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Heavy equipment or heavy machinery refers to heavy-duty vehicles, specially designed for executing construction tasks, most frequently ones involving earthwork operations or other large construction tasks. Heavy equipment usually comprises five equipment systems: implementation, traction, structure, power train, control and information. Heavy equipment functions through the mechanical advantage of a simple machine, the ratio between input force applied and force exerted is multiplied, making tasks which could take hundreds of people and weeks of labour  without heavy equipment far less intensive in nature. Some equipment uses hydraulic drives as a primary source of motion. 


    Until almost the twentieth century, one simple tool constituted the primary earth moving machine: the hand shovel – moved with animal and human powered, sleds, barges, and wagons. This tool was the principal method by which material was either side cast or elevated to load a conveyance, usually a wheelbarrow, or a cart or wagon drawn by a draft animal. In antiquity, an equivalent of the hand shovel or hoe and head basket—and masses of men—were used to move earth to build civil works. Builders have long used the inclined plane, levers, and pulleys to place solid building materials, but these laboursaving devices did not lend themselves to earth moving, which required digging, raising, moving, and placing loose materials. The two elements required for mechanized earth moving, then as now, were an independent power source and off-road mobility, neither of which could be provided by the technology of that time. Container cranes were used from the 1950s and onward, and made containerization possible. Nowadays, such is the importance of this machinery, some transport companies have developed specific equipment to transport heavy construction equipment to and from sites.

Heavy Equipment operators

A heavy equipment operator operates heavy equipment used in engineering and construction projects. Typically, only skilled workers may operate heavy equipment, and there is specialized training for learning to use heavy equipment. Various organizations set standards for training for heavy equipment operators. Such organizations typically offer what in the US is called “effective safety training”. Specific organizations include the following

United States

  • International Union of Operating Engineers
  • Heavy Construction Academy
  • Association of Equipment Manufacturers
  • National Association of Heavy Equipment Training Schools


  • International Union of Operating Engineers
  • Taylor Pro Training Ltd
  • Interior Heavy Equipment School

Implements and hydro mechanical work tools

  • Auger                       
  • backhoe
  • bale spear
  • broom
  • bulldozer blade
  • clamshell bucket
  • cold plane
  • demolition shears
  • equipment bucket
  • excavator bucket
  • forks
  • grapple
  • hydraulic hammer, hoe ram
  • hydraulic tilting bucket (4-in-1)
  • landscape tiller
  • material handling arm
  • mechanical pulverizer, crusher
  • multi processor
  • pavement removal bucket
  • pile driver
  • power take-off (PTO)
  • quick coupler
  • rake
  • ripper
  • rotating grab
  • sheep’s foot compactor
  • skeleton bucket
  • snow blower
  • stump grinder
  • stump shear
  • thumb
  • Tilt rotator
  • trencher
  • vibratory plate compactor
  • wheel saw
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