Skip to main content

ToughJobs may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

5 types of heavy construction equipment and when to use them 

Being in construction for years or as a startup can be challenging and lucrative. Having the right heavy equipment can make a big difference in how fast and effective you are. Given all the heavy construction machinery out there, be sure to buy and take care of the right pieces of equipment you need to operate. Not doing so can set your construction business back and give the competition a leg up on you. Without the proper equipment, it stands to reason you will have a hard time completing jobs. Even with the right equipment in place, never take your eye off the need for safety.

Construction job injuries, unfortunately, happen all too often. This is oftentimes due to cutting corners, not taking care of equipment, and so on. Such injuries can range from minor to serious and even lead to deaths at times. Mishaps can be falls, equipment malfunction or improper use, electrocutions, and more. That said, always be safe on the job and review your equipment often to make sure it is properly working.

With that in mind, what types of heavy equipment for construction should you and your team be investing in, and how best can you safely use the items?

Two construction professionals

Heavy construction equipment

Having bulldozers can clear the way to get a job done

One of the first pieces of heavy construction equipment you’ll want to shop for is bulldozers. This equipment will come in quite handy on an array of projects your business is involved in. Among the uses would be for clearing land that you plan to build on. You can also use it on a road surface under construction, a home under major renovations, demolishing property, and more.

When using such equipment, be sure that the blades are checked for any notable signs of wear and tear. It is also important that you check the oil on a regular basis. Failure to do this can put more pressure on parts and lead to engine failure when all is said and done.

In maintaining a bulldozer so you get the most out of it, also review the undercarriage on a regular basis. Failure to do this can lead to debris gathering underneath the bulldozer. If this occurs, it can stymie you from being able to use this all-important piece of equipment.

Related: Asset Predictive Maintenance

Dump trucks help you move materials from one locale to another

Having dump trucks in your fleet is also important for your construction operation. Dump trucks make it easy to move materials from one place to another. For example, you may be tasked with demolishing a building, home, or other type of structure. The dump trucks used allow you to transport old building materials to a dump site for burial. Depending on the types of materials transported, some may be eligible for recycling. In maintaining your dump truck/s, be sure to watch all engine fluids on a continual basis.

Hydraulic and other fluids can’t be taken for granted. Properly maintaining tires, brakes, and other such things will help you get more life out of your truck/s. It is also important to avoid putting too much debris in the back of the truck when hauling items away. Loads too big can lead to less performance from your truck since the engine has to work harder, the tires take on more wear and tear, and so on.

Worst of all, an overloaded dump truck increases the chances of an accident while it is moving. Such accidents can cause injuries to your driver and other people in the vicinity should the truck tip over, lose control on a hill, and more.

Safety inspector at job site

Lift your company to new heights

Various construction projects demand getting off the ground. As such, having the right boom lift can prove important to your business. Such projects can involve lighting, billboards, and work on high rises.

A boom lift allows your workers to ascend to various heights where work needs to be done at heights that can’t be reached from the ground alone. With a boom lift, make sure your worker inside of it is secure and not in danger of falling, for example. It is also key when operating a lift that you avoid coming in contact with electrical lines and other items. These can pose a major safety hazard to your team.

Check your boom lift often to make sure the tires are in good working condition. Also, review the mechanism to lift and lower workers on a regular basis. The last thing you want is a worker getting stuck up high because the machine can’t lower them back down as it should.

Excavator digs working tough jobs and long hours

Having one or more excavators in your arsenal allows you to dig deep. This equipment is for projects where roads, sidewalks, and other surfaces need to be worked on. You can also find excavators working on trenches and other such items.

If driving down a highway or on a property, you could see an excavator clearing and removing brush. Your excavator, like many other pieces of equipment, needs to have all fluids checked on a continual basis.

Fluid levels much too low can end up damaging the construction machine and leading to costly repairs. Also, check the undercarriage regularly so that debris is not accumulating. Such debris not removed can slow the excavator from properly doing its job.

Asphalt pavers can pave the way to getting the job done

Do you have a construction business where paving needs are the norm? If yes; an asphalt paver can get the job done on a continual basis. This equipment will allow you to work on roads when putting down asphalt is necessary. These roads can be everything from major highways to local roads, alleyways, and so forth.

You will use the asphalt paver in conjunction with a roller to make for a smooth surface no matter where the materials are being laid. Be sure the paver has been cleaned thoroughly before starting another workday. Old asphalt accumulating from a prior job or one you are doing over many days can cause problems.

While these are but a few of the heavy pieces of construction equipment, they are some of the most used and seen ones. When using these and other such items, care for them. Make sure safety is something you do not take for granted when constructing new projects.

Editors' Recommendations

Former Digital Trends Contributor
These 5 Truck Accessories Will Help Get the Job Done
GMC Hummer EV truck

Trucks are versatile vehicles that are perfect for those who need more than a car to get around town. Trucks can be used for hauling and towing for work-related necessities. The popular pickup truck can also be used for off-road jobs and is built for any terrain. The following accessories are great additions to your pickup truck that you will definitely need for your next job.

Whether you are a contractor or helping someone with a heavy-duty task, you can rely on additions to assist you with any job. From adding lights to be utilized as an extra source of light at night to securing important items to your truck with a reliable net to ensure no items fall off of your truck bed, you'll be glad you invested in your truck with these recommendations. Maximize your potential for on-road and off-road jobs with these additions.

Read more
The best construction management software
Engineer working on tablet

Construction management requires more than wearing one hat. Leading contractors and construction crews and coordinating with owners and other builders takes skill and the right resources. One of these resources includes construction management software.

Different platforms help you track projects, timelines, purchase orders, and materials. Some platforms are industry specific, while others support general management. If you're new to construction management (or a seasoned pro), you'll discover the best software is construction specific. Read on for a breakdown of some of the most popular and effective software for managing every aspect of construction.
Best overall
The best overall software for construction management is Buildertrend. Used worldwide, this platform suits home builds, remodels, specialty jobs, and general contracting. The top features of this program include:

Read more
The basics of personal protective equipment (PPE) for construction
Construction PPE inspector

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is a must for many types of work. Still, it has always been a priority in the construction field. Every day on the work site poses more risks than your average job. That’s why a great foreperson is always on their workers to be equipped with the most effective PPE.

If you're a foreperson trying to equip your workers with the tools to stay safe on the job, there are several types of construction PPE to consider. However, before we dive into those, let's look at two factors that we must examine first.
Does construction PPE meet OSHA standards?
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration requires specific categories of PPE or the PPE must meet standards developed by the American National Standards Institute. Whether you’re supplying your employees with PPE or they have to provide their own, their construction PPE must meet these standards. The specific areas of PPE that must meet the ANSI standards are eye and face protection, head protection, and foot protection. If these PPE standards aren’t satisfied, you could see severe citations during OSHA inspections.

Read more