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30 Types Of Heavy Construction Equipment

Construction equipment, also called heavy construction equipment, is heavy-duty vehicles designed to perform various tasks. Drilling, paving, excavating, lifting, transporting, etc are tasks that are made easier with the help of these machines. 

Residential building concept: yellow tower cranes at the construction of the low rise houses near the river and forest.Types Of Heavy Construction Equipment.

Most, if not all, construction sites have some sort of heavy equipment to help with the construction process. 

Since these machines add to the overall efficiency and quality of the work done, choosing the right equipment for your project is essential. But before you do, learning about the common types of heavy construction equipment can help you make the right choice. 

To make things easier, I have compiled an extensive list of the same. 

30 Types Of Heavy Construction Equipment

The platinum mining machinery in a site in South Africa. Types Of Heavy Construction Equipment.

1. Articulated Trucks 

Articulated Trucks

Articulated trucks are a type of heavy-duty dump truck, adaptable to various conditions while proving versatile. These trucks comprise two components; a narrow trailer, also known as a dump box, and a cab. To connect these two components, a pivoting hinge is used. 

These dump trucks are best used in worksites for more complicated or challenging tasks and sites without paved roads. Additionally, areas with highly steep terrain, sandy or slippery areas and low ceilings are where an articulated dump truck functions best. 

Ideally, these trucks can be used for: 

  • Recycling 
  • Scrapping 
  • Utility construction 
  • Material Hauling 
  • Aggregate hauling 
  • Mining 

Make sure to opt for an articulated truck that can accommodate the load you require it to haul. 

2. Asphalt Pavers 

Asphalt Pavers

Asphalt pavers are used along with a dump truck carrying asphalt, before transferring it to the paver. When the paver is filled with asphalt, it uses dispersion augers to lay asphalt on a flat surface. After scattering it, the asphalt paver rolls over the dispersed material and flattens it using a hydraulic cylinder, creating a stable and smooth surface.

An Asphalt paver is used in areas like:

  • Roads, both public and private 
  • Bridge decks 
  • Parking spaces 
  • Industrial areas and sites 
  • Driveways 
  • Recreation courts 
  • Building construction 

These pavers usually come in various sizes, widths, and speed levels. 

3. Backhoe Loaders 

Backhoe Loaders

Backhoe loaders are a type of heavy equipment, similar to a compact track loader, that are pretty versatile as they can act as a tractor, loader, or backhoe. Typically, the backhoe is situated at the back of the truck, whereas the front part comprises the loading mechanism. 

The middle or central areas of the backhoe loader consist of the tractor. Since these machines are designed to handle numerous tasks, they can be used for the following: 

  • Excavation 
  • Digging 
  • Hauling 
  • Construction 
  • Farming 

4. Cold Planners 

Asphalt spreader in work. Road repair, construction, heavy special machinery. Cold Planners.

Cold planners are heavy construction equipment mainly used for rotating carbide cutters, drums, asphalt, and mill pavements. They can be used for either in-depth removal or just a minimal removal process. Since asphalt and pavement milling/rotating results in a lot of dust, workers usually use a water system to maintain a safe workspace. 

Cold planners can be used for various reasons, including: 

  • Creating rumble strips 
  • Smoothing land before paving 
  • Minimizing or preventing possible potholes 
  • Recycling asphalt for various projects 

Similar to most heavy construction equipment, cold planners come in various sizes. 

5. Compactors 


Plate compactors make a surface into a compact, leveled, and flat area. They use vertically vibrating, heavy plates to break down the debris on the surface with repetitive or quick movements. Apart from industrial substances, these compactors can also level or flatten soil, gravel, and sand. 

There are three types of plate compactors - single, reversible, and heavy-duty. They can be used based on your project requirements, such as -

  • Single plate: used for small-scale asphalt projects 
  • Reversible plate: used for more versatile projects 
  • Heavy-duty plate: used for larger industrial projects for construction or roadway. 

6. Bulldozers 


Bulldozers, generally known as dozers, are a heavy-duty tractor used for moving larger objects like demolition debris, rocks, and other materials in a construction area. 

These machines have a large metal plate, also known as the dozer blade, attached to its front. This metal plate, usually made of sheet metal, helps move the materials, while a ripper is attached to the back of the construction machine to loosen materials that are compressed tightly. 

Bulldozers are a tractor with a four-wheel drive. However, the wheels can be mounted on a loop of metal threads to move easily even in rough terrain. 

7. Motor Graders 

A construction heavy equipment on the site on a sunny day. Motor Graders.

A Motor grader is the most popular and commonly used heavy construction equipment and these machines lay out a leveled, flat surface for asphalt scattering. There are two types of motor graders based on their frame arrangements - rigid frame grader and articulated frame grader. 

The former comprises an individual axle and cannot turn left or right about a point. On the other hand, an articulated motor grader has a hinge in the middle of the front and rear axle, enabling it to move in smaller spaces without any problem. 

8. Draglines

Crane in the earth career against the sky. Draglines.

Draglines are wheel excavators used for large-scale projects which enable you to reach impressive depths. They are typically used in mining areas, ground excavation sites, etc., and function with a boom arm consisting of a wire-based drag and ropes for hoisting. 

These hoist ropes have a digging bucket attached to them and move in unison to push the bucket down from the starting point. A dragline operator then controls the ropes and the bucket to collect debris and other objects. 

Since they are heavy and tall, they are usually assembled in the respective workspace instead of being transported from one place to another. However, if you need to use these excavators for a small-scale project, there are smaller models available. 

9. Drills 

A powerful drilling rig for peeling at a construction site. Operation of the drilling rig in northern conditions. Pile foundations. Bored piles. Drills.

Rotary or Blasthole drills are heavy construction equipment used for drilling in mining areas. A common question people have is if it is any similar to a rotary tool? Well, not really because rotary tools focus on sanding, polishing, etc. whereas rotary drills focus on drilling.

These devices are gaining popularity among many heavy equipment handlers and construction workers due to their user-friendly built-in features. These features allow you to finish your construction project safely and quickly. 

Some of the features these machines are:

  • Built-in cameras 
  • Depth tracking 
  • Automatic drilling 
  • Retracting and leveling 
  • HVAC systems that limit exposure to dust

Most non-automated drilling devices offer similar results, but the above-mentioned features make automated drills a safer and more productive option on a construction site. 

10. Dump Truck

Dump Truck

Dump trucks, also called damper or tipper trucks, are heavy construction machines used to collect and mix dumps from one place to another. Gravel, sand, or any demolition waste/debris can be transported easily with the help of a dump truck. 

A dump truck comprises an open-box bed, located at the rear of the machine, that uses hydraulic rams to raise and lower the bed. 

11. Road Rollers 

View on the road rollers working on the new road construction site. Selective focus on road repairing. Closeup. Road Rollers.

A road roller, also called a roller-compactor, is a machine typically used to compact soil, concrete, asphalt, or gravel when constructing foundations or roads. 

They can consist of rubber tire smooth rollers or a double-drum asphalt roller. Some rollers have a combination of both, and the most suitable type of rough or smooth rollers can be determined based on the mixture used for the project. 

12. Excavators 

A large construction excavator of yellow color on the construction site in a quarry for quarrying. Industrial image. Excavators.

An excavator is a common sight in any construction site or workplace. Since they are adaptable and robust, they are used often in most small and large-scale projects. The excavator's cabin is a rotating platform that can rotate at 360 degrees and is connected to a bucket with a long arm. These machines are typically used for demolishing, excavating, brush removal, hauling, and forestry operations with their respective attachments. 

There are three different sizing options for excavators. These include: 

  • Mini excavator: used to navigate hard-to-reach places in construction areas for small-scale projects. 
  • Medium excavator: used to handle larger projects, but not as big as a large excavator
  • Large excavator: used for more large-scale and high volume construction work

13. Forklifts 


Forklifts are commonly found on a construction site, as they are generally used to move objects from one place to another safely. However, they only travel short distances and are used for moving items from worksites to warehouses. 

These machines come in several types, with the primary four being: 

  • Counterweight: consists of a built-in counterweight system which keeps it stable 
  • Side loaders: used in smaller warehouses to transport items from storage to rack 
  • Pallet jack: designed to transport pallets within a warehouse and is easy to use
  • Warehouse: ideally used in warehouses to move supplied shipments and products

Before you opt for a forklift, ensure that you choose the one that aligns with your needs, like the size, volume, and weight of the items.

14. Electric Rope Shovels 

Old machine in coal mine. Electric Rope Shovels.

Electric rope shovels are generally used only in mining sites since they can withstand harsh working conditions. Because they use electricity for running, there is much less risk of wear and tear developing over time. So, this machine's maintenance and replacement costs aren’t as high with proper care. Most modern machines have energy-efficient features that make them long-lasting and easy to use. 

15. Off-highway Trucks 

Giant dump trucks are working in the mine for the production of apatite in the Murmansk region carrying rock. Extraction of minerals in the harsh highlands. Off-highway Trucks.

Off-highway trucks are similar to dump trucks that offer hauling lowers for heavy-duty work. Due to this, they are often used in mining sites, quarries, and other similar industrial projects that need proper transportation of bulk construction materials. 

These trucks can transport twice the number of loose materials, like stone, soil, etc. compared to a conventional truck.  Based on your project, you can invest in an off-highway truck with more than one dump bucket for increased efficiency.

16. Scissor Lifts 

Scissor lifts platform with hydraulic system elevated towards a factory roof with construction workers, Mobile aerial work platform

An aerial scissor lift is an elevated, mobile construction platform that can be used as a safer and more robust alternative to a conventional ladder. Since they comprise steel, struts, and several cross beams, they are sturdier and can support the weight of more than one worker. They can also be used to carry professional and DIY tools, paint cans, materials, etc.

They are ideally used for: 

  • Warehouse storage 
  • Material handling 
  • Stockroom storage 
  • Commercial building maintenance 
  • Construction projects 

Investing in a scissor lift will be beneficial if your workspace consists of any hard-to-reach places. 

17. Truck Crane 

Truck Crane

A truck crane is a truck with a self-propelled crane attached to it for lifting and moving debris, sand, and other loose materials from one place to another. They comprise two parts - the lower component, which consists of the chassis or the undercarriage, and the upper component, consisting of the crane.

These components are attached to a turntable that allows the crane to move 180 degrees or 360 degrees. 

18. Pile Driving Machine 

Powerful hydraulic drilling rig at a construction site. The device of pile foundations. Bored piles. Heavy construction equipment. Pile Driving Machine.

A pile driving machine, also called a pile driver, is generally used in the construction industry to install a pile into the ground and is similar to a pile boring machine. Pile drivers can install precast piles into the ground without excavating the area first. 

It lifts the pile, places it in the correct position, and forces it into the ground up to the desired depth. Additional weights can also be placed on top of the piles to help go deeper into the ground. 

When these weights are raised to the highest point with the help of diesel or hydraulics, they are released quickly. This results in the weight hitting the pile and pushing it deeper into the ground. 

19. Skid Steer Loaders 

Skid Steer Loaders

Skid steer loaders are versatile machines that can be used for various small-scale and large-scale jobs. They are commonly found in most construction sites as they are compatible with various attachments. Additionally, a skid steer loader helps complete the construction or demolition work safely and quickly.

Some of the uses of a skid steer loader include -

  • Land clearing 
  • Forestry 
  • Site cleaning 
  • Demolition
  • Road work
  • Landscaping 
  • Farming 
  • Excavation 

Like most heavy construction equipment, these machines are available in three sizes; small, medium, and large. 

20. Wheel Tractor Scraper 

A wheel tractor scraper is used mainly for construction, mining, or as earth-moving equipment. The back of the machine consists of a vertical moving hopper along with a sharp horizontal front edge. This hopper can be raised or lowered using a hydraulic lift system. 

When you lower the hopper, its sharp edge digs into the ground and fills it with soil. Once filled, the hopper is lifted and closed with a vertical blade, also known as an apron. 

Wheel tractor scrapers help move the contents to the delivery or constitution site. To unload the contents, the apron is lifted, and the rear panel of the hopper is moved forward, thus dropping the soil. 

21. Feller Bunchers 

woodworking in the forest. cleaning fallen trees after a strong wind. heavy technique working in the forest. forest industry. Feller Bunchers.

Though rarely talked about when it comes to heavy equipment, the feller bunchers make harvesting and gathering load materials effortless. Additionally, they make transporting logs from one place to another much more manageable. 

These machines are equipped with blades that can cut through multiple trees quickly and arrange them in an orderly fashion for easy pickup. The logs are then transported to a construction site for further processing. 

22. Concrete Mixer 

Concrete Mixer

As the name suggests, a concrete mixer is a specially designed truck that allows for mixing and transporting concrete to the construction site. Initially, these trucks are filled with several dry materials and water, after which the mixing begins and continues until the delivery is complete. 

Apart from mixing on the way, these trucks can be loaded with concrete that has already been mixed at a plant. Since concrete can dry up and harden, maintaining its watery consistency is essential. This is where concrete mixers come into play, keeping the concrete runny until it’s delivered. 

23. Utility Vehicles 

Utility Vehicles 

Utility vehicles, also known as UTVs, are small, motorized vehicles that can transport and haul materials. In terms of function, they are similar to standard trucks and look like sports vehicles. However, despite their smaller sizes, these machines are a staple in most, if not all, construction sites. 

They are helpful for various purposes, including:

  • Hauling materials from one place to another 
  • Farming projects 
  • Landscaping projects 
  • Safe and enclosed transportation 
  • Easy hauling through narrow work areas 

Since these machines are an essential component of several construction projects, it is necessary to ensure your machine is both durable and comfortable. Modern-day UTVs have several advantages, such as ergonomic seats, quiet operation, more space, adjustable steering columns, etc. 

24. Trenchers 

A trencher machine used to dig trenches for laying pipes on under construction site.

Trenchers, also known as trenching machines, are used to excavate ground trenches for laying cables, pipelines, drainage systems, etc. 

These machines come in two different types; chain trenchers and wheeled trenchers. The former consists of a long arm fixed to the machine, where you can find a digging chain. Wheeled trenchers, on the other hand, consist of a metal wheel and digging teeth around it, and the metal wheel can be polished with the help of an angle grinder.

Both options are available in tracked as well as wheeled forms but a wheeled trencher is more practical for excavating hard soil ground.

25. Tower Cranes 

Construction site building on blue sky background. Tower Cranes.

Tower cranes are a pretty common sight in construction projects and demolitions. They are fixed cranes used to hoist materials and people, especially when constructing tall buildings. 

Heavy objects such as steel trusses, pre-stressed concrete blocks, frames, etc., can be lifted easily to impressive heights with a tower crane. Tower cranes have four components; mast, jib, counter job, and operator cabin. The mast is the vertical supporting tower that can lift heavy materials, and the jib is the operating arm. 

A counter jib is an opposite arm that carries counterweights on the back of the crane, while the operator cabin is for controlling the crane.

26. Boom Lifts 

Boom Lifts

A boom lift, also known as a cherry picker or a basket crane, is a heavy machinery used mainly as an aerial lift. Boom lifts are commonly used to enable workers to access areas that are otherwise unreachable and higher up. 

Though they are often used in construction sites and industrial settings, they are not limited to these areas. Due to its versatility, a boom lift can be used in several fields including: 

  • Construction 
  • Painting 
  • Forestry 
  • Fire fighting 
  • Farming 
  • Harvesting 
  • Window cleaning 

Boom lifts come in various types, the two main options being articulating and telescoping. Depending on the size of the machine and the platform, these lifts can accommodate more than one worker at a time. 

27. Towable Light Towers 

Towable Light Towers

These are the perfect solution for construction workers who have had to race with the sun to finish an outdoor project. Light towers comprise a group of powerful lights connected to the top of a vertical beam. 

Solar panels or power generators often power these lights. Additionally, they are pretty portable, so you can move them from one site to another without having to worry about working without lights.

Most importantly, they keep workers at the site safe and increase the work hours in a day for an important project. 

28. Wheel Loaders 

Heavy wheel loader with a bucket at a construction site. Close-up. Equipment for earthworks, transportation and loading of bulk materials - earth, sand, crushed stone. Wheel Loaders.

Wheel loaders generally comprise a front-loading bucket that can be used to transport dirt and debris from the construction site. Compared to a compact track loader, these machines have much more durable wheels, making navigating and driving across the workplace effortless. 

Several wheel loader attachments can make the machine more adaptable to your needs. These include: 

  • Snowblowers 
  • Cold planers 
  • Asphalt cutters 
  • Trenchers 
  • Stump grinders 

29. Carry Deck Crane

A Mobile Crane and tower crane for pouring concrete in construction site. Carry Deck Crane.

Carry deck cranes are a smaller and mobile version of a crane with a platform that can rotate 360 degrees. The deck, or operating platform, lies on top of four wheels, with a control panel and steering wheel to control and move the crane. 

Since a carry deck crane cannot travel significant distances, it is commonly used for lifting or transporting heavy materials within proximity of a worksite. 

30. Telescopic Cranes 

blue crane lifting mechanism with hooks near the glass modern building, crane and hydraulic high lift up to 120 meters. Telescopic Cranes.

Telescopic cranes are heavy construction equipment that work like regular cranes but are more compact. They have a boom in which multiple hydraulic cylinders are attached, all placed inside each other. This allows the boom to expand and contract the crane's length, similar to a telescope. 

Most of these cranes are attached to tracks that allow them to move from one place to another, which makes them ideal for short-term jobs. 

A special machine cuts the asphalt. The technician removes the old asphalt and loads it into a dump truck. Road repair, asvalt replacement, construction work. Types Of Heavy Construction Equipment Final Words.

Types Of Heavy Construction Equipment Final Words

All types of heavy construction equipment make the job a lot easier for engineers and construction workers. However, it is not necessary that one project will require all thirty of these machines. 

The best thing to do is to identify the demands of your project and use heavy equipment that aligns with your needs. Keep in mind that your focus should be on heavy-duty finding machines that make the work easier, are durable, and safe to use in the workplace.