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How to Operate a Track Hoe

Track hoes are also called excavators and are used to dig in the ground. Buckets with hydraulically powered boom arms let the track hoe operator direct the bucket to dig where he needs to. Track hoes usually run on caterpillar tracks instead of tires. The basic operation of a track hoe is simple compared to some of the larger earth movers that are used for large projects. Using a few levers and joysticks, you can drive your track hoe and make it do what you need it to do.

Track hoes are excavators on tracks instead of a wheel base.

Step 1

Open the door to the cab and enter the cab of the back hoe.  Sit in the driver’s seat and observe the controls around you.


Step 2

Use the two levers in front of you to drive and steer the track hoe.  Moving both levers forward drives the track hoe in reverse.

Pulling both of them backwards drives the track hoe forwards.  Pushing the right one forwards and pulling the left one backwards make the track how turn to the left.

Pulling the right lever backwards and pushing the left lever forwards turns the track hoe to the left. 


Step 3

Move the joystick to the right to open the bucket attachment.  Move the joystick on the right to the left to close the bucket attachment.


Step 4

Pull the joystick on the right backwards to raise the large boom arm and push it forward to lower the large boom arm. 


Step 5

Move the joystick on the left to the left to rotate the cab counterclockwise without moving the tracks.  Move the same joystick to the right to rotate the cab clockwise.


Step 6

Push the joystick on the left forward to move the short arm of the boom (stick) forward and pull the joystick backwards to bring the short arm of the boom (stick) backwards. 

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