybe tap it maybe a little bit of tappy tap sounds pretty solid. This one's good to go.
Moving on to the rear part of the machine. We kind of mentioned the tire tread. Double check on that make sure it's pretty decent for what
you're going to be doing.
We've got a rear axle assembly.
Again, checking the final drive hub area... making sure there's no fluid leaking out.
The other part of the rear axle assemblies you got to get up underneath there, and you got to look under there at the differential section, okay?
You're like, "how do you do that?". Let me show you. You just do one of these... "oh that looks good. I like it". Get all up underneath there
okay? All up under there, checking those seals, looking at the axles on the inside, we're checking the swivel joints. No cracks. That looks good.
After you're done doing that, I don't care if it's humiliating, you know what's humiliating is when you've got to call us for a rear axle
assembly and you just said "you know what I should have done what your video said. I didn't get all up underneath there".
Again double check the fluid leaking. Important when it comes to the swing frame. We do get a lot of calls for swing frames and well, again,
a lot of stress and a lot of pressure going on back here. Got to make sure it's not cracked. Make sure, it's kind of hard to tell, ah, when
the machine's just stationary that you want to check the play in these pins up here.
So the way to do it is, you've got to have somebody run the machine and just move the whole part back and forth slightly and you'll be
able to see the play in the pins back here.
We're checking the pins and bushings all through here like we said in the front loader part we got to check this to make sure there's no
cracks in the dip or in the the dipper part and or in the boom cylinder or boom section.
Now make sure to boom section is good. No cracks. Make sure the dippers in good shape. No cracks on that.
Again a lot of the trickier points are gonna be where the pins are... where all the stress is at. Make sure there ain't no cracks.
The other thing, especially on these, making sure that where the pins go through that it's all circular and it's not oblong and so forth like an
egg. That'd be a real bad shape.
The other thing you got to be thinking about is what type of hoe do you need. How deep a dig depth do you have to go? This particular model has an
extendahoe option which allows it to go down about another two to four feet. So, you have to decide on that.
It is another expense. It's another hydraulic cylinder inside. it's some more moving components that could go wrong. But, hey you do that, or you
got to rent an excavator all those times you need to dig a little bit more.
So, it's an option you got to think about is "extendahoe or not to extendahoe." I think that came out right.
If you're gonna be on the streets these steel ones are going to ruin the street. It's alright you get a fine for it you just pay it and move on.
Or, you buy some street pads that we can sell. We have occasionally aftermarket ones that are available. Sometimes you just got to buy it right
from the OEM dealer, but call us first of course. We'll certainly beat the dealer's price and get it shipped right to your door.
The next option would be... how many buckets and what sizes buckets are coming with this backhoe I might buy. Are you gonna be digging ditches
out with this? Maybe, maybe not. You should buy a ditching bucket or see if it comes with it. Maybe you're just doing some backyard drainage.
You want a 12 inch - 14 inch bucket. So, a lot of things come into play.
Anytime you see pins bushings you just got to wiggle it around a little bit. It's got a little play in there. Feel that? little play. It's a used
backhoe. it's the things that you look for in a used backhoe. It's gonna happen.
Pins and bushings aren't too too bad, but overall it just depends on how much money you want to spend versus how much money you want to put into it.
Are you mechanically inclined enough to change out pins and bushings? Or is this all stuff that's just gonna get bought and then sent to a dealer?
The very first thing that you should do, however, if I can point this out. As soon as you get to somebody's yard that you're gonna be buying the
machine at, the first thing you should do.
One, check the oil
Two, check the radiator fluid.
If things are good there, check the hydraulic tank right on the side we talked about that earlier. If all the fluids are good, start the machine.
You got to start the machine. You want it to run for at least 45 minutes... an hour. Thae heat has to get through a complete cycle a couple of
times for the engine. The diesel engines got to warm up.
They take a while. It's not like a gas car where it takes 15 minutes. 45 here in Buffalo when it's snowing, but, you want to get that engine running.
It's got to get running. it's got to get hot. Because when it gets hot then the seals start expanding and then it exposes some leaks that you
Obviously, moving the machine through all the gears of the transmission... all the reverse gears in the transmission. Has to all get run.
And I mean, hey, if you're gonna buy it you might as well use and abuse it in their yard before you start forking out the
So, we're here to help out.
Anything else you need give us a call.
Used, rebuilt, and aftermarket parts ready for you when you buy your used backhoe.
I'm Ben Krentz, co-owner of ConEquip Parts.
Until next time.