Every construction project requires a specific set of construction equipment to complete the work. Having the proper equipment for each project improves efficiency, safety, and build quality. As a result, it’s critical to be on the same page with your team when it comes to selecting equipment. Some machines have multiple functions, whereas others are task-specific.
In this tutorial, we’ll go through some of the most common types of heavy machinery and some of its applications.
Types of construction equipment
1. Backhoe Loaders
Backhoe loaders are among the most often utilized types of construction and earthmoving machinery because they are extremely versatile and useful for a variety of tasks and can easily travel on roads. This machine is multipurpose and comes with a backhoe and a bucket. They are superior at digging, trenching, back-filling, and material handling. Backhoes provide the strength and precise handling you require when working in places where using larger equipment is impractical. Digging and moving are two common heavy equipment functions that are combined in a backhoe loader.
For convenient digging, one side has a backhoe, and the other side has a loader bucket for pushing, lifting, and moving objects. During digging, the machine is supported by stabilizer legs that extend between the two and touch the ground. This equipment typically has a swiveling seat that faces the loader but can rotate to control the backhoe.
Because they have similar digging capabilities, these machines are sometimes compared to excavators. Backhoe loaders can be found in small and large wheeled forms while excavators are normally only available in huge, tracked varieties. They are appropriate for a variety of tasks and applications due to these options.
A backhoe loader can be utilized for a variety of tasks because it can do so many distinct ones, including;
- Snow removal
Read more about Backhoe Loader – Uses and Major Advantages
There’s a good probability that you’ll see an excavator if you approach any construction site. These machines are reliable and versatile, making them a standard component of both large- and small-scale projects. The excavator cabin, which is fully rotatable while in use, is attached to a long arm and bucket that may be used for forestry applications as well as digging, demolishing, transporting, and other tasks.
An excavator is a large piece of equipment that is used to excavate and smash materials at a construction site. It comprises of a metal shovel with pointed prongs attached to a hydraulic boom that resembles a crane. The machine is more maneuverable since the driver’s cab is mounted on a rotating platform. Due to its undercarriage made up of powerful tracks, the machine is movable. Even though they are both commonly referred to as “power shovels,” an excavator and a power shovel are not identical.
Excavators come in different sizes and are suitable for various uses:
- Mini excavators: Mini excavators are perfect for small-scale or home-based operations since they can maneuver through confined spaces on building sites.
- Medium excavators: While taking up less room than a big excavator, medium excavators are capable of doing greater operations than micro excavators. This arrangement is advantageous for large-scale restorations, home improvement initiatives, and medium- to large-scale building sites.
- Large excavators: Large and very powerful excavators are available. They work well in large-scale, high-volume processes.
A bulldozer, also known as a dozer, is a robust vehicle for pushing soil or rocks. It is made out of a large, heavy steel plate that is mounted on the front of a tractor. Sometimes a four-wheel-drive tractor is used, but more frequently a track or crawler type that is mounted on continuous metal treads is used. The blade can be raised and lowered using hydraulic rams. As the tractor advances, the blade is held in place below the surface for digging, above the surface for spreading, and above the surface for conveying.
- Land clearing
- Road construction
- Home renovation
4. Articulated Trucks
Articulated trucks haul a wide range of materials in a variety of applications and ground conditions. Heavy-duty dump trucks that are articulated are praised for their adaptability and agility. In contrast to rigid transporters, articulated trucks have a cab as well as a small trailer which are joined by a pivot hinge. This joint allows it to carry heavy loads around tight turns, which makes it the best choice for the majority of structural builds. Since almost all articulated haulers have four-wheel drives, they can access most sites in any weather.
They are perfect for use in a variety of demanding work environments, including those with few or no paved roadways, steep hills, slick or sandy ground, or low heights.
Fields of application;
- Mining & Quarries
- Recycling and scrapping
- Material handling
A grader is one of the most important and useful pieces of equipment used by road builders for leveling soil. A self-propelled motor grader has an adjustable blade between its front and rear axles. A grader maintains an even grade by flattening the areas it passes over with a metal plate. It usually has six wheels and an elongated nose where the flattening metal plates sit.
Graders are classified into two types based on how the frame is configured.
- Rigid Frame – This sort of frame has a single axle and is unable to rotate around a point in both directions.
- Articulated frame – The articulated frame type has a hinge between the two axles which makes it suitable for turning around in small spaces.
- Fast and efficient performance
- Precision capabilities cause less disturbance to the soil.
- Excellent for larger projects
- Articulated frame graders can work in confined spaces.
- Capable of driving over roads and not requiring hauling between job sites
- Snow removal
- Water Conservancy / Hydropower
6. Cold Planer
Cold planer is also referred to as milling machine, pavement planer or pavement recycler. A cold planer removes asphalt from its original location by grinding it. This equipment traverses a surface, collects asphalt that has been poured, mills it, and then discharges the milled asphalt onto a dump truck using a belt system. Every hour of every shift, Cold Planers loaded tons into vehicles. You can complete the task more quickly and with the necessary milling precision thanks to effective and powerful performance, simplified controls, and integrated technology.
These machines aid in the preparation of a surface for new asphalt as well as in recycling efforts by recovering old asphalt.
7. Asphalt Pavers
An asphalt paver is a machine used to spread and compact layers of asphalt across surfaces in order to pave roads, parking lots, walkways, and other locations. Asphalt is loaded into the paver by a dump truck, and then distributed onto the desired area and is completely compacted by road roller.
The majority of machines move on their own via tires, but some are towed by a dump truck.
The tractor and screed are the two main parts of tracked and wheeled asphalt pavers. The receiving hopper, distribution augers, feeder conveyors, the engine, and other components are among those that make up the tractor component. The asphalt is leveled and shaped by the screed, which is towed by the tractor. The moldboard, vibrators, endplates, slope sensors, and other parts are included in the screed.
A dump truck delivers asphalt to the paver’s hopper, which the paver uses to operate. The feeder conveyors deliver the material to the paver’s back, where the distribution augers push the asphalt out as you start to move forward and operate the machinery. The augers’ width can be changed to suit your needs.
The screed levels and compacts each layer of material as the asphalt is forced out. Asphalt screeds have heated screed plates and the ability to adjust the width hydraulically. The purpose of the screed is to reduce or eliminate handwork. There are also rear and front-extender models available.
Asphalt pavers come in two varieties, and depending on the project, a wheeled or tracked machine may be the better choice.
These pavers can be used to lay asphalt in places such as:
- Public and private roads
- Parking and driveways
- Bridge & flyover decks
- Recreation courts
- Industrial sites
- Building construction
8. Wheel Excavators
Whether you’re excavating, trenching, or loading trucks, excavators provide top performance, unmatched adaptability, and exceptional fuel economy. You may advance your organization by using straightforward operation, amazing durability, and the newest safety and technological features.
Similar to typical digging equipment, wheel excavators use wheels in place of a track system. Wheel excavators, although being strong, steady equipment, give less grip on difficult terrain as a result of this distinction. Wheel excavators offer a number of key benefits over tracked excavators, one of which is the ability to move around the jobsite.
Wheeled excavators have a broad range of uses, including
- scrapyard operations,
- road construction,
- material handling,
- garbage management, and
- utility installation
9. Wheel Loaders
Wheel loader use makes material handling and loading tasks safer, quicker, more accurate, and more profitable. In terms of dependability, productivity, fuel efficiency, adaptability, and operator comfort, loaders are unmatched. Other names for this device include skip loader, scoop loader, and even bucket loader.
An earthmoving tool with four wheels is called a wheel loader. Typically, it has a front-mounted bucket for scooping, holding, and moving loosely packed materials like sand, mud, and mineral powder.
This machine can adapt to all the requirements of your project with the use of several wheel loader attachments, including:
- Stump grinders
- Asphalt cutters
- Cold planers
10. Drum Roller
A roller would be used when preparing land for large construction projects or when constructing a road. Apart from its most common use in road construction for paving and smoothening the Drum rollers are used to compress asphalt, soil, and other loose materials. This machine is commonly seen on road construction sites.
Drum rollers come in two different varieties: smooth rollers and padfoot rollers.
Smooth rollers use vibration to compact loose materials and provide static pressure. Padfoot rollers, also known as Sheepsfoot rollers, generate manipulative force as well as static pressure and vibration, allowing for uniform compaction.
They are used most frequently in building projects. The following are some typical applications for drum rollers:
- Compacting any type of surface material, including soil, gravel, asphalt, crushed stone layers, etc.
- Paving the asphalt in road construction.
- Compacting landfill areas
- Specialized project: flattening sports grounds
11. Boom Lifts
A boom lift, also known as a cherry picker, is a type of aerial platform used to lift workers off the ground and onto an elevated project. Boom lifts provide both horizontal and vertical reach. This construction lift has a bucket large enough for one to two workers to stand in. The machine is propelled by wheels or a continuous band of treads. A hydraulic lift system controls the crane that raises the bucket.
There are three types of boom lifts used in the construction industry, depending on their configuration.
- Articulating boom lift
- Bucket truck, and
- Telescopic boom lift
They can be employed in a wide range of industries and are utilized in:
- Painting walls and ceilings
- Lighting works
- Scaffolding erection
- Farming or harvesting
- Cleaning works
- Fire fighting
In a warehouse or construction site, forklifts may be used to move items safely over short distances. Things can be moved over short distances using forklift machinery. The lift is capable of moving objects both horizontally and vertically. It is often used in warehouses and has a steering wheel and dashboard buttons for control. Bulky products and packages may easily be loaded and unloaded with this equipment.
There are ten main types of forklifts, each serving a specific function. In a warehouse, a reach forklift, for instance, can “reach” boxes and other objects that are very high up.
Always take into account the weight and volume of the objects you’ll be using the forklift for while making your selection.
There are several forklift models to suit every work environment. Some common used are below like;
- Counterweight: The built-in counterweight mechanism of counterweight forklifts helps them stay stable while they move objects directly without the need for arms.
- Side loaders: Side load forklifts can simply drive up alongside racks and load and unload without turning because of its sideways action. They can therefore handle lengthy items like pipes and lumber and even maneuver in confined spaces.
- Pallet jack: Pallet jacks are used to transport pallets throughout a warehouse and are simple to use due to their modest size.
- Warehouse forklift: This forklift is most often used at a facility with a large inventory of commodities since it works well for loading and unloading pallets and moving goods to and from delivery trucks.
13. Scissor Lifts
A scissor lift plays vital role in construction. A scissor lift, which provides a secure, solid enclosure and a rising platform, assists employees in doing precise operations at high heights, such as close inspections and cable wiring.
A scissor lift is a sort of construction lift, which is equipment fitted with a platform to raise employees and goods to high locations. For jobs where height is not an issue, a scissor lift is a more practical and cost-effective alternative since it can elevate numerous personnel at once while just moving up and down.
Scissor lifts come in a variety of sizes, purposes, and fuel kinds. The five most common scissor lift models that are used on construction sites are listed below.
- Diesel – They can stretch up to 30 feet in height because to its distinctive cross-braced design, with some examples going as high as 60 feet.
- Hydraulic – Hydraulic scissor lifts are powered by either hand-operated or engine-driven hydraulic systems. The varying pressure of the hydraulic fluid in the machine aids in the operation of the lift and the movement of the platform up and down.
- Electrical – Electric scissor lifts offer a quiet, powered driving system as an alternative to burning fuel. This equipment is considerably less bulky than diesel versions, making them ideal for tight spaces.
- Pneumatic – The lifting mechanism of pneumatic scissor lifts is air pressure. This lift, unlike regular lifts, does not produce dangerous gases or by-products into the environment, making it a more sustainable solution for businesses trying to reduce their carbon footprint.
- Rough Terrain – Rough terrain scissor lifts may reach heights of up to 50 feet and span widths of up to 10 feet. Diesel, gas, liquid propane, and dual fuel engines power the equipment. They have a large weight capacity, heavy duty tires.
They are excellent for the following applications:
- Material handling
- Warehouse or stockroom storage
- Construction projects
- Commercial building maintenance
14. Skid Steer Loaders
A skid-steer loader is a compact engine-powered equipment used for a variety of tasks. There is a device that enables the attachment of various tools in front of the operating cabin.
A skid loader may carry a variety of tools, including buckets and loaders, and is compact enough to fit into confined spaces on a construction site. Because the frame is stiff, turning is accomplished by differential steering (e.g., each wheel moves at a different speed, thus causing a turn).
You may utilize a skid steer for everything from small-scale DIY projects to significant land management tasks. They are useful on any jobsite since they can be connected to various accessories to carry out almost any assignment.
There are three sizes of skid steers:
- Small – For interior work, gardening, and site development, the small-frame model is the ideal option since it is lighter and easier to handle in tight places.
- Medium – In situations where conventional machines would not fit, a medium-sized skid steer is often employed with different attachments to perform as a backhoe or digger.
- Large – Large skid steers are used by operators to do massive excavation and demolition operations.
Using the appropriate accessories, you might, for instance, use a skid steer loader to:
- Land clearing
- Landscaping and farming
- Road work
- Site cleaning
References: Construction equipment