NEWS | March 11, 2021

Backhoe Loader: How to Operate On Hilly Ground


This article initially appeared in PS 759 (Feb 16), p. 17. 

Keep your backhoe loader (BHL) low and balanced when you travel across rough or hilly ground, operators. A full bucket that’s carried high can throw off the BHL’s center of gravity. Gullies, bumps and slopes can rock the vehicle from side to side. With enough bouncing, you could tip over. So if you’re hauling a bucket of dirt, keep it low to the ground until it’s ready to drop.

Here are some things to keep in mind while moving the backhoe loader on slopes:
 
  • Do not approach a slope greater than 15 degrees on hard ground. The maximum slope on softer ground is less than 15 degrees.
No slope greater than 15 degrees
No slope greater than 15 degrees
 
  • Never move the vehicle downhill with the direction control lever in neutral or with an engine speed greater than 2,500 rpms.
     
  • Be especially cautious about using the vehicle’s clutch cutout switch on a hill. The switch disengages the transmission from the drive wheels. If that happens, you’ll need to use the service brakes to stop the vehicle.