1. BigRentz
  2. Think Big Blog
  3. 24 Types of Construction Vehicles and How They Are Used

24 Types of Construction Vehicles and How They Are Used

24 Types of Construction Vehicles and How They Are Used

Construction vehicles allow crews to perform all sorts of tasks more quickly and efficiently. From digging trenches in the field to hauling construction materials like aggregate or stone, different types of construction vehicles help you do it. You can choose from highly specialized units designed for a specific task or select a single versatile vehicle that can perform multiple functions.

In this post, we identify the different types of common construction trucks, what tasks they perform, how they work, and their key features.

1. Articulated Haulers

Articulated haulers function as heavy-duty dump trucks that move large amounts of materials around or off construction sites. Articulated haulers differ from other types of dump trucks because they feature a pivot joint, like articulated trucks, that gives them more mobility. They make tighter turns because the pivot joint allows their back wheels to follow where the front wheels go. Most articulated trucks have all-wheel drive, giving them the ability to safely maneuver on all types of rough terrain.

articulated haulers

  • Key feature: Articulated haulers can carry massive loads while making tighter turns and can remain stable on all sorts of terrain.
  • Where they are commonly found: The ability of articulated haulers to navigate muddy and rocky conditions makes them popular in the mining industry. You may also find them on construction jobs, hauling materials to the site or debris from the site.

2. Asphalt Pavers

Asphalt pavers lay asphalt for paving projects like roadways, parking lots, and walkways. Pavers distribute and compact layers of asphalt, often followed by a roller to smooth the pavement. Some asphalt pavers attach to tractors or dump trucks, while others are self-propelled. Asphalt pavers come in several different varieties with differing horsepower, so consider the size, surface, and timeframe of your paving job when deciding which machine to use.

asphalt pavers

  • Key feature: Asphalt pavers utilize a screed unit that levels your material uniformly as well as flattens and compresses.
  • Where they are commonly found: Workers use asphalt pavers on all sorts of paving jobs, ranging from mountain roads and commercial parking lots to sidewalks and golf cart paths.
  • Types of asphalt pavers:
    • Tracked pavers: Track-mounted pavers have a rubber track on each side, allowing the machine to propel itself. Ideal for softer surfaces, tracked pavers offer greater stability in sandy or soggy conditions and work well on new paving projects and mountainside applications.
    • Wheeled pavers: Since they don’t offer the same traction as tracked pavers, wheeled pavers work better on existing road surfaces. They move faster and deliver better efficiency than tracked pavers, making them the better choice for paving long stretches of asphalt or for night work that may have time constraints.

3. Backhoe Loaders

While mostly used for excavation, backhoe loaders can perform a variety of tasks in the landscaping, construction, and agricultural sectors. Backhoes feature both a front loader to plow materials and a backhoe with a digging bucket (or other attachment), along with stabilizer legs to prevent the vehicle from tipping over. Backhoe loaders vary in size, horsepower, bucket capacity, and digging depth, so make sure to consider all your worksite requirements when choosing a backhoe.

backhoe loaders

  • Key feature: The versatile backhoe can perform a wide range of tasks on all kinds of terrain working in conjunction with its three main parts: the tractor, loader, and backhoe.
  • Where they are commonly found: Worksites of all types can find a use for the backhoe loader. The construction industry may use them for breaking up pavement, small demolition tasks, or cleaning up a worksite. The agriculture and landscaping industries may use them to uproot trees, dig ponds or trenches, and move heavy loads of dirt or rocks.
  • Types of attachments:
    • Augers: Corkscrew-shaped bits allow backhoes to drill holes of varying sizes.
    • Compactors: Powerful compacting attachments can tamp down soil on excavations or drive in sheeting in retaining walls.
    • Hammers: Demolition and earth preparation projects can use hammers (also known as breakers) to break up rock, soil, and other materials.
    • Snow handlers: Attachments such as blowers, buckets, pushers, angle brooms, snow blades, and V-blades allow backhoes to perform heavy-duty snow removal jobs.
    • Rippers: Rippers use a strong curved tool to cut through thick materials such as ice, rock, hard ground, and asphalt.

4. Boom Lifts

A type of aerial lift, boom lifts raise workers and materials at construction sites, providing access to hard-to-reach areas. The lifts consist of a platform or bucket on a hydraulic arm attached to a moveable base on the ground. Boom lifts allow workers to access scaffolding, painting, piping, utilities, building exteriors, and tree projects. Because they can extend higher and farther than other types of lifts (such as scissor lifts), boom lifts make an ideal construction vehicle for projects requiring maximum reach.

boom lifts

  • Key features: Able to maneuver both vertically and horizontally, boom lifts can extend people or materials up to 210 vertical feet and 115 horizontal feet.
  • Where they are commonly found: You can find boom lifts in many indoor and outdoor environments, including warehouses, construction sites, farms, and orchards.
  • Types of boom lifts:
    • Articulating boom lift: Featuring arms with multiple joints—giving it the nickname “knuckle lift”—the articulating boom lift can maneuver around obstacles in tight spaces.
    • Telescopic boom lift: With an arm that extends and contracts in a straight line, this boom can reach the farthest.
    • Bucket truck: Designed for outdoor use, this heavy-duty vehicle features a railed aerial platform attached to a hydraulic crane.

5. Bulldozers

One of the most popular types of construction trucks, bulldozers assist with pushing, digging, excavating, and leveling materials at a construction site. You can recognize these heavy-duty earthmovers by their giant blade on front used to push large amounts of soil, debris, and other materials. Bulldozers have multiple blade types that serve varying purposes and handle different materials. Some dozers also come with additional implements, such as a ripper in the rear that helps break down rocks or tough soil.


  • Key feature: Bulldozers use a large front blade to push massive amounts of materials over a variety of terrain types.
  • Where they are commonly found: You can find bulldozers pushing materials like snow, gravel, and soil on roadways, construction sites, mining operations, and more.
  • Types of bulldozers:
    • Crawler bulldozer: Crawler dozers feature tracks rather than wheels, which give them superior traction on rough terrain.
    • Wheel bulldozer: Also known as a tire bulldozer, wheel dozers offer enhanced maneuverability and greater ability to move on soft surfaces.
    • Mini bulldozer: These compact machines offer better speed, handling, and versatility than some of the bigger options.

6. Cranes

Used to lift and move heavy materials, cranes are a staple of construction projects across the country. Cranes come in a variety of types—wheeled and tracked, static and mobile, water and land—that can help you perform all sorts of tasks. Whether you need to stack goods in a warehouse, carry large volumes of building materials, or lift cargo off ships, you can find a specialized crane to suit your needs.


  • Key feature: Cranes can move heavy loads to great heights—up to 265 feet, or more if attached to a building.
  • Where they are commonly found: You can find cranes at a wide range of job sites, including warehouses, industrial workstations, off-road terrain, offshore oil rigs, commercial ports, mining projects, and construction projects ranging from skyscraper erection to bridge building.
  • Types of cranes:
    • Mobile cranes: Mounted on crawlers or tires, mobile cranes provide greater mobility than fixed cranes. These types of cranes can navigate around job sites (and sometimes even on the road) while carrying large amounts of weight, making them popular additions to many construction projects.
    • Fixed cranes: Fixed cranes cannot move and usually require on-site assembly, but can generally lift heavier loads and reach greater heights than their mobile counterparts.

7. Cold Planers

Cold planers grind and remove asphalt or concrete, preparing paved surfaces for new pavement. From fixing slab cracks and broken curbs to road and sidewalk repair, cold planers break up old asphalt or concrete, mill the material, and move it to a container for later recycling. These machines require some skill to use, as operators must set them at the right depth and alignment. Some cold planers attach to tractors or skid steers, while others operate as self-contained motorized vehicles.

cold planers

  • Key feature: Cold planers can help the repair of damaged hard surfaces by both breaking down old pavement and recycling it for future use.
  • Where they are commonly found: Road crews and construction companies may use cold planers on roads, parking lots, and other paved surfaces.

8. Combine Harvesters

A useful multipurpose agricultural machine, combine harvesters simplify the process of harvesting crops like wheat and corn. This large, complex farm instrument not only gathers and cuts crops but also separates grains from stalks in a process known as threshing. Besides enabling the harvesting of wide tracts of crops, combines also have removable heads to conveniently harvest different types of crops. Farms of varying kinds and sizes can take advantage of the labor-saving power of the combine harvester.

combine harvesters

  • Key feature: Combine harvesters streamline the harvesting, winnowing, and threshing process into a single machine, which improves productivity, increases crop yield, and decreases cost.
  • Where they are commonly found: Farms of varying types and sizes may use combine harvesters, including those that grow rice, corn, wheat, sunflower, pulses, barley, flax and soybeans.

9. Concrete Mixer Trucks

As the name tells you, concrete mixer trucks are primarily used to mix concrete. A hydraulic motor spins a large drum where cement, water, and other aggregate materials like sand and gravel mix together. The concrete then exits the truck through a chute for use in a wide variety of commercial and industrial applications.

concrete mixer trucks

  • Key feature: The constantly spinning drum of a mixer truck enables workers to have a continuous supply of concrete at the ready.
  • Where they are commonly found: You can find concrete mixer trucks almost everywhere: residential construction jobs, commercial building sites, civil engineering enterprises, and roadway projects.

10. Double Drum Rollers

Heavy-duty surface and soil compaction machines, double drum rollers flatten surfaces in preparation for construction projects. Whether you need to smooth out uneven ground before paving or flatten a foundation to make building easier, a drum roller can help.

While a single drum roller has a steel drum in front and wheels in the back, a double drum roller has one drum in front and one in back. Although this decreases its maneuverability somewhat, it produces improved power, efficiency, and coverage. If you’re looking to smooth asphalt, of all types of compactors to choose from, the double drum will help you do so quickly and effectively.

double drum rollers

  • Key feature: Double drum rollers feature two steel drums which enable the machine to flatten a variety of surfaces quickly and efficiently.
  • Where they are commonly found: You may find double drum rollers on road and parking lot paving projects, or anywhere with a large and gradual surface like asphalt.
  • Types of drum rollers:
    • Grid rollers: Thanks to a network of steel bars on the drum that create grid-like patterns, grid rollers offer high-contact pressure with little kneading. Usually pulled behind a tractor or other heavy machine, grid rollers work best on well-graded coarse soils and weathered rocks.
    • Pneumatic rollers: A large ride-along vehicle, the pneumatic roller has several rows of rubber tires that provide uniform pressure throughout the width of the tires.
    • Sheepsfoot: The drum on the sheepsfoot roller features rectangular-shaped lugs (or “feet”) which work well for compacting soil, silty clay, and wet clay in road construction projects. You can also increase the drum weight by filling it with water or damp sand, providing a more efficient compacting job.
    • Smooth wheeled or static rollers: Smooth rollers come in both single drum (or three-wheeled) and double drum (or tandem). Single drum rollers can generally work in tighter spaces while double drum rollers offer efficient smoothing of larger, flatter surfaces.
    • Vibratory rollers: Similar to smooth-wheeled rollers, vibratory rollers add a vibrating component that helps fill in the empty spaces to better compact soil, asphalt, and concrete deep under the surface.

11. Dump Trucks

Dump trucks have deep, open beds that make carrying and transporting large volumes of loose material easy. Crews use dump trucks for all kinds of hauling tasks: bringing materials to a construction site, removing debris and other waste, and moving an endless variety of loose matter including soil, gravel, sand, scrap metal, grain, and coal. True to their name, dump trucks make it easy to dump loads out of the bed.

Dump trucks come in a range of sizes and payload capacities for a variety of projects. If a standard dump truck won’t do the trick, you can choose from other types, like a transfer dump truck that has a separate trailer or a side dump truck that can dump its load from the side.

dump trucks

  • Key feature: Dump trucks feature deep beds that make them ideal for hauling and dumping large volumes of material.
  • Where they are commonly found: You will see dump trucks wherever large volumes of matter need to be moved: mining operations, construction sites, road work, landscaping jobs, agricultural applications, and more.

12. Excavators

One of the more popular earthmoving vehicles at any construction site, excavators make it possible to lift and move heavy loads. With its rotating cab, movable tracks, an arm, and a variety of attachments, excavators can perform a variety of other functions. In addition to moving heavy materials, this versatile construction equipment can grade uneven terrain, drill deep holes, break down walls, and much more.


  • Key feature: This indispensable piece of earthmoving equipment uses its bucket and arm to excavate material and utilizes movable tracks allowing it to perform on a variety of terrain types.
  • Where they are commonly found: Excavators perform a huge variety of construction and industrial functions, including mining, landscaping, demolition, roadwork, underwater tasks, civil engineering projects, pool digging, residential work, forestry and more.
  • Types of excavators:
    • Crawler excavators: With two large tracks rather than wheels, crawler excavators have more stability on uneven terrain, making them ideal for mining operations and heavy-duty construction jobs.
    • Wheeled excavators: Similar in size and appearance to crawlers, wheeled excavators run on wheels instead of tracks. The wheels make them faster and easier to maneuver on concrete, asphalt, and other flat surfaces common in urban projects.
    • Dragline excavators: A heavy-duty machine used for large-scale projects, dragline excavators use a hoist rope system to raise and lower the bucket while the dragline pulls the bucket toward the operator.
    • Suction excavators: Also known as vacuum excavators, suction excavators feature suction pipes that carry away dirt and debris at up to 200 miles per hour. Suction excavators can reduce the chance of damage by up to 50%, making it perfect for delicate underground applications.
    • Skid steer excavators: Unlike regular excavators, skid steers feature booms and buckets that face away from the operator. This orientation allows the attachments to reach over the cab instead of around it, which makes these excavators useful for residential work and other tight spots.
    • Long reach excavators: Popular for demolition projects and hard-to-reach locations, long reach excavators feature arms that can extend up to 100 feet horizontally.
    • Mini excavators: If you need a machine that can maneuver around small indoor spaces or parking lots, these compact excavators may fit the bill. Often offering limited tail-swing, mini excavators can negotiate tighter turns and avoid contact with obstacles.

13. Feller Bunchers

A machine that revolutionized the lumber industry, feller bunchers can cut down 4,000 trees in a single day. The feller uses a high-speed disk saw to cut trees and then a hydraulic arm to pick them up and stack them gently for transport. The machine’s tracks provide excellent traction without damaging the forest floor. Operators can control the feller buncher with a single joystick.

feller bunchers

  • Key feature: Feller bunchers use their grapple and blade to efficiently cut and bunch large trees with one machine.
  • Where they are commonly found: You will mostly find these specialized vehicles on construction and logging sites.

14. Forklifts

Forklifts use a forked attachment to lift heavy materials and carry them over short distances. Commonly found both in construction work and warehouse settings, these powered industrial trucks excel at moving palletized loads and raising them overhead. Forklifts vary by maximum lifting capacity, arm reach length, and tire type, which makes it easy to find a unit that meets your specific material-handling needs.


  • Key feature: Forklifts feature a double-pronged attachment to lift and transport heavy loads.
  • Where they are commonly found: You can find forklifts in indoor settings like storage facilities and warehouses with polished floors and tight aisles. You will also see them in a wide range of outdoor settings, from construction sites and lumberyards to loading docks and rough-terrain industrial applications.
  • Types of forklifts:
    • Warehouse forklift: Warehouse forklifts work well for loading and unloading packaged products in warehouses, factories, and distribution centers. They come with either cushioned tires, which work best on smooth indoor surfaces, or pneumatic tires, which can handle more uneven surfaces.
    • Side loader: A kind of warehouse forklift, side loaders allow users to stand in a sideways compartment while the machine unloads objects. You may find side loaders particularly useful for handling long loads like timber and pipes.
    • Counterbalance forklift: Counterbalance, or counterweight, forklifts ensure a proper weight distribution to prevent the forklift from tipping over when lifting heavy loads.
    • Heavy-duty forklift: These jumbo-sized trucks use hydraulic levelers to lift particularly heavy loads—up to 100,000 pounds.
    • Walkie stacker: Walkie stackers have a smaller frame and tighter turning radius than standard forklifts, making them ideal in areas with limited space.
    • Order picker: A type of walkie stacker, order pickers shine in customer order warehouses and storage facilities because they can pick individual pieces of inventory without having to bring down full pallets.

15. Forwarders

Heavy pieces of logging equipment, forwarders do the work of collecting and transporting felled trees and logs. The articulated machines feature an enclosed operator cab, a long bed for wood, and a hydraulic arm with a claw-like attachment (called a grapple) that can grasp multiple trees at once.


  • Key feature: Forwarders are forestry vehicles that pick up, load, and transport logs by themselves.
  • Where they are commonly found: You will likely find these specialized vehicles in forestry and logging operations.

16. Manlifts

Also known as personnel lifts or personal lifts, single manlifts elevate a single operator to an aerial workspace. Manlifts feature retractable outrigger legs and drive tracks to stabilize the foundation on any terrain. When choosing a manlift model, consider the size and maximum reach needed for your job, and also the power source available at your site. Indoor single manlifts can operate using an electrical socket, while outdoor lifts can use batteries, gas, or diesel fuel.


  • Key feature: Manlifts allow a single worker to safely perform tasks in elevated spaces inaccessible by ladders or other means.
  • Where they are commonly found: You will see manlifts in warehouses, on construction sites, in building maintenance operations, in home renovation projects, and even at photography shoots.
  • Types of manlifts:
    • Self-propelled manlift: The smallest of the group, this compact lift can raise one person and a set of tools 15-20 feet in the air.
    • Push-around manlifts: Ideal for fitting in tight spots like between rafters or next to HVAC units, push-around manlifts can reach heights of 15-50 feet.
    • Atrium (belt) manlifts: Also known as compact crawler lifts, these heavy-duty lifts work best in outdoor construction jobs. The unit’s extended neck can reach heights of over 34 feet and maneuver around tall obstacles like trees and power lines.

17. Motor Graders

Heavy equipment vehicles with a long blade, motor graders excel at flattening and leveling surfaces. The machines roll and mix materials, while breaking down dirt for better compaction.

The grader’s rubber tires allow operators to move on all types of surfaces at the construction site, as well as drive on the road at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour. All-wheel drive graders enable crews to work on slopes and soft terrain.

motor graders

  • Key feature: The large blade of a motor grader makes it ideal for leveling surfaces.
  • Where they are commonly found: You often find motor graders on roadwork projects, but you may also find them doing duty on other construction, agricultural, and mining jobs.
  • Types of grader attachments:
    • Front blades: Straight and angled front blades come in a variety of sizes, allowing the grader to effectively perform snow removal, grading, land-leveling, or dozing activities.
    • Fenders: Fenders help protect your grader by preventing the build-up of mud, snow, and debris.
    • Hydraulic broom: This front-mounted attachment allows your grader to clear loose rocks or debris from roads.
    • Push block: Push blocks protect motor graders when operators use them to push other machines. This dual-purpose attachment can also serve as a counterweight for the rear ripper.
    • Scarifiers: Scarifiers help break up compacted soil, asphalt, and other tough surfaces.

18. Scissor Lifts

A scissor lift features a rising platform that elevates workers and materials to higher areas. Unlike some other construction lifts, scissor lifts can only move up and down and have a relatively limited maximum height. However, scissor lifts can carry multiple workers at once and offer a steady, enclosed platform that enables workers to perform precision tasks at higher elevations. Scissor lifts come in a variety of sizes, applications, and fuel types.

scissor lifts

  • Key feature: Scissor lifts feature a larger aerial platform and a criss-cross design that can add stability, allowing workers to complete precise tasks at an elevated height.
  • Where they are commonly found: You can find scissor lifts in both indoor and outdoor projects, including construction, building maintenance, window installation, sign hanging, and window cleaning. You may also find them in retail environments and warehouses.
  • Types of scissor lifts:
    • Hydraulic: Hand-operated or engine-driven hydraulic systems power this type of scissor lift. Relatively easy to operate, hydraulic scissor lifts don’t require a high level of user training and make a simple solution for your lifting needs.
    • Diesel: Among the most commonly used lifts on construction sites, diesel lifts can reach a maximum height of 30 to 60 feet. However, because they emit noise and fumes, they are better suited to outdoor rather than indoor use.
    • Electric: Quieter, cleaner, and smaller than diesel lifts, electric scissor lifts make a great choice for enclosed spaces.
    • Rough-terrain: Designed exclusively for outdoor conditions, rough-terrain scissor lifts come with a high weight capacity, heavy duty tires, and additional safety mechanisms like fall restraints. This makes them ideal for outdoor work sites that may have uneven ground surfaces and inclement weather.
    • Pneumatic: A more eco-friendly option than traditional lifts, pneumatic scissor lifts require only air and do not emit fumes or other hazardous materials into the environment.

19. Skidders

Used in logging operations, skidders drag logs from where they fall in a forest to a collection point called a landing. If operated properly, skidders will economically transport logs while minimizing the damage to soil and vegetation. Skidders come in both tracked and wheeled varieties, which have different speeds and slope-handling abilities. Thanks to an articulated joint in the middle, wheeled skidders can maneuver around standing trees.


  • Key feature: This important piece of logging equipment pulls cut trees out of a forest.
  • Where they are commonly found: You will most often see skidders in forestry and logging operations.
  • Types of skidders:
    • Cable skidders: Cable skidders pull logs towards them with steel cables with looped attachments called chokers. This enables the vehicles to stay on the trails, which limits damage to the soil and root systems.
    • Grapple skidders: Grapple skidders lift groups of logs by grabbing them by the end. They can offer greater speed and maneuverability.

20. Skid Steer Loaders

A compact, maneuverable vehicle often used for digging, skid steer loaders can perform an impressive range of tasks. A variety of attachment options allows this multipurpose machine to do everything from excavating, trenching, and drilling to clearing snow, wood chipping, and pallet lifting. Also known as skid loaders or wheel loaders, skid steers come in models with either four wheels or two tracks. The machine’s name comes from the fact that drivers can operate one side of wheels independently, making the other side skid or drag across the ground.

skid steer loaders

  • Key feature: The skid steer loader’s wide range of attachment options allow this compact vehicle to perform a variety of construction, landscaping, warehouse, and residential tasks.
  • Where they are commonly found: Skid steer loaders perform a variety of useful services on construction sites, such as pavement milling, mixing cement, and moving building materials. You can also find skid steers on farms, in warehouses, at landscaping projects, or in residential areas.
  • Types of skid steers:
    • Small-frame: Lighter and more maneuverable, small-frame skid steers perform well in tight spaces.
    • Medium frame: Ideal for completing heavier tasks in small spaces, the medium-frame skid steers have a higher horsepower than small-frame models.
    • Large frame: Construction companies can employ large skid steers to perform extensive excavation and demolition work while maneuvering around a job site.

21. Telehandlers

Telehandlers, or telescopic handlers, can carry heavy materials and place them with precision. Sometimes considered a combination between a crane and a forklift, telehandlers offer the pallet-lifting prongs of a forklift and the increased range of motion of a crane.

The telescopic booms on a telehandler can move not only up and down or left and right, but also diagonally. They also extend and retract to move around obstacles. Telehandlers have optional attachments, allowing operators to move different types of loads on a single worksite.


  • Key feature: Telehandlers offer an unmatched combination of heavy-duty lifting power, flexibility, maneuverability, and stability on uneven surfaces to carry materials.
  • Where they are commonly found: You will see telehandlers on construction and industrial projects, where the vehicles can lift loads of different materials while offering stability even on rough terrain. You may also see the machines lifting and placing palletized loads in warehouses.
  • Types of attachments:
    • Buckets: Bucket attachments scoop up bulky loads and loose materials such as sand, soil, or gravel.
    • Pallet forks: Two-pronged forklift carriages allow telehandlers to perform the same load-carrying functions as a forklift.
    • Crane jibs: Enabling telehandlers to function more like a crane, crane jibs provide hooks that help operators carry materials over and around obstacles.
    • Work cages: These aerial platforms allow telehandlers to lift workers to higher locations.

22. Tractors

An iconic agricultural vehicle, tractors perform a variety of tasks on the farm, such as plowing, harvesting, fertilizing, and spraying. Their influence has spread to a variety of other worksites, where they can help clear land, dig foundations, do heavy lifting, drill holes, and remove snow. Tractors often have large, wide tires that distribute the weight of the vehicle, preventing it from crushing the surface below. A variety of useful implements can attach to the rear of the tractor, including buckets, forks, mowers, box scrapers, or wood chippers.


  • Key feature: Tractors make hard jobs easier by delivering high power at low speeds.
  • Where they are commonly found: While tractors are almost synonymous with farms, you can also find them performing all sorts of jobs in the mining and construction industries, as well as landscaping and construction.
  • Types of tractors:
    • Utility tractors: These versatile vehicles can get it done—whether you want to clear snow, bale hay, or work livestock.
    • Compact tractors: Small farmers, landscapers, and DIY homeowners may find these small units just their size.
    • Row crop tractors: Row crop tractors perform the work of growing and harvesting specific types of crops.

23. Trenchers

As the name suggests, trenchers create smooth, straight trenches as they dig through the earth. These heavy-duty earthmoving machines feature a metal chain with steel teeth, allowing them to tear into densely packed soil and heavy tree root systems. Although both excavators and trenchers dig ditches as they move, trenchers create a cleaner trench with less backfill, allowing you to work faster. Trenchers come in a variety of models with different specifications and applications.


  • Key feature: Trenchers move massive amounts of earth while leaving behind clean trenches with flat bottoms and smooth sides.
  • Where they are commonly found: All sorts of construction tasks employ trenchers, including cutting pavement or concrete, creating drainage for sewage and water runoff, cutting trenches for electrical cables and telecommunications wires, digging spaces for water and sewage pipes, snipping tree roots, and even lighter digging work for home improvement and landscaping projects.
  • Types of trenchers:
    • Chain trenchers: With their chainsaw-like design, chain trenchers use a digging chain or belt to cut into the ground. They make a good option for making deep, narrow trenches for utility companies.
    • Wheel trenchers: Also called rockwheels, wheel trenchers have a toothed metal wheel that you can use for hard or soft soils. Wheel trenchers work well in areas with many rock formations.
    • Micro trenchers: Micro trenchers dig trenches with much smaller dimensions than traditional trenches, ranging from 0.5 to 2 inches wide and around 2 feet in depth.

24. Wheel Tractor Scrapers

The tractor scraper consists of a tractor with an engine combined with a scraper unit. As the tractor moves forward, the scraper blade cuts into the earth and fills its trailer bowl with material. Scrapers specialize in moving or removing soil, gravel, or other material from the ground surface. They also help in other earthmoving tasks including excavation, leveling, loading, hauling, and dumping.

wheel tractor scraper

  • Key feature: A tractor scraper combines a tractor with a scraper, allowing you to efficiently move and remove material from the ground surface.
  • Where they are commonly found: You can find scraper tractors in construction, road building, mining, agriculture, and forestry.
  • Types of scrapers:
    • Single-engine wheeled scrapers: The most common scrapers generally need a bulldozer to push them forward in order to load their bowls.
    • Dual-engine wheeled scrapers: These powerful, self-loading scrapers feature one engine in the front of the vehicle and one in the trailer.
    • Elevating scrapers: These scrapers can remove, mix, and homogenize soil, enabling them to complete fine finished grading.
    • Pull-type scrapers: If you have a tractor that you already use with a range of attachments, you might find a pull-style scraper convenient and economical.


If you’re looking to rent a certain construction vehicle, check out BigRentz. We provide a variety of vehicles you may rent such as forklifts, boom lifts, excavators, or skid steer loaders. Choosing a construction vehicle is no easy task and it may vary depending on the type of environment you’re working in, the job task, and what you need the equipment for. Be sure to consider the pros and cons of each type of equipment.

Get the latest from the Think Big Blog delivered to your inbox.

Equipment Rental Guides

Download any of our free rental guides and learn how to pick the right equipment to fit your project needs.