9 Types of Heavy Construction Equipment and Their Uses

In the construction work, the construction equipment of different design and type, are required to suit the nature of the work. This equipments are to be collected and kept in a workable condition so as not to obstruct the progress of work.
Furthermore, the selection of different types of heavy construction equipment depends on the size of the work and the economy of the project. In conclusion, if the choice is proper the project can be completed in a short time with less cost.

List of Heavy Construction Equipment

Following are the different  heavy construction equipment used and are as follows:

  1. Excavator
  2. Power Shovel
  3. Drag Lines
  4. Bulldozer
  5. Wheel Tractor Scraper
  6. Back Hoes
  7. Dredgers
  8. Ripper
  9. Motor Grader


Excavator machine removing earth

Excavators are intermittent types of heavy construction equipment and are widely used in the construction industry.

Excavator consists of a long arm (boom), dipper, bucket, and a cab mounted on a rotating platform known as the “house” which eventually sits atop an undercarriage with tracks or wheels.

It is the oldest type of machine which removes earth.  The general purpose of excavator is excavation work but other than that it is also used for different purposes like heavy lifting, digging of trenches, holes, foundations, river dredging, and cutting of trees, etc.

Power Shovel

A Power Shovel (also stripping shovel or front shovel) is a type of excavator and carries a shovel with a sharp cutting edge at its lower end.

Power Shovel - a type of heavy equipment
Power Shovel

Power shovel is generally used to dig at or above the operating level.

The basic parts of a power shovel are track system, boom, cabin, dipper with stick, hoist line, mounting and power system and controls, and bucket.

There are two types of power shovel:

  1. Crawler mounted
  2. Wheel-mounted

Crawler Mounted Power Shovel:

This type of Power Shovel is mounted on a crawler and has a low travel speed. It can be operated only on soft ground.

Wheel Mounted Power Shovel

It can be self-propelled or truck mounted. It has a high travel speed and is suitable for hard soils as well.

Drag Line Excavator

A dragline excavator is another heavy equipment used in construction commonly used for large depth excavation and surface mining. It has a long length boom and an excavator bucket is suspended from the top of the boom using a cable.

dragline excavator performing earthwork
Dragline Excavator

Works like the construction of ports, underwater excavation, removal of sediment in water bodies, etc. all can be done by using a dragline excavator.


Bulldozers are very useful excavation equipment and can be used for the following tasks on construction work such as to clear the site of work, leveling the land, preparing pilot roads through mountains and hard ground, and to excavate the material and haul for a distance of about 100 meters.

Bulldozer a type of heavy construction equipment

In Bulldozer, most of the work is done by a sharp edge wide metal plate provided at its front. A bulldozer can be used on wet ground and in all conditions of climate.

Wheel Tractor Scrapers

Wheel tractor-scraper also sometimes called a belly scraper is a type of heavy construction equipment used for earthmoving. The front section consists of a wheeled tractor vehicle and the rear portion has a scraping arrangement consisting of a horizontal front blade, conveyor belt, and a collecting hopper (also known as the bowl).

Wheel Tractor Scraper - a heavy construction equipment
Wheel Tractor Scraper

The collecting hopper can be hydraulically lowered and raised. When the hopper is lowered, the front edge of the hopper cuts the soil and fills the hopper.

When the hopper is full it is lifted and closed with a vertical blade (known as the apron) and finally, the soil is dumped to the respective place and this whole cycle is repeated.

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The backhoe loader is an interesting invention because it is three pieces of construction equipment in one unit.

JCB backhoe loader

A tractor, a loader, and a backhoe and each piece of equipment are suited to a particular type of work.


The main structure of a backhoe loader is a tractor. Like the tractors used by farmers in their fields, the backhoe tractor is designed to be easily moved to all types of rough areas.


The loader is attached to the front and can perform many different tasks. In many applications, you use it like a large, powerful dustpan or coffee scoop. You don’t usually dig with it; you mostly use it to carry a large amount of loose material like soil, sand, stones, or aggregates.


Backhoe loaders are one of the most popular tools in the earthmoving and heavy construction equipment category because they are highly versatile machines and can be used for many purposes and can easily travel on roads.


Dredging is the process of excavating material from a water environment. Possible objectives of dredging include improvement of existing water facilities; Reshaping land and water characteristics to change drainage, navigability, and commercial use; Construction of rivers and drains, other controls for streams and shorelines; And recovery of commercially valuable mineral deposits or marine life. And the equipment used for this purpose is called the dredger.

Dredger a type of heavy construction equipment

The various types of dredgers employed for this purpose are as follows:

  1. Bucket-ladder dredgers
  2. Dipper-dredgers
  3. Grab dredgers
  4. Hydraulic dredgers


The ripper is a device that is sometimes attached to a tractor. It is mounted on wheels and has two to four teeth, the usual number being three. Ripper is used to break ground and pull roots. This loose material can then be scrapped and removed.

Ripper a type of heavy construction equipment

Rippers are hauled by tractors and serve as accessories or tools for dozers and scrapers.

Motor Grader

Graders also called motor grader is a type of heavy equipment used in construction, especially used for the construction of roads.

Motor Grader a type of heavy construction equipment
Motor Grader

It is used for spreading loose material, leveling the soil surface, building earth roads, and shaping subgrade. It is either self-propelled or towed by a tractor.

Last Words

I hope you got complete information about the Types of Heavy Construction Equipment in this article.

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