1. Thank you for visiting HeavyEquipmentForums.com! Our objective is to provide industry professionals a place to gather to exchange questions, answers and ideas. We welcome you to register using the "Register" icon at the top of the page. We'd appreciate any help you can offer in spreading the word of our new site. The more members that join, the bigger resource for all to enjoy. Thank you!
  2. ALL NEW MEMBERS READ THIS FIRST!! Thank you for joining Heavy Equipment Forums! If you are new to forums we communicate with "Threads", please search our threads to see if your topic may have already been answered and if not then click "Post New Thread" in the appropriate forum. This will allow all of our members to see your question and give you the best chance to be answered. After you've made a number of posts you will graduate to Full Member status where you'll see a few more privileges. Following these guidelines will help make this the best resource for heavy equipment on the net. Thanks for joining us and I hope you enjoy your stay!!

TLB's - Whats the future??

Discussion in 'Tractor/Loader/Backhoes' started by Squizzy246B, May 12, 2007.

  1. Squizzy246B

    Squizzy246B Administrator

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2005
    Messages:
    3,388
    Occupation:
    Digger Driver
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    Video killed the Radio Star...and its said by many that the Hydraulic Excavator killed the Backhoe. We have had a number of discussions on this forum about the topic and whilst its for sure that Excavators have decimated the Backhoe population its hard to deny that the "Jack of All Trades" is sometimes the most practical and economical way of getting the job done. Some jobs you just can't beat the Backhoe.

    Some discussion here:
    https://www.heavyequipmentforums.com/Forum/showthread.php?t=1522

    But anyway, TLB's can get the job done as an excavator but my gripe has been that the are a really average loader....and I learnt on Massey Fergusons Backhoes.

    We have also had some discussion on new machinery being released...."Revolution" Vs "Evolution". It would seem to me that these new backhoes coming on the market (some serious evolution) with 4WS and equal sized tyres might be seriously addressing some of the Backhoes shortcomings. It would be good to hear from somebody operating one of these flash new machines. If a backhoe could level a pad with the precision a loader can then I'd be interested.

    This thread was started more about wether the TLB might be making a comeback not wether an Excavator is better than a Backhoe, however, I'd love to see some sort of comparitive sales analysis of Backhoe sales and Hydraulic excavator sales over a long period...say 10 years. I seem to remember like 20 years ago it was rare to see a building site without a backhoe...these days it seems the opposite.

    Anyway...will the Backhoe make a big comeback???:beatsme
     
  2. Duke

    Duke Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2007
    Messages:
    366
    Location:
    PA
    I think excavator style pilot controls really have helped (the older guys hate 'em, but I think they're nice) make the backhoe more like an excavator.

    I dunno, maybe rubber tracks or equal size tires/4x4//4WS and front locking differentials will make a difference.

    I've noticed that Case has made their front tires bigger on the 580M+ and deere/Terex/cat have bigger front rubber.

    I still think they have a great niche in the "side of the road" market and for contractors like myself who have to road their machines.
     
  3. digger242j

    digger242j Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2003
    Messages:
    6,414
    Occupation:
    Self employed excavator
    Location:
    Southwestern PA
    I've spent probably 75% of my total operating hours on backhoes, but in the last couple of years, my backhoe time probably only adds up to a few dozen hours.

    I don't think the control style makes much of a difference. It's what the machine itself is capable of. There are other factors at play.

    I think the skidsteer/min-ex combo has done a lot to hurt the tried and true TLB. While the bigger ones like the Case 780s and Dynahoes gave way early on to the 120 size excavators, the utility sized backhoes; like the 580s, have lost out more recently to the smaller machines.

    A good sized mini will dig almost as much of a trench as a 580, and a good sized skid will load and carry competitively with one. Smaller bucketfuls, certainly, but the ability to zip in and out of tight spaces and turn 360 degrees in their own length makes them so much more agile. That agility is worth a lot.

    That same agility is what makes the mini-ex more attrcative in many applications. It'll fit in tighter spaces, and can dump a bucketful anywhere you please. One of the biggest headaches with a TLB, once you get away from trenching a nice straight line in a wide open area, is figuring out where to put the "TL" part so that you can use the "B" part to dig where you want, and dump where you want. Put rubber tracks on that excavator, and you've also eliminated the TLB's advantage in being friendlier to pavement.

    Sure, if you want to have only one machine, and run up and down the road with it, the TLB is the way to go.

    I think it's a case of the backhoe getting squeezed out from both ends. On the bigger jobs, there's almost certainly going to be a full-sized excavator, and if it has a 24" bucket available, it can do most of the trenching that a TLB used to do. On the smaller jobs, the little machines can get in and out of more places more easily than backhoes can, so they're a more attractive option.

    I don't think TLBs will ever go away altogether, but I think their day as the machine of choice for many applications has passed...
     
  4. stumpjumper83

    stumpjumper83 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2007
    Messages:
    1,961
    Occupation:
    Movin dirt
    Location:
    Port Allegany, pa
    I dunno about the age of the tlb having passed, I'd rather say that the machine is adapting. Yes skid steers and minis have cut into the market once dominated by the tlb, but diff lock and 4x4 have given it areas where you either used a track loader hoe or and excavator. JCB, kubota, deere, Almand bros, and maybe Ingersol are getting into the combact tlb market. We use 310sg deere's for digging utility trench and for closing up pipe trenches w/ how packs. I think that they are a multipurpose machine that will continue to be around for awile. Look at the market, more and more manufactures are getting into the market rather than getting out of the market.
     
  5. Squizzy246B

    Squizzy246B Administrator

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2005
    Messages:
    3,388
    Occupation:
    Digger Driver
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    In my mind at least, the Backhoe is somewhat restricted by its origins...by this I mean it appears if the design is skewed towards trying to make a better excavator out of a tractor platform...with the loader a handy tack on bit. Trying to make the proverbial silk purse out of a sows ear. Perhaps, like some European models, the TLB might be better based on an articulated loader design with the hoe added on???:confused: if that makes any sense. I assume overall length might then be a problem...and the TLB achilles heal is weight distribution/balance. Never mind, just think out a loud.
     
  6. Duke

    Duke Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2007
    Messages:
    366
    Location:
    PA
    I agree with you. I'd like to see an articulated or 4-W/S B/H for my tight jobsites. Some smaller ones were available, they were made by New Holland in the 80's, but they didn't hang on long enough.....almost like they were before their time.
    The overall length would grow on an articulating machine, but should be overcome by manueverability.

    I think 4 wheel steer would be better since you could retain a short machine length but increase manueverability by a decent margin.
     
  7. Cat420

    Cat420 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Messages:
    527
    Occupation:
    Construction, small engine and machine shop work
    Location:
    Pine Bush Ny
  8. Dickie

    Dickie Active Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2006
    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Surrey, BC
    For what it's worth, Hydrema still make articulated TLBs, even some pretty big ones. http://www.hydrema.com/

    I certainly believe that the age of the backhoe loader being the "go-to" of choice is over, but there will always be the niche. They are still the darlings of city works departments in this neck of the woods.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2007
  9. GOT HAZ?

    GOT HAZ? Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Waterville, NY
    Hey I think I remember those machines, they were called the General or something like that.

    Edit: a quick search turned up this pic.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. surfer-joe

    surfer-joe Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2007
    Messages:
    1,403
    Location:
    Arizona
    I agree with Digger..........
     
  11. fhdesign

    fhdesign Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2007
    Messages:
    54
    Location:
    Norwalk, CT
    I think the future is decent, but they will never be as popular as they once were, just too many other good options for contractors to choose from.
    However I also thought the small dozer would be around forever and I was wrong about that.
     
  12. capt_met

    capt_met Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2005
    Messages:
    131
    Location:
    Northeast Tenn.
    i run a 4 wheel steer, 4 wheel drive backhoe. granted it is smaller at only around 47HP but i love it. for speed moving material and loading in a dump it will definitly give a skid steer a run for the money. Bobcat has stopped selling these backhoes as well as ingersoll from what i understand. interestingly enough JCB is now building some that seem like the same machine. the new JCB models also have more HP and capabilities. i am looking forward to seeing one at the dealer when they get them in. i am able to run skid steer attachments off the front of mine and for grading a pad i have a box blade from a tractor with a skid steer adapter. box blades work fine for grading. all in all i have very little use for skid steers and have a hard time justifying the expense. i definitly don't think backhoes are a thing of the past as much as a victim of good marketing by companies like bobcat selling their "bobcat system". i may take a longer than 2 operators in a skid steer and mini ex but i also have less payments and don't have to worry about another operator.
    good luck on your shopping
     
  13. RonG

    RonG Charter Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    Messages:
    1,833
    Occupation:
    heavy equipment operator
    Location:
    Meriden ct
    Digger,you have such a way with words.:D
    I said my piece in the link squizzy posted but basically if I could have only one machine it would be a TLB.If I could have several machines I would still want one as part of my fleet.
    I also know as Digger knows why people badmouth them.
    A seasoned operator will give credit where credit is due.
    A TLB will be my machine of choice even today on some jobs.I used finish grading driveways as an example in my other post because you can carry the process to the driveway as well as grade and remove the excess with very little handwork.Having rubber tires allows you to back out in the street on the pavement,something a dozer cannot do.
    The secret to good results with a loader or backhoe is in having equal tire pressure all around so the bucket contacts the ground squarely from side to side.
    There is no other single machine with one operator on the payroll that can produce so much with the versatility of a TLB.Ron G:)
     
  14. Duke

    Duke Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2007
    Messages:
    366
    Location:
    PA
    The enclosed cab IR BL570 would be a little small but otherwise perfect for me on most of my jobs. http://www.machinerytrader.com/list...5811681&guid=F4DD7737F1764C87A1B0D8671A926F16

    I would buy this in a hearbeat, but since they stopped making them, I get a little apprehensive about parts, service, resale value.
     
  15. Fieldman12

    Fieldman12 Active Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2007
    Messages:
    36
    Location:
    New Vienna, Ohio
    I think a backhoe will be around for a good while but may look a little different through time like already mentioned being articulated. A backhoe is just nice because it is versatile on different surfaces, can go down the road if needed, and can dig and load. I still see allot of them around. A matter of fact I think they are starting to make somewhat of a comeback. The skid steer and trackhoe has really affected there market but the issue with these machines is unless you have a big truck and trailer you have to make several trips. A backhoe is just not good digging with the front bucket like a skidsteer. More machines require more maintenance but at the same time one machine equals more hours of use.
     
  16. Duke

    Duke Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2007
    Messages:
    366
    Location:
    PA
    The other thing with a skid steer is it's so easy to see the bucket and that makes it real easy to do FEL work with it. In a backhoe, you're much farther away.

    I always wondered what a B/H would be like with rubber tracks on it? They've taken the skid steer and done a real nice job converting them into a rubber track machine, so why not try a backhoe?
     
  17. KSSS

    KSSS Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Messages:
    3,450
    Occupation:
    excavation
    Location:
    Idaho
    CASE had a rubber tracked BH at the last ConExpo. I don't know if the engineering guys had some time to kill or it is a serious project but the machine is a working prototype.
     
  18. JDOFMEMI

    JDOFMEMI Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2007
    Messages:
    3,074
    Location:
    SoCal
    The backhoe has some more tricks up its sleeve. One of the main advantages of an excavator is the 360* swing, and the backhoe is limited to 180*. Case is working on a design to make a TLB a 360* swing machine by keping the front loader and in the place of the normal cab, placing a rotating house similar to a mini ex. This would be a huge leap, but may result in an even more productive machine.
    I do think that I would prefer to have a skid steer and a mini ex instead of a TLB to do genereal site work. The 2 are about the same price as a TLB, and you can use either one, or with an extra operator, use both. I agree with Ron that for a one man show, a TLB is the best way still.
     
  19. Duke

    Duke Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2007
    Messages:
    366
    Location:
    PA
    Or if you have to road your equipment.
     
  20. mike69440

    mike69440 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    65
    Occupation:
    Engineer
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    MultiJob MXJ

    Please see:


    http://haulotte-multijob.com/Multijob/index.htm

    Case had better check with the Patent Office.

    However being a French made machine, with the dollar to Euro ratio being the way it is, I can't see this machine being affordable in the USA, unless the French have a factory in China or India.

    Unless they build this in the USA, Quality would be a nightmare!