Common Heavy Equipment Equipment

When our ancestors started making structures and discovered how a simple lever can move a heavy boulder, the science of engineering was probably born. From there, it didn’t take long for engineers to develop machines for all kinds of purposes all the way to today’s common heavy equipment machines used in construction sites.

Today, there is almost a machine for every specialty in construction, digging, mining and demolition jobs. The heavy equipments are utilized mostly for moving earth and other equipments from one place to another in all the phases of construction work (cleaning, leveling, digging, installing).

The following are some of the more familiar types of heavy equipments.


The bulldozer is the primary workhorse machine in a construction set-up, especially at the start of the project.

Today’s bulldozers usually have the body of a tractor, and sport rear-mounted ripper claws, a variety of front-mounted blades, and a protective cage for the operator. The ripper claws are for breaking rocks, cement or plain hard soil clumps.

The blade in front pushes the soil forward and level the ground. Bucket blades are sometimes mounted up front and double as front-end loader buckets.

Backhoe loader

A backhoe loader (also known simply as a backhoe) is used to dig ditches or holes (or even breaking asphalt) on construction sites.

Again, the main body is a tractor with an arm connected with a scooper bucket and another arm connected to a back hoe. Compared to other heavy equipments, the backhoe loader is small but versatile because it can be directly driven to the job site. (Other heavy equipments have to be towed to the site.)

It is often used in small to medium-sized landscaping projects since it can duplicate the work of a bulldozer, front-end loader and an excavator. In creating trenches, the hydraulic system of a backhoe is surprisingly strong and can produce tens of thousands of pounds of pressure.

The front end loader of a backhoe is usually used to remove excess soil and other materials from the site. The front-mounted bucket is sometimes employed as a soil tamper for loose earth materials. This helps in creating soil level grade.


Another heavy equipment used for digging or demolition or move large objects is the excavator.

The excavator has a driving base and a boom arm with an attachment designed for digging. Attached to the base is a small pivoting cab where the operator controls the arm.

Excavators usually come in several sizes and capacities, the bigger the unit the greater is its lift capacity.

Both backhoes and excavators are sometimes set up in either tracks or tires. On unleveled or unstable ground like an embankment, tracks are often used. One disadvantage, though, is that it is more complex to handle than regular wheels (tires) and gets damaged or malfunctions easily.

Dump trucks

The dump truck is the earth moving equipment that has the duty to transport and deposit materials inside and/or out of the site. They carry on their transporting jobs like regular trucks and can move into regular traffic outside of the construction site.

Nowadays, most dump trucks are automated and the dumping work can be done by just the driver.

Dumpers are smaller vehicles for smaller loads not meant for regular transport on regular roads. They have bins in front which the driver tilts to empty its contents.

In a regular construction site, there are other types of heavy equipment in use other than the four mentioned. Some are bigger or more complicated versions of the listed machineries. With their appearance and size, some looked like they came from another world. In reality, they simply are part of man’s relentless drive in shaping the world according to his needs and wants.