Diggin’ up interest

Laval Coleman shows how the towable backhoe that he built from scratch works.

Laval Coleman shows how the towable backhoe that he built from scratch works.

Louis Creek resident Laval Coleman recently stopped by the Star/Journal to show the towable backhoe he constructed entirely himself.

“It took me two years to build,” said Laval, “Mostly just because of money.  I built one for a friend a number of years ago and it only took two months.”

Laval says he ordered step by step instructions from West Virginia on how to build the machine, and then got down to work.  He cut all of the metal parts himself, put the hydraulics together, and added a 13 horse power engine with a hydraulic pump.

The end result is a machine that weighs 1,450 pounds with a bucket size of 18 and 12 inches.  It is not motorized for moving on its own, so is towed behind a pickup truck.

Laval noted after the backhoe has been towed to where he wants to use it he can quickly move the wheels to the other end, and put stabilizers on the front; then it moves by hydraulics.

“It will dig nine feet deep, and has 5,500 pounds of ripping power,” says the craftsman.  “It can be used to plant trees, dig water lines, make post holes; all the small jobs that the ‘big guys’ are too busy for, or too big or heavy for.”

Laval says the end cost to build his machine was around $6,000, but it is worth at least $10,000 to $12,000 now that it is completed.  “A new manufactured machine like this sells for about $19,000.”

“I just played around with this for a few years,” said Laval, “But now I think I’ll take on a few jobs with it.  I’m hoping there are people out there who can use my services.”

Contact Laval at 250-672-5563.