The first step in choosing the best 4x4 backhoe is deciding how large of a unit you will need for the jobs you will perform regularly. The size of the bucket, boom arm, engine, and body of the 4x4 backhoe will have an impact on how useful it will be for you, so be sure to think carefully about what you will do with the backhoe as well as where you will store it when not in use. Think about additional features as well, such as various attachments and quick coupling designs for attaching or detaching those accessories.
It is sometimes possible to find a 4x4 backhoe that will allow you to operate in two-wheel drive mode as well. This may be convenient for some applications, and it will add versatility to the backhoe unit. The four-wheel drive function will give you greater traction, stability, and handling over rough terrain, but remember that the steering ability may be cut down when the four-wheel drive is engaged. Try to find a 4x4 backhoe that is not too limited in steering capabilities when the four-wheel drive function is engaged.
A 4x4 backhoe usually features a boom arm at the rear of the vehicle and a bucket loader at the front. The length of the boom arm will dictate how deep the backhoe will be able to dig, and the size of the bucket will determine how much material can be moved at once. Make sure you choose a 4x4 backhoe with the appropriate boom length, and be sure to get a unit with hydraulic outriggers that can be placed down into position for added stability during digging. A quick-coupling design will allow you to change out the bucket with other attachments quickly and easily; be sure to choose such a model whenever possible.
Whenever possible, buy a brand name backhoe with a good reputation. This will ensure you will be able to get replacement parts easily in the future; when you buy the unit from the dealer, find out if that dealer will set up a parts agreement with you that will ensure you can purchase parts through the dealer for a set period of time. Be sure to examine any return policies set out by the dealer, as well as warranties set out by the manufacturer, before purchasing the 4x4 backhoe. Consider the price in terms of what is included with the purchase of the unit; extended warranties and added attachments may raise the price, but those additions may be worth the cost.