Do you want to start a construction business and you want to know what tools to buy? If YES, here are 50 types of construction equipment and their uses.

In the world of construction, there are different construction equipment that exist, each having its own unique uses. Due to the type of project you are undertaking, you may need one form or the other. Various types of Equipment are used for Building and structural Construction, Road construction, underwater and other marine construction power projects et al.

There are various operations that are involved in construction, whether it’s large scale or small scale, including; Excavation and digging of large quantities of earth, Placement of construction materials (eg:-Bricks, concrete) Compacting and leveling, Dozing, Grading, Hauling et al.

There are some construction equipment that have one use, while there are others that may serve more than one purpose in the construction site. Here are some construction equipment and their uses.

50 Types of Construction Equipment and Their Uses

1. Articulated Trucks: Articulated trucks are good for navigating a construction site. These trucks have two parts: the cab — a tractor unit made to travel over rough terrain — and the trailer, created to carry heavy loads. These two parts are connected with a pivot, making the equipment easier to steer.

2. Asphalt Pavers: this construction equipment is used for laying asphalt on roads, bridges, parking lots or other surfaces. Asphalt pavers are usually accompanied by a dump truck full of the asphalt and a roller. The dump truck feeds the asphalt into the paver, which distributes it onto the surface. While it does provide a small amount of compaction, it needs to be followed by a roller to ensure the asphalt is in place.

3. Backhoe Loaders: Backhoe loaders is a construction equipment that is multipurpose in nature because it is a combination of three types of machinery: a tractor, loader and backhoe. The primary function of this tool is the backhoe, which can be used to dig hard materials, often compact earth. It can also be used to lift heavy loads and put them in a particular place.

You can use the loader to move dirt and supplies. The fact that it’s a tractor gives you the ability to move effortlessly over rough terrain. They can rotate 200 degrees and make an excellent fit for light-to-medium duty jobs.

4. Cold Planers: also known as milling machines, cold planers are used to remove asphalt and concrete from a surface. This machine contains a big drum which rotates and grinds the surface accompanied by cutters that will cut the pavement.

Loose pavement is automatically pushed to the center of the rotating drum and fed onto a conveyor belt that’s attached to the machine. During this milling process, water is usually applied to the drum to minimize dust and heat.

5. Compact track and multi-terrain loaders: this construction equipment is used to move dirt from one point to the other on the project site. These machines are built to maximize work with a minimal footprint. A compact track and multi-terrain loaders is equipped with a rubber track undercarriage, which is ideal for navigating through a variety of terrains and conditions.

6. Compactors: there are many types of compacters but basically, they all serve to reduce the size of a material. The type of machine you need depends on the type of material you need to compact. If you are working with waste, a landfill compactor is the best fit. On the other hand, you’ll want a soil compactor if you’re working with soil. Tandem vibratory rollers are used to compact fresh asphalt, and pneumatic rollers are used with a variety of materials.

7. Dozers: you can identify a dozer by the large metal blade that it has in the front, which is used to push massive quantities of soil or other material. If your project involves moving large quantities of earth a short distance, pushing the load with a dozer is a good way to achieve this. However, if your project involves moving materials more than just a short distance, then it is best to use a combination of a backhoe loader and an articulated dump truck.

Dozers are of two types; track dozers and wheel dozers. Both types of dozers have the same function, however, the way they navigate is different. Track dozers spread the weight of this large piece of machinery out evenly over the larger tracks you’ll find in place of the wheels, decreasing the amount of pressure on the ground overall and making it less likely to sink into soft ground.

In place of tracks, wheel dozers have large tires and can move up to three times faster than a track dozer. The type of dozer you need depends on the priorities for the various jobs you complete.

8. Excavators: Excavators are an important and widely used equipment in construction industry. Their general purpose is excavation but other than that, they are also used for many purposes like heavy lifting, demolition, river dredging, cutting of trees et al.

Excavators have a long arm and a cabinet. At the end of the long arm, a digging bucket is provided and the cabinet is the place provided for the machine operator. This whole cabin arrangement can be rotatable up to 360 which eases the operation. Excavators are available in both wheeled and tracked forms of vehicles.

9. Feller Bunchers: if you have a project that involves trees instead of soil, then you will need a feller buncher. A feller is also known as a lumberjack, and you could say this machine replaces the function of several lumberjacks. It works like a weedwhacker for trees, except instead of leaving bits of trees everywhere, it gathers or bunches the trees as it works.

10. Forwarders: Once your feller buncher has taken care of gathering, cutting and stacking the trees, you can quickly load and remove the cut trees from the area with the help of a forwarder. If you also have a loader and a back that resembles an open basket, this type of equipment can help you get a big job done quickly.

11. Knuckleboom Loaders: When the trees have been cut down, stripped and cut to their desired size, they need to be loaded onto a truck and transported to their ultimate destination. Loading a logging truck takes a unique piece of equipment known as a knuckleboom loader, a swing machine with a boom specifically designed for picking up and loading logs. They move surprisingly quick for a large piece of heavy construction equipment.

12. Loaders: loaders are of two types; track loaders and wheel loaders. Track loader does everything a skid steer loader can, such as lifting, pushing and moving, but on a larger scale and with a larger capacity.

Their tracks give them the ability to distribute their weight evenly among the surface they’re traveling on, making them less likely to sink into soft ground. Wheel loaders can tackle the same jobs but have wheels. This makes them comparable to a backhoe loader, just without the backhoe.

The wheels give them the ability to lift, push and move at a faster pace than a track loader, but they also make them susceptible to leaving their mark on a job site, as the weight of the machine is not spread out over tracks, but over the four wheels.

13. Motor Graders: just like many other pieces of construction equipment, a motor grader has a blade. Motor graders are mostly used to make the ground level mainly in anticipation of adding more layers to prepare a new roadway. However, this is not their only function. They can also be used to move a relatively small amount of soil from one location to another, eliminate a layer of soil from a surface or to remove snow.

14. Off-Highway Trucks: this type of truck is designed with off-highway use on a construction site, mine or quarry in mind. It gives more flexibility in moving large quantities. With big tires and a huge bed for materials, this is one type of construction equipment that comes in handy for a variety of construction projects.

15. Skidders: if your construction project involves clearing a wooded land, skidders can be used to pull tree that have been cut down out of the woods and into the landing area, where they are usually delimbed and cut to size. Skidders are of two types; cable and grapple. Cable skidders are the classic models, which require pulling the trees with a cable. A grapple resembles a claw, grabbing the trees and pulling them that way.

16. Telehandlers: telehandlers is one type of the various construction equipment’s that can help you to lift materials. With a telescopic boom that enables them to reach forward and upward, along with the different types of attachments you can get — such as pallet forks, buckets and lifting jibs — you’ve got a machine that can help you move almost anything. Sometimes, telehandlers can be a cheaper alternative to use in place of cranes.

17. Wheel Tractor-Scrapers: a wheel tractor srapper is yet another equipment that can be used for moving earth. This piece of equipment is long and has two axles with a complex assortment of features. It combines the ability to begin to grade a surface with a scraper, but instead of solely pushing the dirt, it collects it. The scraper has a sharp edge that digs into the ground, making it loose.

The scraper is angled and has a conveyor belt so that as the soil loosens, it moves from the edge into the hopper, or bowl, which is kind of like an enclosed truck bed. That bowl collects the soil until it’s full, and then can be transported to another area on site to be dumped. The hopper moves hydraulically, making it possible to dump the soil you’ve collected.

18. Dragline Excavator: this heavy equipment is yet a construction equipment that is generally used for larger depth excavations. It consists of a long length boom and a digging bucket is suspended from the top of the boom using cable. A dragline evacuator can do a couple of construction activities including in the construction of ports, for excavations under water, sediment removal in water bodies et al.

19. Graders: also known as motor graders, these equipment are also used in construction especially for the construction of roads. It is used for mainly leveling roads. It contains a horizontal blade in between the front and rear wheels and this blade is lowered to the ground while working. Operating cabin is provided on the top of rear axle arrangement.

In addition, motor graders are also used to remove snow or dirt from the roads, to flatten the surface of soil before laying asphalt, to remove unnecessary soil layer from the ground et al.

20. Trenchers: also known as trenching machines, these construction equipment are used to excavate trenches in soil. These trenches are generally used for pipeline laying, cable laying, drainage purposes et al. Trenching machines are available in two types namely chain trenchers and wheeled trenchers.

Chain trenchers contain a fixed long arm around which digging chain is provided. Wheeled trenchers contain a metal wheel with digging tooth around it. To excavate hard soil layers, wheeled trenchers are more suitable. Both types of trenchers are available in tracked as well as wheeled vehicle forms.

21. Tower Cranes: these are fixed cranes that are used for lifting purposes in construction of tall structures. Heavy materials like pre-stressed concrete blocks, steel trusses, frames et al. can be easily lifted to required height using this type of equipment.

They consists of mast which is the vertical supporting tower, Jib which is operating arm of crane, counter jib which is the other arm that carries counter weight on rear side of crane and an operator cabin from which the crane can be operated.

22. Pile Driving Equipment: this is a heavy equipment that is used in the construction site for pile foundation construction. This equipment lifts the pile and holds it in proper position and drives into the ground to the required depth. There are many types of pile driving equipment, some of them are piling rigs, piling hammer, hammer guides et al. In any case, the pile is driven into the ground by hammering the pile top which is done hydraulically or by dropping.

23. Tipper: also known as a tip truck, this is a form of truck or lorry with a rear platform which can be raised at the front end to allow the load to be discharged by gravity. Tippers are suited for the rough and tumble of mining & quarrying operations, as well as for carrying bulk loads in construction and infrastructure industries. Complete maneuverability, high performance and long-term endurance are common to all trucks, resulting in lower operational costs.

24. Tanker: also known as a tank truck or a road tanker, this construction equipment was invented for carrying liquid loads, dry bulk cargo or gases on roads. The largest of such vehicles are similar to railroad tank cars which are also designed to carry liquefied loads. Many variants exist due to the wide variety of liquids that can be transported. In construction its use for carrying mixed concrete.

25. Forklift: also known as a lift truck, fork truck, or tow-motor, a forklift is a powered industrial truck used to lift and transport materials. Forklifts come in different shapes and sizes that have different carrying capacities. In a typical warehouse setting, most forklifts used have load capacities between one to five tons. Larger machines with up to 50 tons lift capacity are used for lifting heavier loads in the construction site.

26. Hoist: This construction equipment can also be called man-lift, Buck-hoist, temporal lift, builder forklifts, lift or elevator, and is mostly used in large construction projects, tall buildings or large hospitals. Hoist is a device for raising or lowering a load by means of a drum or wheel lift to which wraps the rope or chain.

It can be operated by hand, driven electrically or pneumatically, and the chain or wire rope fibers are used as lifting device. The load is connected to the lift by means of a lifting hook.

27. Conveyor: A conveyor structure is a common piece of mechanical handling equipment that moves materials from one location to another location. Conveyors can prove to be quite handy when dealing with the transportation of heavy or bulky materials. Conveyor systems allow quick and efficient transportation for a wide variety of materials, which make them very popular in the material handling and packaging industries

28. Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM): this construction equipment is frequently used for excavating long tunnels. TBMs are very useful for tunneling in difficult and complex geological environment, including rock and soil mixed and interfaced grounds, bursting rocks, squeezing and swelling grounds, highly rocks fractured, shear and fault zones and grounds under high in situ stress and water pressure.

Tunnel Boring Machine may be suitable for excavating tunnels which contain competent rocks that can provide adequate geological stability for boring a long section tunnel without structural support. However, very hard rock can cause major wear of the TBM rock cutter and may slow down the progress of the tunneling works to the point where TBM becomes useless and uneconomical and may take longer time than the drill and blast tunneling method.

29. Road header machine in Construction: this construction machine is also known as a boom type road header. Road headers are advanced, self forced and extremely powerful rock cutting machines that are designed to excavate roadways, tunnels and compartments continuously without using excessive force.

Powered electro hydraulically, they produce no fumes and are used extensively in mineral mining, coal mining and underground construction projects, where their capacity to excavate the desired profile without causing damaging vibrations is highly valued for both safety environmental reasons.

Here are some types of road header machines

  • Construction road headers: Road headers for construction are set with powerful, transverse cutter heads proven to give the best cutting performance in a wide range of rock formations. Subway tunnels, shaft sinking, rehabilitation of existing tunnels, road tunnels and excavation of underground caverns are some examples where these machines have established their great flexibility.
  • Mining road headers: Road headers for mining are made with powerful, transverse cutter heads proven to give an unparalleled cutting performance in a wide range formation of rock. Mounted on an extremely robust hydraulic boom, they are reliable, rugged, highly creative result for both development and direct production duties.
  • Hydraulic cutting heads: Hydraulic cutting heads are designed to be mounted on suitable excavators quickly and easily. With transverse cutting structures, tried, geometrically optimized and tested on some of the world’s most rocky mining and tunneling areas, they are well organized, multi-use tools for various applications including scaling, production, tunnel treatment, roadway leveling, trenching and demolition.
  • Concrete mixer: A Concrete or Cement Mixer is a construction machine that was designed to mix cement evenly to form aggregates such as sand or gravel and water to concrete. A typical concrete mixer uses a rotating drum for mixing the components. For smaller volume works, portable concrete mixers are regularly used for concrete, and can be produced at the site, so that workers have enough time to use the concrete before it hardens.
Ajaero Tony Martins