This article initially appeared in PS 759 (Feb 16), p. 18-19.
Operators, safety is job #1 when using the backhoe loader (BHL)!
So for tip-top backhoe operations, keep these pointers from WP 0012-8 and 0012-9 of tm 5-2420- 231-10 (Feb 09) in mind.
Time for Some Digging
When operating the loader on a hill, use the stabilizers to level the vehicle.
Stabilizers in use
- Put dirt from the trench on the highest side of the trench.
- Do not use the bucket to move the BHL on a side slope.
- Always position the seat in the loader position with the seat belt fastened.
- Always engage the parking brake and move the shift-direction control lever to neutral before operating the backhoe.
Drawing the Line
A good rule of thumb is to extend the backhoe boom and draw an arc in the dirt before you start digging. This line forms a half-circle that’s almost 18 feet from the back of the vehicle.
Draw arc in the dirt to warn Soldiers to say out of danger area!
Do not backfill a trench with the backhoe by swinging its bucket against the soil. Using the bucket to push dirt causes unnecessary wear-and-tear on the bucket and boom.
Backhoe is used for scooping up dirt only
You’ll also want to be careful when swinging the backhoe bucket completely to the side. In some positions, the backhoe can actually bump into the vehicle's stabilizers. That damages the stabilizer's hydraulic cylinders.
Be careful not to bump the stabilizers