Types of Construction Vehicles

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To prepare land and build a structure at a construction site, companies use a variety of vehicles. Each vehicle has its own assignments at the site based on its capabilities, and its operator is responsible for using the vehicle to complete any work needed. That’s why it’s important for individuals interested in a career in the construction field to learn about the different types of construction vehicles.

Several different types of construction vehicles are used in constructing new highways.
(Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Anita Martinz)

Bulldozers are often the first vehicles on a construction site as they clear the ground by pushing away debris. The heavy metal blade attached to the front makes it easy for them to push debris of all types including concrete, tree branches and large rocks. Once the debris has been cleared, dirt is moved around to make the site level.

Although often dirty, bulldozer tires are built for handling debris and rough terrains.
Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of doug wilson

As bulldozers push debris and excess dirt to the side of the construction site, front loaders load it on to dump trucks for it to be hauled away. With a shovel/scoop attached to the front of the vehicle, they easily scoop, lift and dump dirt until the site has been cleared. Front loaders do have a limitation, though, since they are unable to dig or scoop dirt lower than ground level.

A front loader hauls dirt on a construction site.
Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Bill Jacobus

Hauling debris and dirt away from the construction site is the responsibility of the dump truck. They also can bring in additional rocks, gravel or dirt if needed to stabilize or level the land at a site. There are a variety of types of dump truck vehicles in construction. Some of these include the standard double and triple trailer vehicles, which allow one truck to haul multiple trailers of dirt and debris. In addition, there are off-road dump trucks that are used in rough terrains and mining.

Dump trucks are used on construction sites to haul dirt, rocks and gravel.
Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Matti Mattila

When digging is needed at a construction site, a backhoe or excavator is used. Backhoes can be used for shallow digging projects such as small trenches for water or sewer pipes. They are also used to bury pipes after they’ve been laid by covering them with excess dirt. For larger digging projects, such as a basement or tunnel, excavators are used. The depth to which they can dig is based on the length and height of their boom or arm. The longer and taller it is, the farther down they can dig.

An excavator prepares to dig up at a construction site.
Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Aitor Escauriaza

Work can begin on an actual structure once the ground has been prepared. Cranes are often brought in for large structures or commercial buildings where there is a need to lift heavy objects such as metal beams and other materials. In addition, this type of construction vehicle may be used for large buildings where a need to reach high exists. Cranes vary in size and abilities as there are a number of different types. Truck-mounted cranes, tower cranes and rough terrain cranes are just a few of the cranes available for use in the construction industry.

Cranes are used in the construction of tall buildings.
Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Russell James Smith

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