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Types of Heavy Equipment

types of construction heavy equipment10 Types of Heavy Equipment & Machines

Heavy equipment and machinery are frequently used in projects for construction, earth-moving, road-paving, forestry, and more. Heavy equipment is often essential for construction projects, regardless of the scope of the project. Selecting the right heavy equipment for your project can make the process easier, faster, and less expensive. Below is a list of 10 types of construction and earth-moving heavy equipment and their most common uses.

1) Excavators

excavator heavy equipmentExcavators are a type of large machinery that consists of a hydraulic crane-like boom with a metal-pronged shovel on the end. The operator is typically located in a driver’s cab with a rotating platform that is mounted on wheels or tracks. The 360-degree rotation of the operator platform allows for increase maneuverability. Excavators can be fitted with additional attachments to increase the versatility of the machinery when needed for different job functions. Excavators are frequently used to dig, crush, lift, landscape, and demolish in medium to heavy-duty jobs. Mini-excavators can accomplish many of the same activities with a smaller footprint in light to medium-duty jobs. DMC offers a wide range of excavator undercarriage parts.

2) Backhoe (Backhoe Loader)

Backhoe loaders, often called backhoes, are a versatile piece of equipment that combines the utility of a tractor, loader, and backhoe into a single machine. The body of a backhoe resembles a tractor with an adjustable shovel in the front and a bucket in the rear. Although it is not considered small for heavy-equipment it is excellent for operations that need multiple functions within a limited space. Backhoes are often used for moving materials, backfilling, digging holes or trenches, and placing materials.

3) Dozers (Bulldozers)

bulldozer undercarriage parts angled viewDozers are a type of heavy equipment that is commonly recognized for the large front blade. Bulldozers are often considered among the strongest and most powerful types of heavy equipment. Dozers can be wheel-mounted or track-mounted, depending on the application and environment, but track-mounted dozers are more common. The metal blade on the front of the equipment has many uses including, pushing, loosening, carrying, and condensing material. It is often used to move large quantities of material over a short distance. Check out DMC Wear Parts’ wide selection of dozer undercarriage parts.

4) Scrapers (Wheel Tractor-Scraper)

A scraper, also called a wheel tractor-scraper, is a style of heavy-equipment that can feature a sharp front edge for cutting, a hopper for collecting material, and a rear hopper with a sharp edge for flattening a surface. The two tools work together to clear an area and deposit the material into a hopper to transport it to a different area. Wheel tractor-scrapers are used to grade a surface, while also collecting the material that is loosened.

5) Motor Graders

motor grader road construction equipmentMotor graders are an essential piece of heavy equipment used in road creation and maintenance. Motor graders are designed with an outstretched nose that allows the blade to be housed between the front and rear axles of the six-wheeled machine. The cutting edge can have a variety of blade profiles, including flat, curved, serrated, scarifier, and corrugated in order to break through the surface material. The equipment is often used to flatten a surface with a metal grader blade that evenly grades the area it passes over or transports small amounts of dirt over a surface.

6) Pavers & Rollers

Pavers are a style of equipment used to lay asphalt during road construction projects, it is often accompanied by a dump truck which provides the asphalt and followed by a roller. The paver machine contains a feeding bucket which is used to distribute asphalt evenly on the road surface before being lightly packed down. A roller is then used to compact and compress the asphalt. This fully flattened surface ensures that the asphalt is properly in place and smoothly finished.

7) Skid-Steers

Skid steers are a small and maneuverable type of heavy-equipment that is often used for a variety of jobs. The skid steer is designed to turn within its own footprint, making it ideal for confined spaces or areas of finished construction. The front of the machine, directly in front of the operator cabin, is an attachment area for different types of tools that can be used for digging, drilling, compacting, pushing, log grappling, snow blowing, lifting, jack-hammering, and other tasks.


8) Trenchers

As you may have guessed, a trencher is a type of heavy equipment used for digging trenches in the ground. While trencher models can range in size, it will have an outstretched arm in the front, similar to a chainsaw. This front arm is equipped with a heavy metal chain to cut into the surface and uses a conveyor system to move the loosened material. Trenchers are commonly used for ditches, pipe laying, cable laying, developing drainage systems, and excavating hard surface layers.

9) Loaders (Track & Wheel Loaders)

wheel loaderThese two types of loaders often have an overlap with skid-steers and excavator style equipment. Track loaders are similar to a skid-steer, but have a larger footprint, larger capacity, and can be used on heavy-duty projects. Wheel loaders can tackle the same style of jobs, but are more maneuverable, making them comparable to backhoes minus the rear backhoe bucket. These two types of equipment are often used to load material onto dumpers or trucks, excavate raw materials, lifting, pushing, and moving materials around a worksite.

10) Feller Bunchers

Feller Bunchers are a type of heavy equipment that is used as a harvester in the forestry and logging industries. The machine is commonly built with a four-wheel base, multiple metal arms, and a cutting blade. A feller buncher is used as if it were a replacement for a lumberjack that cuts, harvests, and then carries trees.


Commonly Asked Question –  What Is Heavy Equipment?

Heavy equipment, also called heavy machinery, is a type of heavy-duty vehicles that are designed to perform moving, demolition, digging, or lifting tasks. The vehicle can either be moved using wheels or a track-type undercarriage and typically have an operator cab. It is common for these types of vehicles to have hydraulic extensions or attachments that can be used for specific activities. Heavy-equipment is often used in construction, road maintenance, earth-moving, and forestry-related industries.

Intro to: carbide snow plow cutting edges

Carbide Snow Plow Cutting Edges – An Intro Guide

Carbide snow plow cutting edges are a widely used type of snow plow blade. They are a natural progression from standard steel snow plow edges which were discussed in the first post of this series: Snow Plow Cutting Edges – An Introduction to Steel.

DMC Wear Parts has experts in all aspects of ground engagement edges, blades, and tools. We are doing this educational introduction series to share some of our knowledge with operators so that they can be more efficient and reduce their overhead costs.

To begin, it is important to give a brief overview of this particular snow plow cutting edge style. Carbide snow plow edges are used on the front, underbody, and wing of a snow plow. Carbide snow plow blades look very similar to traditional steel edges; however, they have a carbide insert brazed into the thickness of the steel face along the bottom of the blade. This carbide insert has much better wear resistance properties than a cutting edge made of just steel.  This gives the operator the following benefits:

  1. Longer Wear Life – on average carbide cutting edges have 3-5x more wear lifespan than heat-treated steel edges, and up to 20x more when compared to Carbon Steel
  2. Even Wear – carbide snow plow cutting edges will wear evenly across the face of the blade, which can help reduce the “crowning” effect that many operators experience with steel edges.
  3. Saves Time – Because the blades last longer and wear more evenly, operators can spend less time changing blades and more time out on the roads pushing snow.

Types of Carbide Snow Plow Edges

There are a wide variety of carbide edge styles for snow plows. The standard is a flat, 3/4″ thick by 6″ tall blade with a single carbide insert. These edges are great for front mounts, underbodies and wing plows. It is important to note that specific mounting applications have specific additional edge qualities. Specifically, an underbody blade should have a top bevel, whereas front mount and wing blades are unbeveled square edges.

Picture of a Carbide Snow Plow Edge

Another type of Carbide snow plow edge is a serrated edge. These blade types are designed for a more aggressive cut that can easily break through hard compacted snow and ice. The blades are easy to identify (as you can see in the picture below) because they have a carbide square welded to the front that look like teeth.

Picture of a serrated carbide snow plow blade.

Hybrid Edges

Finally, there are some carbide snow plow edges that are more of a hybrid. These blades can consist of steel and/or rubber in addition to the carbide segments. In these cases, the carbide and steel segments are completely encased in a rubber shell. The most common model for these hybrid blades consist of a steel mounting blade, rubberized carbide segment (pictured below), and a steel cover plate. The mounting plate and cover plate offer stability for the rubber segment.

This setup is beneficial for operators because it helps give a better clean sweep on snow. You can almost think of it as a squeegee effect on the road surface. Plus, the rubber embedded metal snow plow blades offer greater flexibility to contour to changing road surfaces and the rubber also drastically decreases vibration on the machine for a better operating environment.

Picture of a rubberized carbide snow plow blade

Carbide snow plow edges are a great way to increase wear life and decrease the time and effort that changing blades creates. The extended wear life of carbide does come at a higher price than a steel edge; but when ran properly the longer wear life and cost savings will be a financial advantage in the long run.

Ideal uses of carbide snow plow cutting edges:

  • Highway & interstate roads
  • Municipal/city streets
  • Private/commercial parking lots
  • Residential roads

Please feel free to reach out to DMC Wear Parts to discuss more about carbide snow plow edges and get a quote. There are many different styles to choose from, and as always, we want to provide Parts for Progress. Call (605) 840-8082 or send us a contact form to get more information.

intro to: steel snow plow cutting edges

Snow Plow Cutting Edges – An Introduction to Steel


Snow plow cutting edges come in many different sizes and varieties; sorting through them to find out what is best for your operation can be difficult.  This series of posts will serve as a beginner’s reference to better understand the different choices of snow plow blades; so you can choose the best blade to bring progress. First we take a look at steel snow plow blades. 

Steel snow plow cutting edges are widely used today.  Mainly because they were the first design and they are the cheapest option. Steel edges are used on the front, underbody, and wing of the snow plow. Steel snow plow cutting edges can be carbon steel (sometimes called butter blades) or heat treated steel.  Heat treated will offer considerably better wear life compared to carbon and is more than worth the extra cost per foot.  

Steel snow plow blades range from 3’ to 12’ pieces.  Shorter lengths are typically preferred to make changing easier.  The blade itself; is flat, non curved, with a  square edge.  However, underbody blades do require a beveled top edge, similar to a motor grader cutting edge.  Typical dimensions for a steel snow plow blade are 3/4” x 6” for front mount, 3/4 x 8” for wing, and 7/8×5” for an underbody with a hole pattern of 3”-3”-12”. While steel snow plow blades are the lowest cost per foot they also provide the lowest wear life.  When using steel edges in high usage operations; all costs associated with changing cutting edges should be greatly considered.  In our opinion steel snow plow blades are a cost effective plow option for low usage situations.  Better alternatives such as carbide snow plow blades and rubber encased JOMA Style Blades will be discussed in other posts. Take a look at our snow plow cutting edge options here: