As any construction worker or project manager will tell you, there is a lot of action that takes place on a construction site. These sites can be located in the middle of a bustling CBD, or can be in a remote location in challenging conditions. While the location might vary, the heavy machinery will typically look the same at each site, unrivalled in their ability to streamline processes and deliver projects on time and to scope.
If you’re new to these sites, looking to brush-up on the wider machinery types that you don’t use, or simply hoping to understand what machinery you will need for an upcoming project – here are the usual suspects you can expect to see. Let’s get to know them.
Skid steer loaders
Heavy machines, such as skid steer loader are a compact piece of equipment that will typically assist with excavating work, digging and roadbuilding. The short and rigid frame of a skid steer loader is easily recognised, but they are deceptively powerful in what they do. Depending on the skid steer loader in question, they can attach to other machinery and infrastructure and carry large loads, with the powerful wheels offering a shock-absorbent experience for the driver. The machinery gets its name as skid steer loaders can only move straight, and when they need to turn left and right the wheels turn to create a skidding motion that steers the machinery in the intended direction.
Excavators are a critical piece to any construction site and will typically sit onsite for the duration of the project as they can be used in a number of functions. Digging, material handling, construction and demolition work will be the most common uses for an excavator, but they are also used for brush cutting, forestry work, mining and drilling. In recent years, building companies and independent builders have started to hire or buy excavators to speed up small, local projects as their diverse capabilities really do make them a time saver. Unlike the skid steer loader, and excavator can swivel 360 degrees, making it more agile and efficient on a construction site, but work fantastically in tandem with a skid steer loader.
The duality of a backhoe (also known as a rear actor or back actor) has made it a very popular machine to find on a construction site. As the name suggests, the back of the machinery has a hoe function, whereas the front, has a loading bucket to clear materials. For large projects when trench digging is required, the backhoe can very efficiently loosen and lift the ground and then remove the material as it goes using the front bucket loader. As you can imagine, they can also be quite effective on farms when widespread farm work is required.
Through the lifecycle of a construction project, the grader is used periodically to level the ground so that further work can continue. A grader is a compact unit with a unique wheel that is a horizontal blade that connects the front and back wheel. The horizontal blade almost resembles an army tank with it’s rolling wheel motion, except these wheels are bladed. You may have seen these graders on the roads before, as they are used to flatten surfaces before asphalt is applied to that ground. More infrequently, motor graders are used for clearing large volumes of snow and soil from roads or any area.
Knowing what you are looking at on the construction site can only serve your efficiency, and it is also a great safety measure to be aware of the capabilities and motions of these large and intentionally destruction machines. If you have any more questions about the heavy machinery, don’t hesitate to ask their operators.