Backhoes that are stand-alone vehicles can be really expensive and impractical for a lot of projects. A towable backhoe attaches to a trailer hitch and can be pulled right up to the job site.
Models run between $4,000 and $6,000, depending on the additional features and cost of shipping. You’ll need to consider the kind of digging and moving that you’ll want to do with the backhoe.
While all three of the recommendations on our list can dig up to 7 feet deep with the crane (further using the bucket), they have different turn radiuses and bucket widths.
The Central Machinery and Honda models on this list are full towable backhoe models. The Titan model attaches to an existing trailer, giving it as much power as the Honda model but making it a little more affordable.
If you’ve already got a trailer, you may want to look into the Titan model.
If you want to irrigate your lawn and garden, consider buying a top-rated lawn sprinkler heads. Especially in the dry summer months, regular watering is key to keeping the grass growing.
What Is A Towable Backhoe and How Does It Work?
Table of Contents
- 1 What Is A Towable Backhoe and How Does It Work?
- 2 How Much Do Towable Backhoes Cost?
- 3 Comparing the Top 3 Products
- 4 Reviews of Our Top 3 Towable Backhoes
- 5 1. Towable Ride-On Trencher Special by Central Machinery
- 6 2. HOC TE301H Towable Excavator Backhoe by Honda
- 7 3. 7′ ft 3 Point Backhoe with Thumb Excavator Attachments Kubota Deere by Titan
- 8 Towable Backhoe Brands
- 9 Factors to Consider Before Buying a Towable Backhoe
- 10 How to Use a Towable Backhoe
- 11 Setting Up a Towable Backhoe
- 12 Ready to Get Your Towable Backhoe?
Digging a hole with a shovel can be exhausting and time-consuming. If you want to put in a small pool or do frequent landscaping, a towable backhoe will allow you to quickly displace larger amounts of dirt than you could do with a shovel. The process may go three or even four times as fast as it would with two people digging.
A towable backhoe is a small trailer attachment that you can hook up to a car. It has a backhoe on the back of it, which is a chair-boom-bucket construction that can reach down and dig up dirt.
The bucket can dig and deposit dirt, with the boom arm turning with the chair through the operation of levers. It’s generally a much cheaper, smaller, and more efficient version of a full-scale backhoe which would be a vehicle on its own.
A towable backhoe has two wheels instead of four and is attached and detached to a different vehicle.
How Much Do Towable Backhoes Cost?
The Central Machinery model is the cheapest, with the Titan model in the middle and the Honda model at the most expensive end.
You will have to factor in the additional cost that the Central Machinery will run you for shipping, but even with the shipping, the total cost would be a bit cheaper than the other two models.
That makes it both cheaper than the Titan model and cheaper than the Honda model. The Central Machinery is a bit less sturdy and suffers from less of a boom turn radius.
The Honda model gives you more radius and has better construction, with a significantly better engine for digging over long times. Honda is famous for its engines.
The Titan model, priced right in between both of the other ones, is not a full towable backhoe, but actually must be attached to a different trailer. This allows it to have the kind of power that the Honda model has, but cost a little less.
Comparing the Top 3 Products
|Central Machinery Towable Trencher|
|Honda Towable Backhoe|
|Titan Attachments Backhoe|
Reviews of Our Top 3 Towable Backhoes
Of course, since it is significantly cheaper, you might expect that you’ll take a couple of hits in overall construction and performance if you go with this model instead of the other two.
First of all, the boom only travels 60 degrees to the left and the right. The Honda model has twice the amount of boom travel.
Other than that, you’ll find that the specs are about standard for a towable backhoe model. Like the other two models, it has a digging depth of 7 feet. The width is 13 inches, an inch wider than the Honda model. It has a reach of up to 8 feet, the same as the Honda model as well.
The trailer construction features 12-inch DOT (Department of Transportation) certified wheels. They are tough and large enough to travel with your truck over difficult terrain. Shows up to the job ready to go.
The machine features a great 9 horsepower engine with a hydraulic pump large enough to take on even the toughest, packed in dirt. While the reach is only 7 feet, there are scenarios where you can dig 8 feet deep because of the size of the trencher bucket.
The trencher bucket features three sharp teeth that grind into even the toughest dirt. It has a nice orange and black finish with a comfortable, well-padded seat.
The product ships in a box that is a full 10 feet long, and about four and a half feet tall. You’ll need a forklift to be able to properly unload and set up the item. If you want to return it, the manufacturer specifies that all the fuel needs to be drained first.
Honda is famous for building super dependable cars. In this case, they’ve turned those powers onto building a super dependable backhoe. This one will easily run circles around the others in longevity and trustworthiness.
You can expect that the Honda GX270 engine inside it will get 200,000 miles of dirt fairly easily. The trencher itself is a 2-tooth construction, making it a bit sturdier and cleaner than the 3-tooth construction that you’ll see in the Central Machinery model.
The boom travels up to 120 degrees, which yes, is twice the range of the Central Machinery model. There’s a lot less movement required from the truck to position your backhoe into a digging-ready situation with this model.
If you have something that will tow 3,500 pounds, it will handle the Honda model easily. The 12-inch DOT (Department of Transportation) certified tires will get your Honda anywhere that it needs to go.
Make sure that you have a hitch that can handle the 2-inch ball coupler connection. That’s the kind that you’ll need to hook up this backhoe.
The Honda backhoe is about 5 and a half feet tall. It’s 12 feet long, 5 feet and 7 inches wide. The whole model weighs about 1,176 pounds.
If you need an efficient top-dresser that will spread a variety of materials such as peat moss, sand, compost, topdressing mixes, calcined clay, infield mix, wood chips, lime and de-icing materials on your lawn or in your garden. Consider buying a peat moss spreader.
There should be ways to run a Cat 2, but Titan recommends that you contact them for more information. You will need to hook up the backhoe to the hydraulic system on your tractor.
Alternatively, you can also power the Titan using a standard, external PTO pump. There’s a hydraulic thumb included so that you can hook it up to your tractor’s hydraulics.
When you hook it up to the hydraulics on the tractor, you’ll need to run a special hose to bypass the oil system included on the backhoe. You’ll have to score the bypass hose kit seperately.
The Titan weighs 1096 pounds and as a full 16” bucket size. Like the other two models it can dig up to 7 feet deep and has a digging radius of a full 112”.
The bucket can rotate a full 160 degrees because it is attached to a tractor or trailer in a special way. Titan suggests that you have at least 35 HP, and don’t use more than 70 engine HP to power it.
Towable Backhoe Brands
There are three different backhoes on this list that come from three very different brands. Let’s take a quick look at the brand identity behind each of these models to see how that identity might interact with the product.
From brand name to a scoop of dirt, we’ve got three very different towable backhoes.
Honda is known for making cars that never quit running. You can rack up hundreds of thousands of miles on a Honda engine before it quits on you.
The dependability of Honda consumer vehicles is now available in a dirt-shifting machine, the Honda towable backhoe. The Honda backhoe has dependability and power that is unmatched by the other two models.
Of course, you’re also paying a premium to attach the Honda name to your backhoe as well. Not that the price tag isn’t worth it but know that in this case the name “Honda” will cost you a few extra dollars for your towable backhoe.
Titan Attachments on Amazon is sold through Titan distributors. They’re a quality United States manufacturer, committed to providing the highest quality customer service that they can.
If you want to go with a smaller group that truly cares about the success of every single order and every single customer, they are an excellent bet. They have a huge team of salespeople and customer success members who are ready to help out with things.
While Honda and Central Machinery may be huge companies who want to make you happy, but lack the infrastructure to truly do so, Titan can.
While this is listed as being sold by “Greyhound” on Amazon’s website, the model being sold is actually Harbor Freight’s Central Machinery model. The Central Machinery model is powered by a 301cc Predator engine.
Incidentally, “Greyhound” is not the brand of the backhoe itself, and this is the backhoe being sold from Harbor Freight’s website. The Harbor Freight model also uses a 301cc Predator engine.
Harbor Freight sells excellent equipment, and you really can’t go wrong with their towable backhoe as well.
Factors to Consider Before Buying a Towable Backhoe
Category 1 and 2 Tractors
The Titan is ideal for category 1 tractors and might be able to use a category 2 tractor. It has the power of the Honda but is a little bit cheaper because you aren’t paying for the towable construction.
It can hook up to your tractor’s hydraulic system but note that you’ll have to purchase a separate hose kit in order to bypass the oil reserves on the backhoe itself. If your tractor doesn’t have a hydraulic system or if you want to run it externally, you’ll need a standard PTO pump.
If you don’t have a tractor and don’t want to mess with the additional hookups and connections, Central Machinery and Honda models may be ideal. Just make sure that you have something that you’re ready to tow them with.
Considering the Dirt and Job
Consider the job that you’ll need the towable backhoe to be doing. If you don’t expect to use it very much and expect the dirt to be lightly packed and relatively easy to move, don’t overpay for a backhoe.
Simply go for a cheaper model. But, if you expect to get a ton of use out of your towable backhoe, the Honda model on this list should last you for an incredibly long time.
It’s well worth the price if you need a machine that can be used consistently and needs to move significant amounts of dirt at the same time.
Additionally, consider the kind of dirt that you’ll be moving. While Honda has clearly the most power in its engine, the Central Machinery has an extra tooth on the bucket. The extra bucket tooth will help you smooth and sear greater amounts of dirt at the same time.
Consider storage for the backhoe as well. The Honda is nearly 1200 pounds while the Central Machinery model is about 400 pounds lighter. Each model has a specific size, and you’ll want to make sure that you’ve got room to be able to put it somewhere and store it.
How to Use a Towable Backhoe
Towable backhoes need to be properly attached to the hitch before they are moved with a truck. Failure to do so can cause damage to both the backhoe and the vehicle itself, so check the owner’s manual on the towing vehicle to prevent any damage to either piece of equipment.
Make sure the wheel bearings are well greased. You don’t want to put extra strain on the axel or the frame by lacking the proper amount of lubrication to get the towable backhoe moving well.
Additionally, sometimes the seats on a towable backhoe can be somewhat uncomfortable to sit in. It usually isn’t too hard to replace the seat with something a bit more comfortable.
If you’re going to be doing a lot of digging for hours at a time, you should look into replacing the seat with something that offers a bit more support. A tractor seat might be ideal for the occasion.
Setting Up a Towable Backhoe
Ready to Get Your Towable Backhoe?
Seen enough? Try out any of the three brands of towable backhoes that we have here. They all have different warranties and return policies so that if you need to adjust anything about the order you should be able to do so without too much work.
Central Machinery, Honda, and Titan Attachments are three incredible brands that all deliver great products.
If you need a cheaper model, go with Central Machinery. Central Machinery is the cheapest model and is ideal if you don’t expect to do any serious maneuvers while digging.
Both the Honda and Titan models are under $6,000 for the total cost. Need something to attach to your tractor? Titan Attachments might be right. If money is no object and you want a dependable product that will stay with you for years on end, the Honda brand is right.
So, grab that towable backhoe and start moving around dirt far quicker than you could ever do with a shovel.