Top 12 Construction Machines You See on Job Sites

Any construction site will have a number of machines.  From excavators to graders, there is a machine for every type of job.  Here is a look at some of the main players you often see represented in a construction company’s fleet of machines.

1. Excavators

The top dog is the excavator.  Any construction company needs at least this piece of equipment to be effective.  They aren’t just used to dig but also for lifting, demolition, dredging, tree removal and more.

Excavators come in all sizes, from mini-excavators to mining excavators.

2. Backhoe

Another essential piece of equipment is the backhoe.  Like the excavator, a backhoe can be used for many types of jobs.  A backhoe has both an excavating arm or hoe, and a front bucket.  Like the excavator, a backhoe is prominent with construction companies.  Sometimes a backhoe is the only piece of equipment a company will ever need.

3. Bulldozers

Bulldozers are used to remove the topsoil layer of a surface.  They are also used to clear land and demolish structures.  Much like a tank, dozers will crush virtually anything in its path.  You will see bulldozers operating during road construction.

4. Graders

Another machine you’ll see a lot during road construction are graders.   Graders are mainly used to level ground.  It contains a horizontal blade in between front and rear wheels which does the leveling.

Motor Graders are also used to remove snow or dirt from the roads, flatten the surface of soil before laying asphalt, and to remove unnecessary soil.

5. Trenchers

Trenchers are used to do just what it sounds like they do, they dig trenches.  Trenchers are usually used for laying things like pipelines, cables, drainage lines and anything that is installed underground. Trenching machines are available in two types namely chain trenchers and wheeled trenchers.

Chain trenchers contain a long fixed arm with a digging chain. Wheeled trenchers contain a metal wheel with digging tooth around it. To excavate hard soil layers, wheeled trenchers work better than chain trenchers.  Both types of trenchers can be track machines.

6. Wheel Loaders

If you have a lot of material to move, you’ll need a loader.  Loaders load and dump dirt, rocks, and other materials like waste into dumpsters and trucks.   A loader uses large buckets with a shorter moving arm.

7. Compact Track Loaders

Compact track loaders are often referred to as skid steers.  Although this is incorrect, both machines are similar in function.  Compact track loaders operate on tracks while skid steers are wheeled machines.  Both have buckets up front and operate much like wheel loaders except they are more versatile and move faster than a wheel loader.  Skid steers have more maneuverability than compact track loaders, move quicker, and can be transported more easily.  Both machines can be found on almost any job site.

8. Paver

Pavers will be found anywhere a road is being worked on.  Pavers have a feeding bucket where asphalt is loaded by the dump truck.  The paver distributes the asphalt evenly on the road surface where a roller does the rest.

9. Compactors

Rollers, also called compactors, are used to flatten the asphalt laid down by pavers.  There are different types of rollers.  There are smooth wheeled rollers which are used to compact shallow layers of soil or asphalt.  There are sheep-foot rollers that are used for deeper compact  Pneumatic rollers are used to compact fine grained material.

10. Telehandlers

Telehandlers are somewhat like wheel loaders in that they lift heavy material however, a telehandler has a higher reach.  Telehandlers have a long telescopic boom which can be raised, lowered or positioned forward.

Telehandlers can be fitted with different attachments depending on the task including forklifts, buckets, and jibs.

11. Feller Bunchers

Trees fear the feller bunchers!  Feller bunchers cut down trees quickly and efficiently.  They are obviously used in forestry and also for clearing trees from a construction site.  Feller bunchers gather the trees and load them onto trucks.

12. Dump Trucks

We all know what a dump truck does.  Dump trucks are loaded up and haul material to be dumped in another location.  In the construction business, off road dump trucks are used to get through tough terrain.   Mining dump trucks are especially impressive being able to transport massive loads.