Types of Construction Equipment and their Uses

Backhoes are small tractor-like machines that can only rotate 200 degrees from side to side.  They are often confused with excavators since they have similar excavation and lifting capabilities with excavators. However, Backhoes differ in size and functionality from excavators. While Backhoes are small tractor-like machines that can only rotate 200 degrees from side to side, excavators are enormous machines with buckets and booms that rotate 360 degrees. They are used to excavate materials and load them into trucks. Trenchers are heavy construction equipment used for excavating channels or trenches for drainage purposes, and installation.

    These types of pumps are usually used on very large construction projects due to their ability to pump and place large concrete volumes within of short period. Wheel Loaders A wheel loader is a very versatile and multifunctional machine for any scale of project from small-scale home construction projects to very large-scale construction projects as the case may be. Many call it bucket loader or front end load, it has a wide square bucket at the front side for scooping, loading, and moving

heavy materials, objects, and other equipment around the construction site load materials into dump trucks for transportation to other defined locations.

Compact Rollers

Compact rollers are a type of heavy construction equipment used at job sites to compact and level materials such as gravel, asphalt, and earth materials on roadways or construction sites. They are purposefully and specifically design to compact and level down materials of any kind to create a level and stable ground surface for roadways or building structures.

Compact rollers are of different types such as:

  1. Sheepsfoot rollers: This type of roller is made up of a heavy steel drum with protruding rectangular or round feet also known as lugs. They are usually used for compacting heavily dense and fine-grained soils or earth materials for embankments, dams, road subgrade layers, or railway projects.
  2. Pneumatic tired roller: This type of compact roller is made up of a highly loaded wagon that has rows of tires that are closely spaced to provide uniform impact throughout the entire width covered by the roller. This is also known as rubber tires roller and is commonly used in road subgrade works to compact coarse gravels and soils and compact embankments already compacted by a sheepsfoot roller.
  3. Smooth wheeled roller: This type of roller is also another heavily loaded compactor with a large steel drum on the front side and either one or two wheels on the rear side. It is commonly used for the consolidation of hardcore, stones, ballast, and gravel.
  4. Vibrating roller: This type of roller is loaded with at most two smoothed surfaced steel drums, the drums rotate and vibrate by an eccentric shaft inside the drums. They are suitable for compaction and consolidation of granular base courses and also asphalt layers to greater depths compared to other rollers.

Asphalt Pavers

An asphalt paver is another common type of heavy construction equipment used for laying asphalt on public or private roads, parking lots, bridge decks, industrial sites, driveways, etc. On operation, a dump truck carrying a prepared asphalt follows the asphalt paver behind dropping the asphalt into the paver. When it is full, the paver uses the dispersion or spreading augers to spread the asphalt across the leveled ground and provide some minor level of compaction before the surface is then rollover by a vibratory roller.   Telehandlers also called telescopic handlers is a multifunctional lifting machine similar to a forklift but is usually used for outdoor constructions or bulk material lifting in a warehouse. Modern telehandlers come with a fitted telescopic boom with different lifting buckets or bucket grabs for relevant operations. There are different types of telehandlers ranging in their frame size, lift height, and load capacity. Dump Trucks Dump trucks, also known as dumper trailers or tipper lorry as the case may be in different parts of the world, are some of the most common types of construction equipment usually used for moving construction materials such as soils, stones, boulders, gravel, or dirt from one location to another. Dump trucks or trailers are made up of an open box bed attached to the rear with very powerful hydraulic rams for lifting the bed backward when depositing materials at the delivery site. Their ability to transport large volumes of materials at a time makes them very important and useful equipment in large construction projects. Feller Bunchers Feller bunchers are motorized vehicles with fitted apparatus to firmly grab and cut down trees. Though they are very rare in the construction industry, these types of equipment are very useful as they help in simplifying work for log harvesters in providing timbers for construction.  A typical feller buncher harvest trees dress and stack them for easy evacuation and transportation for further processing. Truck Cranes Truck cranes are special trucks designed specifically for lifting, lowering, and moving materials at construction sites. They are usually made up of a self-propelled crane that enables them to lift and lower load. A typical truck crane has fitted two major components: The upper component:  Which consists of the lifting crane and,  The lower component: Which consists

  1. of the chassis or the undercarriage.

These two major components are fitted together by a turntable that enables the upper part of the crane to rotate around about 180 degrees for some of the cranes and 360 degrees for some other cranes.

Pile Driving Machines

This type of machine as the name implies is used for the installation of piles into the ground without any form of excavation, the piles are practically driven into the ground with the help of the machine. The machine in operation firmly holds the pile in place punching it into the ground to the depth required by using a hydraulic press to hit and push the pile into the ground to the depth required. 

Pipe Layers

Pipelayers are heavy construction equipment designed to lift and lay pipes underground during pipeline projects. They can also be used for pipe installation in large water lines, gas pipelines, and sewer projects. They are built on the same principles as truck cranes and other lifting machine types with a low center of gravity.

Pipelayers sometimes are built with excavation as the main base machine.

Boom Lifts

Boom lifts are types of machines used to lift people, they have what is called cherry picker or basket crane which serves as a platform to elevate workers to their workspace high above the ground. These are aerial lift mechanisms that can support one or more users at a time depending on the size. 

They are multipurpose and can be used across various industries such as agriculture for harvesting, fire fighting and maintenance works in high rising buildings. Boom lifts are basically of two types;

  1.  Articulating and,
  2. Telescoping 

Carry Deck Cranes

These are multifunctional small mobile pick and carry cranes designed for lifting equipment and materials that require low-profile cranes. A typical carry deck crane has a 360-degree rotating platform or deck with four wheels and a control system to drive the crane. Because of their sizes, they are most suitable for operation in narrow spaces with overhead obstructions.


Construction equipment
Construction equipment
Construction equipment
Asphalt paver

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