Construction Machinery

Discover what construction machinery is, the common types of machinery you’ll find on the field, and the best practices for maintaining construction machinery.


What is Construction Machinery?

Construction machinery refers to the machine and equipment used to perform certain construction tasks. These are very specific machines specically built for executing various processes within a construction site.

What Counts as Construction Machinery?

Any type of equipment used to execute different tasks on a construction site counts as construction machinery. However, construction machinery is typically split into two categories: light and heavy machinery.

Light machinery includes smaller equipment like a tamping rammer or asphalt cutters. These machines can be operated by one person and are used for various tasks on a construction site.

As the name implies, heavy machinery pertains to larger machines designed for tougher tasks. Typically, once a piece of equipment weighs more than 5,000 pounds it’s classified as heavy construction machinery. This could include forklifts, backhoes, excavators, and more.

Most Common Types of Construction Machines

Here are some examples of construction machinery you may find on-site. This includes both light and heavy machinery that is commonly used in construction.


Rammers are machines that compact the ground. These machines use direct impact force to compress the soil and compact it. These are widely used for flooring, making trenches, and any other task that requires you to flatten the earth.

Walk-Behind Rollers

These are compactors designed for smaller spaces like sidewalks and trenches. These machines flatten the ground while, as the name suggests, the operator walks behind the rollers, pushing them over the surface. These compactors use vibrations to compact the ground and flatten it as much as possible.


The excavator is probably the most widely used piece of heavy construction machinery. These machines are made for excavating large areas. However, they can also be used for demolition purposes such as cutting trees, tearing down buildings, and more. These machines are also used for dredging rivers and heavy lifting.


These heavy machines are designed to remove a significant layer of topsoil. The bulldozer has a metal plate on its front that removes weak soil and rock as the operator drives the machine. You can adjust the soil or rock you remove by lowering or raising the plate.


These machines are called trenchers because they are designed to create trenches in the soil. The trenches you can make with trenchers are usually used for pipelines, cable laying, and drainage. Most trenchers consist of a digging wheel in front that has a digging tooth, making them effective for excavating harder layers of soil.


Loaders are very important pieces of heavy machinery. These machines are used to place heavy loads on the back of trucks. These loads are typically thousands of pounds, which means that you will need strong and durable machines to lift them and place them onto trucks.


The backhoe is another common piece of heavy machinery. These work similarly to excavators, but the hoe arrangement for excavating is placed on the back. The front of the backhoe, on hand, should have a loading bucket. That way, you can use the backhoe for excavating and loading, which is why it’s a very useful piece of construction machinery.


Graders are typically used for constructing roads. These machines have a horizontal blade between the back and front wheels that you can lower to the ground to even out the soil surface. You can also use graders to remove snow from roads and remove unnecessary soil from the ground.

Dump Trucks

Dump trucks are a very important piece of heavy machinery. These machines are large trucks that are used to transport heavy loads from one place to another. For example, you can use dump trucks to carry soil from the construction site to a dump site. Or, you can use them for carrying materials from one site to another without having to take multiple trips.

Tips for Maintaining and Operating Construction Machinery

There are many types of construction machinery. And most of the time, each type of machinery comes with its own set of maintenance and operating instructions. It’s important to follow these instructions down to the last detail to ensure that all employees are safe and equipment functions properly.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when operating and maintaining construction machinery:

  • Clean the machinery regularly.
  • Make sure everyone who operates machinery has received appropriate training.
  • Always monitor fluid levels.
  • Conduct regular inspections.
  • Understand your equipment limits and don’t go above limits.
  • Lubricate your equipment regularly.
  • Always follow the appropriate safety procedure when operating construction machinery.

Again, the exact practices you should perform to maintain construction machinery varies depending on the machinery you have. However, it’s very important that everyone involved in operating and maintaining the construction machinery remains on the same page.

That way, operating and maintaining the machinery safely will be much easier for everyone on-site.

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FAQs about Construction Machinery

Large construction machinery is usually called heavy machinery or heavy equipment. These are typically machines that weigh over 5,000 pounds and are used for heavier on-site tasks.

The most common heavy machinery used in construction is excavators. They are typically used for digging but are versatile machines that you can also use for demolition and path clearing.

Any construction equipment that weighs more than 5,000 pounds is classified as heavy machinery. As the name implies, these machines are typically used for heavy-duty tasks, such as moving large materials and compacting ground surfaces.

In terms of strength, bulldozers are the strongest construction vehicles. They have very powerful engines, and the blade in front allows the machine to clear everything away from its path.

Leon Altomonte
Article by
Leon Altomonte
Leon Altomonte is a content contributor for SafetyCulture. He got into content writing while taking up a language degree and has written copy for various web pages and blogs. Aside from working as a freelance writer, Leon is also a musician who spends most of his free time playing gigs and at the studio.