Wheeling after Backhoe Business

Rod Sutton | September 28, 2010

Government agencies have shown interest in the HML 42.

Duval Pilot Equipment has started to see some success pitching wheel excavators as an alternative to backhoe-loaders in some applications. The Jacksonville, Fla., distributor is finding that some government agencies are beginning to write specifications for the wheeled machine, according to Bill Gulliford, Duval's vice president and founder.

"It does have applications versus the backhoe-loader," Gulliford says. "It has better lift capacity and reach. It has better digging characteristics and the ability to switch attachments quickly."

Duval has had the Terex HML 42 for only three months, so it's too early to tell just what the demand might be, but he says he's found interest both in the governmental and utility sectors. The two-piece boom adds versatility, he says, and government agencies are spec'ing it primarily for ditch-cleaning applications, noting that the wheeled excavator can dig in front and dump in back. "And there's a tremendous application for setting Jersey barriers," he says. "You don't block as much traffic."

Gulliford says the wheeled excavator won't ever replace the backhoe-loader, but it could take some business away.

"A good operator can execute the loader functions with the [excavator's] attachments," he added.