There are dozens of different types of heavy construction equipment, ranging from standard machines found on almost every job site to esoteric items employed for specific jobs. Even seasoned construction workers may come across equipment names they are unfamiliar with from time to time. If you’re new to the industry, there are probably a lot of equipment names you don’t know.
We’ve put up a list of 30 important pieces of construction equipment so you can get a better understanding of what they are, how they work, and what they do. These pieces of construction equipment originate from a variety of industries, including roadbuilding, demolition, construction, forestry, and more.
A backhoe is a type of excavation machine that is widely used. The term “backhoe” refers to an attachment that can be mounted on a variety of heavy machinery and consists of an arm with a digging bucket at the end. The term “backhoe” is frequently used to refer to a backhoe loader, which is a backhoe that is coupled to a front loader. The most versatile earthmover in the construction sector is this machine. It comes with a bucket in front and a backhoe attachment in rear, allowing you to dig trenches, load and unload materials, and lift objects.
A boom lift is a movable, usually wheeled, machine. It consists of a long crane with a platform or bucket at the end that can normally accommodate one or two employees. Workers can safely access high sections on a construction site, such as an upper story on a building’s front, using this aerial lift. Both articulating and telescopic boom lifts are available.
A bulldozer (sometimes known as a dozer) is a common piece of construction machinery. It comprises of a tractor with a huge metal bucket plate that is usually on tracks rather than wheels. The plate is used for duties such as digging, excavating, and leveling earth and other materials by operators. A bulldozer can also be used for demolition, breaking apart compacted objects, and clearing snow. Dozers come in a variety of sizes and can be used for a variety of activities.
A cold planer is an asphalt and concrete milling machine. A conveyor belt system transports the ground asphalt up from the drum when the machine grinds the asphalt on a road or other surface. The operator follows a dump truck near enough that the loose asphalt falls into the back of the truck. Cold planers are generally utilized when a road needs to be resurfaced.
A compact track loader and a multi-terrain loader are both small loaders, but on most construction sites, they are powerful workhorses. These compact loaders make it easy to transfer materials around a construction site. Attachments can be used to do a variety of tasks. The undercarriage of a compact track loader is designed for more harsh situations, whereas the ground pressure of a multi-terrain loader is lower, making it a safer alternative for more delicate surfaces.
A compactor is a machine that compresses and reshapes soil, gravel, or asphalt surfaces. As a result, they are a great asset in road construction and other construction projects. Compactors are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. A plate compactor, which works similarly to a lawnmower, is one of the most frequent types. The vibrating base plate evens out the surface beneath it. A road roller is another typical form, which is a vehicle with a big revolving cylinder that compresses the ground beneath it.
A dragline excavator is a huge piece of machinery that is used for deep excavation. This machine has a long boom with a suspended digging bucket at the end. The bucket is controlled by a system of ropes and chains. Some dragline excavators are small enough to transport to a job site, whereas larger dragline excavators, such as those used in strip mining, are built on-site. These draglines can weigh tens of thousands of tons.
A drill rig may not be present at every construction site, but it is a necessary component of any well. A drill rig can assist you in gaining access to subterranean water, oil, or natural gas. Drilling rigs come in a variety of sizes. A derrick is the tall structure you see, but there are several more parts that work together to drill into a substance. Augers, small drilling rigs that a single worker may operate manually, are on the other end of the size spectrum.
A dump truck is a truck with a huge box bed on the back that is used to transport items to and from building sites as well as move materials about. The operator can use hydraulic rams to elevate the front end of the truck bed and dump the goods inside. This makes it simple to dispose debris to a landfill or construction site. Some dump trucks are built to be driven on the road, while others are built to navigate rough terrain.
Another common piece of construction equipment, an excavator, is utilized for a number of activities. Inside a 360-degree rotating cab, an operator sits. This is why an excavator is sometimes referred to as a 360. The cab is mounted on top of a track-based undercarriage, while some excavators have wheels. At dig, lift, and perform other tasks, operators utilize a bucket attached to the end of a stick and a boom that extends from the cab.
In logging and land clearing activities, a feller buncher is a useful asset. A feller buncher is made out of a cab that is mounted on tracks or wheels and has a boom attached to it. This may sound like an excavator or other similar machinery thus far. The major feature that distinguishes a feller buncher is the feller buncher head at the boom’s end. This equipment wraps around tree trunks and uses a chainsaw to cut the tree down at the base before putting it elsewhere to be taken away.
Forklifts are commonly found in warehouses, but they may also be found on construction sites because they assist with many types of material handling. A forklift resembles a compact automobile in appearance, having a mast, lift cylinder, backrest, and carriage at the front, as well as prongs extending forward from the cab’s bottom. These components enable you to lift and transfer objects, such as brick pallets, from one side to the other. Forklifts come in a variety of shapes and sizes, each suited for a specific application.
A forwarder, like a feller buncher, is a useful piece of forestry equipment. A forwarder transports logs to a loading site, whereas a feller buncher chops down trees and places them in a pile. This piece of machinery is essentially an off-road vehicle with eight wheels and a log-carrying device that keeps logs just above the ground so they don’t drag. A forwarder is distinguished from a skidder, which drags trees on the ground. The size of logs that a forwarder can transport is limited.
Wheel loaders are one of the most versatile pieces of construction machinery. These loaders, as the name implies, move about a job site on wheels. A bucket is the default attachment, and it can scoop up, transfer, and unload things. Other attachments, such as augers, backhoes, and rippers, can be used to assist with a range of jobs. Wheel loaders are available in a variety of sizes, ranging from little to large, allowing you to select the model and accessories that are best suited to your needs.
A grader, often known as a motor grader, is an important piece of road-building machinery. It has three axles, two in the back and one in the front, with a metal plate connecting them. To accommodate the long frame, it normally has six wheels. As the operator runs the machine over an area, the metal plate grades the dirt or gravel beneath it. The operator’s cab is located directly above the rear axles. Before constructing a road, graders are required to provide a flat, even surface.
A harvester is a forestry machine that is used to harvest logs. Operators utilize this machine’s large cab and associated arm to clear areas and grab wood. A specific attachment on the arm’s end aids in the cutting, processing, and debarking of trees. Harvester attachments are designed to fit a variety of tree sizes for optimum versatility. This equipment is available in both wheeled and tracked versions to suit the needs of the job site.
Another instrument for logging is a knuckleboom loader. A knuckleboom loader takes over after a forwarder or skidder has deposited logs at a loading location to load the cut and stripped logs onto a truck and transport them to their final destination. A knuckleboom loader is a swing machine with a crane head that is specifically intended to pick up logs and load them into a truck quickly and efficiently. A knuckleboom loader’s cab can be attached to a trailer or operate on wheels or rails.
The phrase “manlift” can refer to a wide range of aerial lifts, including boom lifts, scissor lifts, and more. A manlift, on the other hand, is a device with a power-driven belt that only goes in one way and is used to convey personnel from floor to floor, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Because they travel up and down rather than side to side, these are also known as vertical personnel lifts. They’re usually made to transport only one worker at a time.
A mixer is a truck with a huge drum that mixes concrete in the building industry. To mix the components and make wet concrete, the operator just adds dry cement, aggregate, and water to the drum and rotates it. A spiral blade on the inside of the drum aids in mixing. Some vehicles are specifically designed to mix concrete, but you may also acquire mixer attachments or stationary mixers to use on a job site.
A mobile crane is an exceptionally handy piece of lifting and moving equipment. These cranes have wheels or tracks, as the “mobile” part of their name implies, so you can drive them around a construction site, especially if they’re all-terrain models. The hoist mechanism, which has a hook at the end to hold objects, is usually moved by hydraulics in most cranes. Some mobile cranes can spin 360 degrees, making narrow spaces even easier to navigate.
An asphalt paver, or paver for short, is a machine used in the construction of roads and other comparable projects such as parking lots. Typically, asphalt is continuously fed into the paver’s hopper, which is placed at the front of the machine, by a dump truck. This helps the paver to evenly distribute the asphalt on the desired surface. A small roller on the paver compacts the asphalt, but a road roller is still needed to pack it down and smooth it out even more.
A pile driver is a necessary piece of equipment for deep foundation work. A crane extends a boom in a standard pile driving technique. A lead, a frame for aligning the pile, a hammer, and a pile are all attached to the boom. Pile driving equipment raises a pile before driving it into the ground to the desired depth. Deep foundations require this type of support.
A scissor lift is an aerial scaffolding type. To raise and lower the platform, scissor lifts use a series of crisscrossed metal jacks. They do not move horizontally like a manlift. Electricity or an engine are used to power these elevators. Scissor lifts are most commonly used in warehouses because they enable workers to access high storage places. They can also assist construction workers in gaining access to high points or higher levels of a structure.
A skid steer loader is a four-wheeled piece of construction equipment that is flexible and compact. Its name comes from the fact that skid steer operators must utilize differential steering, which is a technique in which one side of the vehicle is propelled forward while the other is locked, causing the equipment to skid in the desired direction. Skid steers have a large turn radius thanks to this steering system, making them ideal for maneuvering in confined locations. A skid steer can be equipped with a variety of work tools.
A skidder is comparable to a forwarder in terms of function. The fundamental difference between a skidder and a forwarder is that skidders drag trees along the ground and can often manage a wider range of tree sizes. A cable skidder is a typical skidder that pulls trees using a cable. A skidder, like a forwarder, drops trees at a loading site where they can be further cut down and loaded into a truck.
Telehandler is an abbreviation for telescopic handler. The telescoping boom on this equipment, to which you can attach numerous tools for various jobs, is referred to as telescopic. Apart from the boom, this machine resembles a larger, more powerful forklift. A telehandler is a flexible material handling machine that combines the duties of a crane and a forklift. A telehandler, in comparison to a forklift, has larger tires that are more suited for off-road applications. It can also reach greater heights and carry out more jobs.
Tower cranes are larger than the previously stated mobile cranes. These gigantic cranes aren’t even somewhat movable. They are permanently installed at a specific spot, usually in a concrete slab on the ground. Tower cranes are a sort of balance crane that has a T-shaped design. The counterweight is attached to one end of the horizontal component, while the hook is attached to the other end of the horizontal piece, which extends further away from the crane’s vertical portion. The crane’s operator’s cab is located at the crane’s junction.
Trenchers are used to excavate trenches, which comes as no surprise. However, they don’t just dig. The excavated soil is carefully removed by these devices using a conveyor belt. Trenchers are frequently used for pipe laying and other jobs requiring a long, narrow hole. Depending on the situation, a trencher can be equipped with various digging gear. A trencher, for example, would rip up the earth with a metal chain. This chainsaw-like gadget doesn’t have to stop to avoid hitting small rocks or roots.
UTVs (utility type vehicles) are a large group of vehicles designed for off-road operations rather than on-road passenger use. These vehicles are used by construction workers to quickly travel across a huge project site or to transport small amounts of products or equipment from one location to another. Utility trucks are a versatile and useful asset to have for a variety of jobs, including agriculture and other industries, outside of the construction business.
A wheel tractor-scraper is a huge piece of heavy earthmoving machinery. These trucks scrape the ground to flatten it, as the name implies. The term “wheel tractor” refers to the machine’s front end, which is basically a wheeled tractor. The scraping components are located in the back section. A wheel tractor-scraper is distinguished by the fact that it collects dirt rather than simply moving it. A conveyor belt pulls the soil up into a hopper as a blade slices and loosens it.
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