When you have a big job to do, it’s always important to have the right tools and equipment available. Heavy machinery is necessary for many construction projects but can pose serious hazards when used incorrectly. Here are some of the most common pieces of heavy equipment and their specialized uses.
Bulldozers are some of the most recognizable and frequently used pieces of heavy equipment. The front of the construction vehicle is equipped with a large, flat blade connected to the rest of the machine by two hydraulic pistons. Operators can adjust the blade as needed to move larger amounts of dirt and rocks across a large area. The equipment is especially useful for leveling the ground or cutting through expansive stretches of land. Bulldozers move using wide metals tracks, which are effective at covering uneven terrain and crushing small rocks.
A favorite of many young children, dump trucks are another popular and recognizable piece of heavy equipment. With wheels, as tall as a person, these giants are needed on almost every construction site to transport large quantities of supplies or debris. Multiple sizes and variations are available to suit the needs of a diverse variety of worksites.
- Rigid frame trucks are typically used to transport large, abrasive materials such as rock across flat or well-maintained stretches of land.
- Articulating frame trucks are better adapted for rough road conditions. They are particularly effective at transporting materials across poorly maintained land or areas with multiple grades of steepness.
Cranes are typically seen on industrial or commercial construction sites. While it might seem like every crane looks and operates the same, there are in fact many varieties. Most are temporary constructions, but mobile and even permanent varieties exist. Factors such as weight, what you’re lifting and how far you need to lift the cargo all determine which crane is best for the job.
- Boom Truck Cranes are designed to lift and move materials. A rotating base structure is attached to a hydraulic winch that raises and lowers the boom.
- Tower Cranes are the huge varieties used to construct tall buildings, with a lift capacity of about 20 tons and a boom length of 230 to 265 feet.
- Hoist and Elevator Cranes are used to transport people or materials to different levels of a structure, similar to a standard elevator.
- Crawler Cranes are built on continuous track vehicles. This allows them to move across soft soil. They can lift up to 3,500 tons.
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