Best Types of Heavy Equipment for Demolition

Best Types of Heavy Equipment for Demolition
Best Types of Heavy Equipment for Demolition
Author: Small Business Expert | February 26, 2024 | Topic: Used Equipment

Best Types of Heavy Equipment for Demolition

Complex demolition tasks call for the most efficient and heavy-duty equipment. You'll need reliable machinery when performing different deconstruction tasks, such as crushing rocks, wood and other materials, clearing debris, grading and leveling ground, and breaking down buildings.

There are countless equipment options on the market. This can make determining the right machines for your demolition projects challenging. That's why we put together this list of the best heavy equipment for demolition and their common uses.

6 Types of Equipment Used in Demolition

Many machines can make your demolition projects more productive. Wondering which one is right for you? Below are some of the best equipment for demolition and the different tasks they can manage.


1. Excavators

Excavators are among the most versatile and efficient types of demolition machinery. They include a cab, arm and bucket for tearing and digging up terrain. You can equip an excavator with various attachments to perform different demolition projects. Some attachments might include hydraulic hammers, concrete cutters and grapples.

This machine can handle numerous residential and commercial demolition tasks, including:

  • Knocking down trees, then loading them onto a truck to be cleared away from the site
  • Demolishing walls
  • Digging holes
  • Transferring materials from job sites to truck beds

Excavators come in a range of styles and sizes. Tracked models are a staple for navigating irregular terrain, while wheeled models are better for flat, even surfaces. Likewise, a smaller excavator is ideal for digging a hole to bury a tree stump, and a larger excavator is necessary when demolishing an entire house.


2. Skid Steer and Compact Track Loaders

A skid steer loader is a compact machine with a bucket and blade. It's excellent for small-scale projects and maneuvering tight spaces. You can outfit it with various attachments to accommodate your projects, like buckets, breakers and forks. Skid steer loaders are suitable for:

  • Lifting and transporting debris and materials
  • Breaking up hard ground like concrete, pavement, asphalt or flooring

Compact track loaders resemble skid steer loaders but have tracks instead of wheels. This feature gives them greater traction on slippery or uneven surfaces like mud, sand and dirt. Like their skid steer counterparts, compact track loaders have a compact design that lets them move seamlessly through narrow spaces.


3. Bulldozers

Bulldozers are one of the most powerful types of demolition equipment. They have a large blade at the front, allowing them to push large piles of material like stone and dirt. They also feature large rippers at the rear, suiting them to tasks like breaking down rocks and cutting roads. Additionally, their tracks provide optimal traction and mobility over rough or unstable terrain.

Some standard demolition applications for dozers include:

  • Clearing and leveling surfaces
  • Moving heavy objects and material loads


Bulldozers come in various sizes and configurations. You can find compact models for smaller worksites like residential areas. There are also larger models for more spacious sites and heavier material loads.


4. Cranes

Cranes are the equipment of choice for high-reach demolition tasks. They're typically equipped with large wrecking balls that swing and break down large structures, like tall buildings and skyscrapers. With attachments like buckets and hydraulic claws, you can also use these machines to lift and lower objects and materials.

To maneuver the crane, the operator works from the cab on the safety of the ground. Cranes can work on smooth, flat surfaces and rocky terrain alike.


5. Articulated Dump Trucks

An articulated dump truck hauls and transports heavy materials like wood, steel and brick. This heavy-duty vehicle has a pivot point directly behind its cab.

This design lets it maneuver demolition sites with ease, even in constricted areas and those with awkward terrain. The truck has a large bed for holding various post-demolition debris, like:

  • Rocks
  • Support beams
  • Tree branches
  • Plumbing pipes


6. Backhoe Loaders

A backhoe loader features an articulating arm and bucket. This makes it a go-to machine for digging, pushing, lifting and carrying materials. Its sturdy rubber tires also allow you to travel over dirt, grass and other tricky terrain.

You can equip the backhoe arm with the proper attachment to excavate terrain and relocate loose materials. Meanwhile, the loader bucket can help you haul wood and debris away from the demolition site.

Why Choose Used Equipment for Demolition Projects?

You have another decision to make when investing in demolition equipment — buying your machines new or used. Purchasing new equipment has plenty of perks. However, opting for used equipment can provide significant upfront savings and resale value.

 Here are three reasons to consider purchasing used demolition machinery.


1. Lower Upfront Cost

You likely have some overhead costs as a contractor or construction business operator, like rent, utilities, office supplies and insurance. If you're looking to save a few dollars, you can generally purchase used machinery at a fraction of the cost of new models. You can invest in high-quality demolition equipment without breaking the bank.

You can then allocate the money you save to other business areas, such as additional equipment or maintenance. If you're new to the industry, lower upfront equipment prices may mean starting your business sooner.

If you need two or three machines for different demolition tasks, buying them used could still be less expensive than purchasing one new machine. Plus, having multiple machines can translate to more efficient operations and project turnover.


2. Flexibility

Buying equipment used doesn't mean you have to skimp on the newest features and technology. You can find many similar features in a used machine that you would in a new one — all at a lower price.


3. Resale Value

Since the depreciation rate tends to drop dramatically or plateau after the first few years, your used machine may sell for close to the same price you bought it. This is especially true if you keep up with maintenance and service requirements. Note: The resale value of your equipment is not guaranteed to increase.

Find Used Demolition Equipment at Cat® Used

If you're in the market for used demolition machinery, look no further than Cat® Used. We're your one-stop shop for quality, well-maintained used equipment. You'll find nearly any solution you need from our selection, including excavators, dozers, dump trucks, cranes and more.

Browse our extensive inventory to find the demolition equipment you need, then locate a dealer near you. Want to know when a piece of equipment you're looking for becomes available? Sign up for email alerts!

Find Used Demolition Equipment at Cat® Used

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Find Used Demolition Equipment at Cat® Used
Find Used Demolition Equipment at Cat® Used