Heavy Equipment Glossary

Heavy equipment is the backbone of any great construction job. If you’re looking to gear up your operation or upgrade what you have, you may be wondering what new equipment is out there. Well, you’re in luck. Below we’re going to go over common uses for the most common types of construction equipment.

Articulated Trucks

Does your construction site have a rough terrain? Do you need to carry heavy loads? If this sounds like you, an articulated truck might be for you.

These trucks come in two parts. The cab, a tractor unit designed to travel over most any terrain with ease, and the trailer that can carry heavy loads. These parts are connected via a pivot for easier steering.

Asphalt Pavers

Does your next construction project require laying asphalt? If it does, go for an asphalt paver. These machines can lay asphalt on many surfaces, like roads, bridges, or parking lots.

Asphalt pavers usually have a dump truck to help lay the asphalt and a roller for preliminary rolling. However, it’s recommended that a designated roller follow the asphalt paver to ensure proper asphalt compression.

Backhoe Loaders

Backhoe loaders are some of the most versatile equipment pieces around. If you’re working light-medium construction jobs this the equipment for you.

A backhoe loader typically has a tractor, loader, and a backhoe. Like the name suggests the backhoe does take center stage, but each part contributes to making one amazing addition to any equipment fleet. The loader, for example, can move the heavy dirt and the tracker can rotate 200 degrees.

Cold Planers

Are you removing old asphalt? Cold planers can strip away old roads with ease. They do this by rotating a big drum that grinds the pavement and then cuts it. The loose pavement is then pushed to the center of the rotating drum and fed to an attached conveyor belt.

So why is it called a “cold” planer? Because water is usually applied to the drum to reduce heat and dust.

Compact Track and Multi-Terrain Loaders

If you need to move dirt from one part of your work site to another, this equipment is for you. Not only can it haul dirt well, but its small size also makes it easy to maneuver around with its small size. As the same says, this piece of equipment can roam many types of terrain.


The name says it all. If you need to compress or compact something, add a compactor to your fleet. There are many types of compactors to choose from. Some work in dirt, others work in landfill material and asphalt. Which type you need depends on the material you’re compacting.


A dozer is the most classic piece of construction equipment. If you see a metal blade pushing large amounts of material, that’s a dozer. Dozers are best for pushing massive amounts of material in short distances.

There are two types of dozers, track and wheel dozers. Both perform the same task, but how they get around is different. The track dozer has tracks instead of wheels. These large tracks make it less likely to sink in the ground. Wheel dozers, like the name implies, have large wheels and can typically move material quicker than a track dozer. The type you need depends on the duties being performed.


If you have medium-large jobs to complete then the excavator is for you. It’s like the backhoe loader but it can rotate a full 360 degrees and are often larger. There are mini excavators for smaller jobs, but they can do the same digging, lifting, as any other size.

Like with dozers, there are track excavators. Also like dozers, tracks are great for getting around any terrain while wheeled models move faster. Which one you need depends on the job being performed.

If you’re unsure which one to pick, please feel free to contact us today to see which type is for you.

Feller Bunchers

Suppose you work with mostly trees instead of dirt. If trees are your main concern, try a feller loader. Feller is another name for lumberjack, and as such, this machine has the manpower of several lumberjacks. The best part is they grab the trees as they work so doesn’t leave trees everywhere.  


After the trees have been gathered you can use a forwarder to load the trees up and remove them from the area.


If you want to one-up your logging power, consider a harvester. It can cut and gather trees like a feller buncher but can also strip the trees of their limbs.

Knuckleboom Loaders

Next up in logging lineup is the knuckleboom loaders. This machine is specifically designed to take the cut trees and load them onto a truck for transport. They do this with a knuckleboom. It’s called a knuckleboom loader because the boom bends and moves like the knuckle of a finger.


There are two main types of loaders. Track, and wheel. Track loaders can work like a skid steer, like pushing, moving, and lifting, but with more room and material. As with all equipment that has tracks, it can distribute its weight evenly while it moves around any surface.

Wheel loaders handle the same jobs as other loaders, only in wheels. Because their weight is not eventually distributed, they can sink into the ground more easily and leave marks behind.

Motor Graders

Motor graders are commonly used to remove a layer in preparation for a new road. They can also move small amounts of soil from one spot to another.

Off-Highway Trucks

This truck is specifically designed for driving off-road. With a big bed, you can use an off-highway truck to remove material.

Skid Steer Loaders

The thing to note about skid steer loaders is the size. Smaller models are best for inside demo projects while larger models are for excavating projects.

There are also many attachments skid steer loaders can use to do everything from pushing to lifting.


Are you working on clearing a wooded area? Do you have some wood you need to clean out? Try a skidder. There are types, cable, and grapple. Cable skidders use a cable to drag the cut trees out while grapple skidder uses a claw-like device to grab the trees.


This type of equipment can lift things up with ease. It comes with many attachments that can make any lifting job easier than ever. Some of the attachments telehandlers can have are pallet forks, buckets, and lifting jibs.

Wheel Tractor-Scraper

These can scrape surfaces and collect what it scrapes. The scrapper’s sharp edge makes collecting scraper waste a snap. As the soil is scrapped up it moves onto a conveyor belt brings the material to a hopper or bowl.

Get the Equipment You Need from First Capital Today!

Are you a growing company in need of heavy equipment? Call us today at 888-825-1669 or contact us online. We will get the information we need from you, answer any questions you may have, and thoroughly explain the entire freight factoring process. Hopefully, as you ease your mind, we will be able to help you take care of your slow cash flow situation and get you on your way.

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