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Master the backhoe loader

JCB is proud to be the world's leading manufacturer of backhoe loaders - so we're committed to giving people across the UK the skills they need to master its operation.

Our training partners offer backhoe operator training courses for complete novices, 360 operators looking to convert or employers looking to upskill their team. Each one covers the essentials needed to take control of the machine - explaining everything from the basics of how a backhoe loader works to specialist and sector-specific skills. Once the course is completed, participants will have more than a qualification. They'll have access to more opportunities, greater earning potential and new prospects for their career in construction.

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What does a backhoe loader do?

A backhoe loader is one of the most versatile machines in construction, capable of handling a range of loading, roading and excavation tasks.

It combines the features of an 8T excavator and a front loader giving operators the ability to lift, level, doze, compact, break, grab, grade and sweep. And thanks to its wheels, it can also easily travel to different locations which saves money on rising transport costs. With these multiple capabilities, it's used across a wide variety of residential and commercial projects.

Why is a backhoe loader qualification important?

It's incredibly valuable to know how to use a backhoe loader because they're a real all-rounder.

They have the capabilities for loading, roading and excavating, and can take on even more tasks with the range of different attachments available.  All this means they’re an excellent choice for all manner of different jobs and projects – so operators with backhoe training will always be an asset on a construction site. 

How will backhoe training widen my career prospects?

Backhoe certification will set candidates apart as an operator of heavy equipment, which is a far more specialised field with higher earning potential.

Understanding how to run a backhoe loader will qualify individuals for a wide range of construction projects, including residential and commercial properties, roads, bridges and utilities like water and electrics. To be a backhoe loader operator means you are adaptable, forward-thinking and proactive. These qualities will set you apart from others meaning that operators with backhoe training will always be an asset on a construction site. So in an ever-changing industry, a qualification for this stalwart will futureproof potential career choices. 

How long does learning how to operate a backhoe take?

Mastering this machine takes more than reading the backhoe operator training manual – and hands-on experience is vital to the learning process. That’s why each course combines theoretical aspects with predominantly practical work, giving people comprehensive knowledge of a backhoe’s operation, maintenance and safety. And as an added bonus, backhoe loaders are available with the same joystick patterns as an excavator – so it’s quite straightforward for 180 operators to widen their skills.

The length of this JCB license training depends on the type of course:

Novice training: Up to 2 weeks dependent on experience
360 to 180 conversion: 3 to 5 days
Backhoe Loader Skills Bootcamp: 2 weeks

Completing these courses enhances skills, widens career opportunities and raises on-site profiles, so find out more about all the JCB training courses in backhoe loaders here:

A comprehensive introduction to the backhoe loader for anyone who is completely new to the machine. This course will give participants the ability to operate a backhoe loader safely and productively with a thorough understanding of its purpose and capabilities.

Location: a suitable local training centre

Training Centre Location Website
ACOP South Wales
CISTC Surrey  
CITB Norfolk  
Staffordshire Operator Training Staffordshire  
Heavy Plant Training Ltd North West Scotland  
Trainbase Construction Training Northumberland  
Tomlins Training Hereford  
Flynne Plant Training Essex
 

Length: 2 weeks is recommended for a complete novice

Cost: varies between training centres based on different styles of learning, but an appropriate rough average would be around £2,000. A CITB Levy Grant is available on this course, so levy payers could claim back up to £710 per candidate. 

Final qualification: CPCS or NPORS Trained Operator (Red Card)

Suitable for: groundsworkers, non-360 plant operators, aspiring operators or apprentices, or anyone looking for a career change. 


This course is designed for any experienced 360 operators who are looking to upskill. The Backhoe Loader and Excavator share the NVQ category on the Blue CSCS Card (Competent Operator), so anyone already holding this qualification for 360 will progress straight to blue card when they successfully complete this training.
Location: a suitable local training centre
Training Centre Location Website
ACOP South Wales
CISTC Surrey  
CITB Norfolk  
Staffordshire Operator Training Staffordshire  
Heavy Plant Training Ltd North West Scotland  
Trainbase Construction Training Northumberland  
Tomlins Training Hereford  
Flynne Plant Training Essex  
  Duration:3-5 days (backhoe loaders are available with the same joystick patterns as an excavator, and all our partner training centres are able to offer training on excavator-style controls. This makes it faster and easier for 180 operators to transfer their skills). Cost: an average of £1,000 per candidate with variation dependent on location. A CITB Levy Grant is available on this course, so levy payers could claim back up to £710 per candidate. Final qualification: CSCS 180 Excavator Competent Operator (Blue Card) Suitable for: Experienced 360 operators who already hold a CSCS Blue Card - NPORS or CPCS.
Available exclusively for employers, this government-funded programme is an excellent opportunity for you to upskill your team and bring more trained 180 operators into your workforce.  The course is tailorable to the skills of those taking part, so can focus solely on backhoe training or be combined with another plant category.

Location: The Operator Skills Hub based in Sutton Coldfield or Northamptonshire

Duration: 2 weeks

  • Cost: Funded by the government with an employer contribution: 
    SME: 10% (approximately £300)
  • LE: 30% (approximately £1,000)
  • Final Qualification: CPCS 180 Excavator Training Operator Card
    360 Blue Card holders will progress straight to 180 Blue thanks to shared NVQ category
  • For more experienced candidates, the 180 training can be combined to include another CPCS plant category such as 360, telehandler or dumper. 
  • Suitable for:
    180 only: groundworkers and existing plant operators with less than 2 years' experience
  • 180 plus other plant: experienced existing plant operators looking to upskill
Participants must be aged 19 or over and live in England. Owner operators and self-employed operators are also eligible. 

For a full list of Nationwide training centres you can visit the NOCN or NPORS

   
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