Starting from electric shovels to giant draglines, a wide range of of heavy-duty vehicles are used for construction work. These earth moving vehicles are specially designed to carry out earthwork tasks. Most people are only familiar with names of few such machines, and lack a better understanding of uses of equipment.
Right from excavating to removing debris, each equipment has its own set of tasks. Let’s have a look at some of the most common types of earthmoving machines and their uses.
Considered to be the Swiss army in the list of heavy construction equipment, an excavator is known for its superior functionalities. Generally, it consists of a stick, bucket, boom and a cab and all these structures are placed on a rotating platform which is known as ‘house’. There are cable-operated excavators and hydraulic excavators as well. The type used in construction once again depends on tasks of the jobsite.
Excavators are used for digging trenches and holes, forestry mulching, general excavation, mining (except open-pit mining), demolition tasks and river dredging. It is also used for brush cutting but that requires hydraulic attachments.
2. Road Rollers
A road roller is used for compacting gravel, soil or concrete during construction of roads and foundations. A road roller uses its weight to compress the surface. Road rollers are further divided into different types based on their speed, size, weight and technology used. Type of road roller used largely depends on conditions of jobsite. It is mostly used for construction of driveways and pathways. Rollers of lighter weight are also used in agriculture or at landfills.
3. Hydraulic Hammers
Also known as breakers, hydraulic hammers are powerful percussion hammers which are fitted to excavators. These are chiefly used for demolishing concrete rocks or structures. A hydraulic hammer is run through auxiliary hydraulic system which is attached with the excavator. This is fitted to a foot-operated valve. If a hydraulic hammer is used for demolishing purpose, then demolition crews make use of hoe ram. This makes the hammer suitable for heavy jobs.
4. Dump Trucks
Dump trucks are heavy construction equipment that are used for transporting and removing loose materials like dirt, sand and gravel. A dump truck consists of an open-box bed. This bed is fixed at the rear and is equipped with hydraulic pistons. These pistons are used to lift the front and allow materials to be deposited at the site of delivery.
One of the huge advantages of using a dump truck is that it can be driven through longer distances without disrupting normal traffic. Further, it doesn’t take much time. Another great benefit of dump trucks is that loads can be carried and deposited with minimal efforts. All these tasks can be carried out by the driver without leaving the cab.
A bulldozer is basically a crawler which is equipped with a metal plate and is used for pushing large amount of rubble, sand and other similar materials during construction. It is equipped with a claw-like device at the rear. This is known as a ripper, and it is used for loosening densely compacted materials.
Bulldozers can be widely spotted on mines, construction sites, heavy industry factories and on military bases. Bulldozers used in military bases are often fitted with armors. The armor offers protection to drivers from enemy firings. This makes it suitable to be used in battle zones. The general uses of bulldozers include road carving, ground leveling and removing terrain obstacles.
This earthmoving equipment is usually used for surface mining and civil engineering. Dragline is counted among the largest mobile equipment present on land. Its weight ranges from 2000 metric tonnes to 13000 metric tonnes. The smaller types are used as pile driving rigs while bigger ones are used for strip-mining, tar-sand mining and other heavier excavating operations.
Besides the above mentioned equipment, other common earthmoving machines include post hole diggers, cranes, drilling machines, loaders and pile drivers. We hope that knowing about various earth moving machines will help you select standard equipment for specific tasks.