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Common Pieces of Construction Equipment: Cranes, Excavators, and Bulldozers

written by: •edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 7/25/2012

Three of the most common pieces of construction equipment are cranes, excavators, and bulldozers. Each of these machines has a unique purpose and is therefore designed specifically for the job that is required.

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    Construction Equipment

    A crane is a lifting machine that is used to lower and lift materials with the use of pulleys and cables.A crane can also move items horizontally.A crane uses the pulley and cable system to create a mechanical advantage so that large loads can be lifted.The two most important criteria in crane design are lifting capacity and stability.

    Cranes used on construction sites are usually temporary structures.They are often mounted on a vehicle so that they can be moved.Alternatively, they can be tower cranes that are fixed to the ground.Cranes do not have to be controlled by an operator that is located in the cab of the vehicle.They can also be radio or infrared controlled.Cranes are also used to load and unload freight and can be used inside manufacturing plants to assembly equipment.

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    Crane

    Courtesy of Flickr by A.SHAKOOR HINGORO
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    Excavators and bulldozers are vehicles that are used on construction sites to move material.

    An excavator is used to dig holes or trenches and is, therefore, often called a digger. Excavators are also called bobcats and backhoes. An excavator has a long arm and a cab that is mounted on a pivot. The arm has a bucket mounted on the end that can be modified depending on the requirements of the job site. The entire vehicle can either be on wheels or on tracks. In addition to their use on construction sites, an excavator can also be used for heavy lifting in other industries, such as mining.

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    Excavator

    Courtesy of Flickr by Sharky_MB
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    Finally, a bulldozer is a machine that is used to push soil or rubble. A bulldozer has a metal plate at the front that is called a blade. A bulldozer has a cab that is mounted on tracks or on wheels. The majority of bulldozers are on tracks. The word bulldozer is often used as a generic term to refer to excavators and other construction equipment. However, technically, the term should only be used with a machine that has a blade.

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    Bulldozer

    Courtesy of Flickr by brian Braun
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    Cranes, excavators, and bulldozers are all important pieces of construction equipment. These machines all have a unique purpose and are designed specially for the job that is required. Without them, we would not have the amazing structures, buildings, and roads that we have today.