Why is the backhoe loader, which works so well, unpopular in China?

Before figuring this out, let me show you something about the backhoe loader.

What is backhoe loader?

Backhoe loader is a multi-purpose, high-efficiency small construction machinery composed of a tractor, an excavator and a loader.


Backhoe loader commonly known as “busy at both ends”

The major foreign manufacturers of backhoe loaders include Case, JCB, Caterpillar, John Deere, Terex and Komatsu. There are more than 10 manufacturers of backhoe loaders in China, mainly Xuzhou Construction Machinery Group, Liuzhou Construction Machinery Group, Xiamen Construction Machinery Group, Linyi Construction Machinery Group, etc.

At present, JCB is the number one machinery equipment manufacturer in UK, Europe, India, and Russia and it is one of the top three machinery equipment manufacturers in the world. A total of 22 factories have been built on four continents including the United Kingdom, Germany, the United States, China, Brazil, and India to develop, design, produce and sell more than 300 models of construction machinery, agricultural machinery, power systems, garden equipment, sanitary equipment, national defense equipment and other series of products. There are more than 10,000 employees worldwide, and the marketing and service network covers the world, with more than 750 dealers and more than 2,000 sales and service outlets in more than 150 countries.

So far, JCB China’s main products include crawler hydraulic excavator series such as JS85, JS130, JS205, JC210, JS230, JS305, and JS370, backhoe loader series such as 3CX, 3DX, and 4CX, telescopic forklift truck series such as 531-70, 530-70, 541-70, 530-70, 541- 70, 535-95, 540-170, and 540-200, skid steer loader series like 155, and 300, and compact wheel loader like 403. With the increasing demand for green equipment globally, JCB China has also introduced the world’s leading pure electric mini excavator, which listed in China in 2020.

As a leader in China’s filter industry, FILTER-MAX has been following the footsteps of JCB, producing a full range of JCB filters, such as JCB oil filters, JCB fuel filters, JCB air filters, JCB hydraulic filters and so on. There are currently more than 500 JCB filter models to meet the filter replacement needs of JCB 3CX backhoe loader, JS series excavators, and etc. Please log in to www.filter-max.com for more details.

After introducing the main manufacturers, let’s take a look at what tasks can be done by the backhoe loader? I will introduce you step by step.



“busy at both ends” (backhoe loader) doing crushing construction

The backhoe loader equipped with broken hammer attachments becomes incarnation of the “road destruction king”, which is like countless strong men holding giant hammers, hit the ground mercilessly. Whether it’s asphalt pavement or hard concrete, it’s all easy to handle by the backhoe loader.

Ditching and digging

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“busy at both ends” (backhoe loader) using an excavator bucket to ditch

Ditching and digging is a piece of cake for the backhoe loader. After all, the name of backhoe loader is not called for nothing. But compared to the excavator, the construction efficiency and stability of the backhoe loader are slightly worse.

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“busy at both ends” (backhoe loader) using an excavator bucket to ditch

Hoisting operation


“busy at both ends” (backhoe loader)doing hoisting construction

In some municipal rescue operations, in the face of damaged water, electricity and gas pipelines, hoisting operations are required, at that moment, the backhoe loader becomes temporary “cranes”, and there is no problem for the backhoe loader in dealing with lighter materials.

Loading and backfilling


During construction, the operator only needs to turn the seat in the cab to complete the transition from excavator to loader.

To sum up, the backhoe loader is a multi-functional compact equipment. Its main function is to excavate and load. Quick-change devices can also be installed. By replacing different attachments, it can achieve crushing, drilling, snow removal and cleaning in addition to excavation and loading. With different functions, it provides comprehensive solutions for customers in municipal emergency rescue, urban pipelines, landscaping, highways and other industries.


“busy at both ends” (backhoe loader) doing loading and backfilling


“busy at both ends” (backhoe loader)doing road construction

Why is the sales of such efficient equipment not increasing in China? And why didn’t the equipment win great reputation ?


Compared with ordinary excavators or loaders, the backhoe loader, which is a combination of other equipment, is higher than two separated equipment, so many individual bosses cannot afford this, and most of the backhoe loaders are sold to enterprises such as municipal emergency rescue.


The “slow” mentioned here is relative. It is okay for the domestic backhoe loader to do small jobs. For large projects, the construction team would directly rent excavators and loaders to do it, because the backhoe loader which one end is the loader and the other end is the excavator is of little value at this time.


The “low” refers to low labor costs. Although our country’s labor costs have been gradually rising in recent years, they are still relatively low compared to developed countries. In foreign countries, labor costs are relatively high. Backhoe loader can cope with a variety of working conditions. The operation efficiency is much higher than that of manual labor. The backhoe loader takes a lot of work, so the sales volume will be much higher.


The “clueless” means that people didn’t know the backhoe loader well. When it comes to this products, people would feel confused. Many users don’t know this product well. Even if they use it, they only functions they have used are crushing hammer, twist drilling and so on, in addition to digging and loading, and more functions have not been unlocked. The versatility of multi-purpose backhoe loader has not been recognized by the market and users for a long time.


The “Difference” refers to the performance gap between domestic products and international advanced products. Compared with the international mainstream backhoe loader, domestic backhoe loaders are basically the low-end products in terms of technical performance, and have the ability to compete with international brands in markets such as South America and Africa, but is still very difficult to satisfy the demand for high-end products in markets such as Europe and the United States. The reliability and stability of domestic products need to be improved; the development of product multi-functional attachments should be increased; and the localization of basic parts for backhoe loaders such as engines, drive axles, transmissions, pumps, valves, etc., is the best choice to improve the cost-effectiveness of products.

The future is bright while the process will be hard.

Before 2010, the global annual sales volume of backhoe loaders was around 100,000 units. In recent years, due to the economic situation, the market has declined and the sales volume remained at around 60,000 units. According to statistics from the Soil Shovel and Transportation Machinery Branch of the China Construction Machinery Industry Association, in 2017 the total sales volume of the back hole loader is 530 units, of which 271 units were exported, accounting for 51.1%. In 2018, the total sales volume increased to 910 units, of which 764 units were exported, accounting for 83.1%, and the proportion of exports further increased.

With the fully opening up of our country’s regional economy, specifically, the development of the western region, the rise of the central region, the revitalization of the northeast and so on; and the accelerated development of urbanization and the start of a large number of infrastructure projects, the requirements of the construction period and efficiency of the project are getting higher and higher. Given that we had low labor cost before, mechanized construction has become an inevitable choice today. With the continuous changes in user needs, the scope of application of backhoe loaders is gradually expanding. Its flexible working space and convenient transportation method can replace the existing large-scale machinery that is not suitable for municipal construction in the municipal department. In addition, the construction and maintenance of airports, ports, docks, mines, military facilities, and oil and gas pipeline laying also require the use of backhoe loaders. From the user demand survey, backhoe loaders have been recognized by more and more users, and the sales of high-end products in backhoe loaders are also increasing.

Relevant experts predict that the domestic backhoe loader market will rise steadily in the next few years. The demand for multi-purpose small construction machinery and equipment like backhoe loaders will become higher and higher in local road maintenance and small-scale construction of engineering facilities. The development of backhoe loaders in the Chinese market will eventually get rid of the embarrassment situation and become a mature industry.


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