10 Most Popular Types of Heavy Equipment Used in Construction

10 Most Popular Types of Heavy Equipment Used in Construction
10 Most Popular Types of Heavy Equipment Used in Construction
Author: Small Business Expert | June 30, 2023 | Topic: Used Equipment

10 Most Popular Types of Heavy Equipment Used in Construction

Construction projects require various types of equipment to complete different jobs, whether residential, commercial or industrial. Regardless of your project type, heavy equipment can help you get the job done, including excavators, backhoes, pile drivers and tower cranes.

Learn about the most popular machines in construction and why you should consider buying used equipment when you need different equipment for your work.

10 Types of Heavy Equipment Used in Construction

Various types of heavy equipment are used on construction sites, from bulldozers to graders. The type of heavy equipment you use will depend on the scope of your project. Smaller construction projects generally won't need as much heavy equipment as bigger projects.

Here are the different types of equipment commonly used in construction and how they help contractors complete their work.


1. Excavators

Excavators are one of the most popular types of heavy equipment. The primary purpose of excavators is to excavate the land, but excavators are one of the most popular pieces of construction equipment because they can also be used for other purposes, such as:

  • Demolition
  • Cutting trees
  • Heavy lifting
  • River dredging

Excavators use a long arm with a digging bucket attached to the end. The operator controls the machine from the cab, and many cabs can rotate 360 degrees to make operating the equipment easier. Excavators come in wheeled and tracked models, depending on the needs of your operations.


2. Bulldozers

Bulldozers are another popular type of heavy construction equipment. They are critical equipment for various types of construction projects. Some projects that require bulldozers include:

  • Home renovations
  • Farming
  • Demolition
  • Road construction
  • Land clearing

Instead of wheels, most bulldozers use heavy-duty tracks, allowing them to drive around more complex terrain. Bulldozers can push all types of materials, such as dirt, snow, building materials, rocks and sand. Bulldozers also have various blades, including curved, straight, flat or edgeless.


3. Backhoe Loaders

Backhoe loaders are a single piece of heavy equipment that can serve multiple functions, such as a backhoe, tractor and loader. The backhoe is located on the back of the equipment, while the loader is in the front. The tractor is located in the center of the machine.

Since backhoe loaders have multiple functions, you can use this equipment for various jobs, including the following:

  • Hauling
  • Farming
  • Excavation
  • Construction
  • Digging

If you need multiple jobs done at your construction site, a backhoe loader can help you complete various tasks without investing in more than one machine.


4. Dump Trucks

Dump trucks are common heavy equipment used for construction since they help with the transport of materials. Dump trucks are often used to carry construction materials from one site to the next in large quantities or to take materials to a dump site. Off-road dump trucks are typically used at big construction sites.

Off-road dump trucks typically have larger wheels and a large space for materials, which allows them to carry a large supply of materials or waste around various ground conditions. There are also other types of dump trucks, such as articulated trucks.


5. Compactors

Plate compactors are used to compact or crush surfaces to a flat, level area. These compactors use a heavy plate that generates force, using quick and repetitive movements to compact the ground or debris. Plate compactors have multiple industrial applications but can also be used to flatten gravel, soil or sand for other applications.



There are three main types of compactors:

  • Single plate: These compactors are ideal for smaller projects like home renovations or driveways.
  • Reversible plate: Projects that need more versatility are suitable for reversible plate compactors since these machines can move in multiple directions.
  • Heavy-duty plate: These compactors are ideal for industrial and commercial applications.


6. Tower Cranes

Tower cranes are fixed cranes, meaning they cannot be moved once they're put together unless they're taken apart. Contractors typically use tower cranes when they need to hoist materials for tall structures. Tower cranes can lift heavy materials, such as steel frames, trusses and concrete blocks.

This equipment is ideal for a construction project requiring you to reach tall heights. Tower cranes can easily lift heavy materials and are often used for constructing tall buildings.


7. Pavers

Pavers are permanent laying equipment often used in construction. They have a feeding bucket regularly loaded with asphalt by a dump truck. The paver distributes asphalt evenly along the planned road, slightly compacting the asphalt to create a strong final product. However, a roller is often needed after using a paver to achieve perfect compaction.


8. Pile Drivers

Pile drivers are used in pile foundation construction. Pile drivers lift piles and hold them in specific positions until they're in the right position before driving the pile into the ground at the correct depth. Different types of pile drivers are available, including hammer guides, piling rigs and piling hammers. Many pile drivers work by hammering the pile into the ground by dropping or through hydraulics.


9. Graders

Graders are used in construction to level ground, typically for road construction. Graders can also work similarly to bulldozers when they move or push topsoil around. This type of equipment is essential for creating level ground for roadways. Without graders, roads would be uneven and generally unsafe to drive on.


10. Utility Vehicles

Utility vehicles, or UTVs, are small hauling and transportation equipment for construction projects. These vehicles are about the size of a small truck and look similar to sports vehicles. However, UTVs are powerful tools at construction sites that can be used for various applications, including the following:

  • Farming and landscaping
  • Hauling materials across work sites
  • Safe transportation in a hazardous job site
  • Simple transportation and hauling in narrow work environments

Why Buy Used Heavy Equipment?

Contractors use many types of heavy equipment for construction sites, but how can they afford all the necessary equipment?

Construction companies save money by buying used equipment rather than brand-new models. Used equipment is ideal when you're a smaller construction company working on a budget or enjoy older equipment models than newer options.

There are other benefits of buying used equipment apart from lower costs. Some of these benefits include:

  • Less depreciation loss
  • Reduced insurance rates
  • Greater selection
  • More contract flexibility
  • Familiarity with older equipment

Buying used can be more advantageous for your business than purchasing the newest model. Newer models have new technology that your operators may need to familiarize themselves with, which can result in lost time for training. You're also more likely to find the exact equipment you need since you'll likely have a greater selection than if you were looking for the newest model.

Find Used Construction Equipment at Cat Used

If you need used construction equipment for your next project, Cat Used has you covered. Cat® dealers have a wide selection of used construction equipment, from excavators to cranes. You can browse our selection of equipment online to find what you need or find a dealer near you to talk with a representative in person.

You can also sign up for email alerts to get notified when the equipment you're looking for becomes available. Cat Used is here to help you find the equipment you need at an affordable price.

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