Actually, the mid-size compact excavator is often compared to a backhoe-loader, since a 10,000-pound compact can do many of the same jobs, notes [Brian Rabe]. "But you gain productivity and versatility in this size of machine," he says. "In many cases, you can dig faster because the machine is more mobile. The backhoe-loader needs to be planted. When you set it for digging, that's where it's positioned.