Do-It-Yourself Plans: Backhoes, Loaders & More

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Do you send plans during the COVID-19 pandemic?

A. During the COVID-19 pandemic we are continuing to send out plans to customers. There might be delays in mail delivery that are beyond our control. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us. Please be careful out there, stay out of the way of this virus and take care of your families!

Q. What is your privacy policy?

We do not save anyone’s personal information for the purpose of selling it on to others, and we do not give out anyone’s private information without contacting them first for written permission.

Q. How much does it cost to build one of these backhoes?

A. Figure around a $1800 total for steel and all the hydraulics — a little less if you can use your tractor’s on-board hydraulic system to power the unit. Buying local steel should cost you close to $350, and the remaining cost would be for hydraulics and shipping. Please navigate to the Estimated Cost & Specifications page for more details.

Q. How much hydraulic flow GPM (Gallons Per Minute) and PSI (Pounds per Square Inch) is required to run this backhoe?

A. The Micro Hoe can be run with as little as a 3-GPM hydraulic flow and with as low as 750 to 1000 PSI in easy soils. For simultaneous cylinder movements like on the larger hoes using joystick valves, I suggest 4 to 6 GPM. For more difficult digging environments you can increase system pressure from 1000 to 1500 PSI at the relief valve(s).

Q. Do I need any special tools to build the Micro Hoe?

A. Not really, I was able to build my prototype backhoe (above) with what I consider basic tools. For cutting steel I had a Makita 10-inch chop saw with composite metal cutting blade and a sawzall. My drilling was done with a small bench top drill press and bi-metal hole saws. My welder is a Lincoln SP-100T, 100-amp wire feed mig, using 0.035-inch flux core wire, running on a dedicated 20-amp household circuit. I would suggest having a bench grinder, disk grinder, assorted clamps, bench vise, etc. Just the basic stuff for garage steel fabrication projects.

Q. How much break-out force does this backhoe have?

A. This depends on the bore diameter of your hydraulic cylinders and what you are running for system pressure, with the 2-inch bore cylinders we spec running at 1000 PSI, you should be able to get 3000 pounds or better break-out force, however to put this into “real world” digging terms you must take into consideration the weight of your tractor as a whole. I know on my little tractor, if I get too agressive with the hoe in difficult soil, I can easily lift the back of the tractor off the ground with the boom of the backhoe, so there is a balance you must find in every digging situation between the soil conditions, weight of your machine and how fast you can dig. You can be certain that the Micro Hoe has plenty of power to get the job done.

Q. How long does it take to build one of these backhoes?

A. This would depend on your steel fabrication skills, however an average mechanically inclined person with basic tools should be able to construct one of these backhoes in four to six weeks of spare time evenings and weekends. I’ve noticed that when you have one of these projects on the bench, you seem to suddenly find more spare time than you thought you had! I have had some customers take less than a month to build the hoe, and some quite a bit more. My original Micro Hoe took me five months of spare time, but that was designing, searching for suppliers, working out conflicts, building, testing, etc.

Q. Will this backhoe fit my tractor? How does it attach to my tractor?

A. The Micro Hoe can be mounted on any tractor (or other vehicle) capable of carrying an extra 350 pounds (159 kg). Our plans provide an example of a solid mount sub frame cage that attaches to the rear of your tractor at six points, two upper mounts, two lower mounts and two arms that go under the rear axle and attach to forward points on the tractor frame. The backhoe then attaches to this sub frame at four points with quick pins, two upper and two lower.

The Micro Hoe can also be mounted to a category — 0-point or larger 3-point hitch — by welding mounting flanges to the in-board side of the main frame and using quick pins. The design of the Micro Hoe gives you two large sections of square tubing (horizontal) on the main frame with plenty of room for mounting flanges. The slew cylinder is mounted out-board which lets you mount the Micro Hoe backhoe very close to the rear of a garden tractor, or allows you the flexibility for plate mounting the backhoe to a skid steer or other vehicle.

Q. I am not able to weld or build one of these backhoes myself. How can I get one for my tractor?

A. There are a few ways to accomplish this. The most expensive would be to take our plans to a welding shop and have it built, however there are less expensive alternatives to this. We suggest looking into the vocational schools or community colleges in your area to find out if they have any steel fabrication or welding courses available. Usually the instructors of these classes would welcome the thought of someone with well drawn CAD plans offering to sponsor the class with a welding project of this type. You would pay for all the steel and hydraulics required, and they would provide the labor to cut and weld it all together, free of charge.

This benefits all parties involved, the students are given the experience of working with CAD plans, steel and hydraulics, the school system benefits by having someone sponsor the project and of course, you benefit by getting to keep the Micro Hoe when they are finished!

More FAQ to come…

We invite you to have a look around and compare our products to any other backhoe designs you may have seen on the web. Our CAD plans are professionally drawn, do-it-yourself friendly and priced right for your construction budget.

What Next?

  • Head over to our picture gallery where we have 1063 images of our customers’ machines on display. Use the search box at the top of that page to locate a particular make or model tractor that you are interested in seeing with a loader or backhoe attachment.

  • View Videos

    On our videos page, see customers operating their DIY loaders, backhoes and log splitters — all built using our plans.

  • Order Plans

    Go to our orders page and find out how to order one or more of our products, such as plans for a front-end loader or a backhoe. There are ordering links for shipping plans within the U.S. and internationally.

  • Contact Us

    Perhaps you have questions about hydraulics, a particular tractor application, or something else. Ask the original designer and builder about your project before you purchase plans. Feel free to contact Paul by email at , or call the office at 413-256-4960. You can also call Paul’s cell at 413-835-5801.

  • Read More

    The FAQ page contains some of the most commonly asked questions we hear about building loaders and backhoes. Your question may be answered there, if not please feel free to contact us by email or phone.

Questions? Contact Paul at , or call the office at 413-256-4960. You can also reach Paul on his cell at 413-835-5801.