7 Types Of Equipment Used In Civil Construction

Civil construction works to keep society functioning by building roads, airports, tunnels, and railways. If you’ve observed a civil construction site, you’ll likely find a vast amount of machines and tools used to complete the job – many of which you might not even know existed!

If you’re interested in learning more about the various types of equipment that civil construction relies on, keep reading. Below you’ll discover some of the most frequently used tools and machines and why they’re so important.

7 Types of Equipment Used in Civil Construction

1. Forklifts

This machine is key in civil construction for a few reasons. One is that it helps easily transport items from one location to another. Many times, workers will come across pieces, like logs, that are too big and heavy for them to move manually. However, workers can complete this task much faster and safer with a forklift.

Because an item’s size and weight will vary, many forklift operators rely on pallet forks. Sliding these over the two built-in forks will create a larger space for you to put things on. The steel extensions will also balance the weight and keep the pieces from scratching the forklift’s cab.

Besides this, forklifts are eco-friendly and run on battery power, making them a great option for sustainable civil construction. This feature prevents excessive fumes, which can be overpowering in an already busy workplace.

2. Excavators

Another machine you’ll likely find at civil construction sites is an excavator. This large device is equipped with a long boom and bucket that its operator will maneuver to scoop and transport items, like dirt or gravel.

Excavators come in multiple forms. These include:

  • Crawlers (a traditional excavator that moves dirt and digs into terrain)
  • Wheeled (has four large tires allowing it to move safely across rough surfaces)
  • Hydraulic (is built with a hydraulic arm that rotates)
  • Skid (a compact option that has a 360° rotating cab)
  • Dragline (used for tough jobs like surface mining)

3. Cranes

Cranes aid workers in moving items to impressive heights with the help of cables and pulleys. They can lift items and then remove them. This keeps the construction process running smoothly.

There are two crane forms civil construction sites rely on – static and mobile. Static cranes (also called tower cranes) are built into the ground because they tend to be much larger and need heavy stability. Mobile cranes are those that move. These are typically built into a truck but act as separate machinery. Because it’s not set in one place, workers can adjust the crane’s position as needed.

4. Hoist Lifts

These are probably one of the most recognizable tools of a civil construction site, but one that’s still not fully understood.

Hoist lifts feature an elevator-like contraption that runs up a structure’s height. Built into its side is a closed cab which can be moved up and down the lift. With this, workers and materials can be raised to significant levels and later lowered.

5. Plate Vibrators

With the help of a large steel plate, this machine creates powerful vibrations designed to compact the soil. This keeps the land even and secure because there won’t be air pockets hidden beneath it. This machine is ideal not only for smoothing asphalt, but for firming slopes and compacting trenches.

On a civil construction site, there are three plate vibrators that could be used. These include:

  • Single-plate (good for simple asphalt jobs)
  • Reversible (moves back and forth to create a firm layer)
  • Heavy-duty (is a strong reversible one that’s used for deep compaction)

These machines are often slowly pushed by a worker across the designated surface. Depending on the project, it could take a few minutes for the device to complete the job. In most cases, the plate vibrator will need to be moved across the ground about four times for best results.

6. Trenchers

As its name implies, a trencher is designed to build trenches where pipes and wires are later installed. This machine can either be operated by someone walking behind it to maneuver it or attached to another vehicle (like a truck) and pulled across the ground.

7. Dewatering Pumps

This tool removes water from a construction site. Fitted on a small wheel frame, the dewatering pump comes with various capacities so it can be used for both small and large projects.

Apart from this, you’ll find this product comes with different features. Two of the most commonly used are straining pumps and sludge pumps. A straining one helps filter fine particles from the water. A sludge pump works to keep solids out.

Civil construction relies on numerous types of equipment to guarantee jobs get done correctly. While the ones mentioned above are just a fraction of what’s needed, they’re some of the most critical in the field.


Tags: civil engineering, construction, cranes, excavators, forklifts, hoist lifts, plate vibrators, pumps, trenchers

Author: Maja Markovski

Maja Markovski

A 35-year-old female architect with a passion for innovative, sustainable design. I blend creativity and functionality to transform spaces into beautiful, practical environments.


Recent posts in Architecture

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments