The Different Types of Construction Equipment That Exists Today

The global heavy equipment market is projected to reach $240 billion by 2027. This equipment includes heavy construction vehicles, demolition, earthmoving, excavation, heavy lifting, and several other types of equipment common in the construction industry.

The rising trends in the industry and the growing number of industrial, residential, and commercial projects also influence the types of construction equipment to use.

Since such projects require the best heavy-duty tools, machinery, and equipment to get the job done, contractors have to invest in the right equipment to increase productivity and efficiency.

Here is a list of some of the best construction equipment available today.


Drills are ubiquitous pieces of equipment in the construction industry. They are mainly used to drill holes when installing pipelines under a river, railroad, and roadway or in areas with several existing utilities underground.

This equipment can also drill holes at mine sites. Today, several contractors use autonomous drills because they include built-in features that enhance safety and efficiency. The automated drill used in the industry today features:

  • HVAC systems
  • Automatic drilling, retracting, and leveling
  • Built-in cameras
  • Depth tracking

Contractors also use non-automated drills and horizontal directional drilling for all drilling needs. Horizontal directional drilling (HDD) offers a trenchless drilling method with minimal surface disruption.

Compared with the trench method, installing or laying pipes using HDD is faster and more efficient.


An excavator is a heavy construction machine that mainly excavates rocks and earth and loads them onto dump trucks. These machines are adaptable, robust, and common in small and big-scale construction projects.

Excavators include a cab, bucket, and a boom on rotating equipment. This equipment can also demolish, remove bushes or forests when installed with other specific attachments.

The machine comes in different sizes. The sizes include mini, medium, and large. The size you choose will depend on the project.

Asphalt Mixing Plant

This construction equipment creates asphalt pavers and concrete. The machine combines filler, sand, and various mineral aggregates in specific quantities. The plant heats the mixture and coats it with a binder.

To avoid the mixture from setting, the plant keeps it heated throughout.

Asphalt Pavers

This machine lays asphalt on the surface of the road or any other similar facility. It is usually accompanied by a dump truck for carrying the asphalt. When the asphalt is prepared, it is loaded into the track and added to the paver’s hopper.

The asphalt then goes down to the auger and spreads across the site. The paver can lay asphalt on surfaces such as:

  • Industrial sites
  • Driveways
  • Roads
  • Bridge decks
  • Parking lots

Once the machine lays the asphalt, it rolls it with a hydraulic cylinder. This creates a stable and solid surface. This equipment is available for any type of paving project.

Cold Planers

This equipment uses carbide cutters and rotating drums to mill asphalt or pavement. Cold planers are ideal for both shallow and in-depth removal. Milling asphalt and pavement create dust. Therefore, cold planers have a water system to ensure a clean worksite.

This machine can:

  • Repair damages on the road or pavement
  • Create rumble strips on highways
  • Recycle asphalt
  • Smooth the surface to minimize cracks or potholes

This equipment is available in several sizes and can suit different types of projects. Larger cold planers are challenging to navigate and are ideal for large-scale projects.


This is a single handy piece of equipment that can serve as a loader, tractor, or backhoe. Though backhoes have similar lifting and digging capabilities as excavators, they differ in functionality and size.

Excavators are larger and include booms and buckets that rotate 360 degrees. On the other hand, backhoes only rotate at 200 degrees from side to side, and their front and back buckets can dig and load waste onto trucks.

This equipment is also ideal for small business owners such as farmers or small-scale construction projects.

Articulated Trucks

Also known as dump haulers or articulated dump trucks, this equipment is adaptable and versatile. The truck consists of a narrow trailer or a dump box and a cab, which connect via a pivoting hinge.

Articulated trucks move loads over rough terrains and are ideal for worksites with sand or slippery surfaces, steep slopes, low ceiling heights, or any area with no paved roads. The pivot joint enhances its mobility, allowing it to move loads even around tight turns.

The truck also has a control center where the operator can sit and control its functions. These machines are ideal for commercial construction and are a 4×4 drive to access complex job sites.

Boom Lifts

This type of equipment mainly lifts workers off the ground to enable work at a height. Also known as basket cranes, this equipment is fitted with a bucket that can carry up to two workers. The bucket is operated by a hydraulic lift system.

Boom lifts are ideal for various projects, including:

  • Fire fighting
  • Forestry
  • Window cleaning
  • Construction
  • Farming
  • Painting

The type of boom lift used will depend on the nature of the project or the number of workers to be lifted.


This is very heavy equipment that compacts layers of materials like wreckages or soil on the earth’s surface. Compactors or rollers are powered by hydraulics. The machines can apply a downward force on the surface to compress soil particles or any other material.

Compactors come in different styles and sizes, such as pneumatic tyred rollers for compacting asphalt layers or fine-grained soils and smooth wheel rollers for compacting shallow layers of asphalt or soil.

Other types of compactors include sheep-foot rollers, which are used for deep compaction, vibrating smooth wheeled rollers, and tamping rollers, which are used primarily for heavy compactions. There are also rammers and portable vibrating plate compactors ideal for lighter duties.

Depending on the project or application, one can use a heavy-duty, reversible, or single plate compactor.


This equipment is a large-scale excavator that can reach very vast depths. Draglines are common in above-ground excavation sites or mining sites. This equipment uses a tall boom arm equipped with hoist ropes and a wire-based drag.

The ropes move the attached bucket to and fro and hold it in place. Once the bucket is in place, the operator then controls it to collect and move soil or any other debris by dragging it.

Since this equipment is tall and heavy, it can only be assembled at the worksite. Transporting an already assembled dragline can be very challenging.


Also known as dozers, this is a heavy-duty truck quite common in the construction industry. It is used for different projects such as home renovation, demolition, farming, road construction, and land clearing.

Dozers can push or break down walls, rocks, debris, snow, and any other materials. This equipment includes a large piece of metal or dozer blade mounted on the front of the tractor.

Different types of blades are available, such as the semi-universal combination blade, universal curved blade, edgeless straight blade, and flat blade. There is a ripper at the rear of the tractor, which loosens compacted materials.

Tower Cranes

This is a powerful lifting machine that is common in commercial construction sites. The crane has a lifting capacity of 20 tonnes and a height of 80 meters or higher when tied into the building.

This machine is mainly used when building skyscrapers and is the most visible heavy-duty equipment on a construction site. This equipment is built on the worksite along with the high-rise building.

Tower cranes are fitted with a strong concrete base and anchored by large bolts. Since this is one of the essential types of equipment in the commercial construction industry, manufacturers adopt new technology to increase efficiency and enhance safety.


Trenchers are the best construction machines that can dig channels or trenchers to install pipes, electric cables, and drainage. Trenching machines come in two main types: wheeled trenchers and chain trenchers.

Wheeled trenchers include a digging tool to excavate hard soil layers. On the other hand, chain trenchers have a long arm that consists of a digging chain. These trenchers are available as wheeled vehicles forms.

Motor Graders

Also known as road graders, these machines have long and narrow blades, which cut and move terrain in various projects. Motor graders are used in building projects, roadway installation, maintenance, snow removal, digging drainage ditches, and fine grading.

These machines are ideal for heavy roadwork construction projects that require more versatile equipment. Given the importance and complexity of this equipment, only trained operators should handle it.

Learn About the Different Types of Construction Equipment for Your Project

These and several other types of construction equipment are vital in the construction industry. These machines are ideal for residential and commercial projects, including infrastructure projects.

Check out our website and learn more about construction equipment.

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