Machinery Used In Earthmoving Operations

The execution of the work of a road entails in any case a series of processes of clearing, filling and excavation to adapt the elevation levels of the natural terrain to those required by the construction project. In this post the different types of machinery used to carry out these tasks in their different phases are collected.

Excavating machines

The main function of excavating machines is the extraction of material from the natural terrain, its loading and transport and its unloading in the place chosen for the collection. Depending on the characteristics and unevenness of the terrain, two different types of excavators are used: on wheels and on chains or crawlers . The latter offer greater stability in the face of significant uneven terrain, as the machine’s center of gravity is lower and also has a larger contact surface with the ground .

The extraction of material from the ground can be done in various ways, depending on the nature of the ground, its composition and resistance to cutting . Specialized tools are required for this:

  • Bucket : it is used to pull the material to be excavated directly from the ground or to load it and transport it to other areas. It is used in granular or low resistance soils . It is the most common extraction tool.
  • Hammer : it is used to break rock-type terrain or those formed by materials of great hardness into small fragments that can later be handled by other machinery.
  • Ripper : it is generally used for the breaking of hard surface layers , which cannot be fragmented by other means.


The loader is used in excavation and dismantling work to collect and transport the material collected by the excavator or generated by blasting the ground to the place chosen for storage on site or to the means of transport that will later transfer it to the quarry. The material transported by the shovel in these tasks is mainly composed of rocks, conglomerates and earth. The shovel bucket must be adapted to the characteristics of the materials to be transported.

Bulldozer tractor

The bulldozer is used in clearing and excavation work as an alternative to the excavator for the extraction and transport of thin layers of soil as long as the excavation depth is small . These extended layers must later be compacted by roller. With regard to the execution of embankments, the bulldozer can also be used to spread layers of filling material , although there are more specialized equipment to carry out this task, such as the motor grader, which we will talk about later.


The scrapers are specifically machinery used for loading and transporting material . Scrapers can perform excavation and hauling tasks similar to bulldozers, but cannot carry out the extension of layers of material. Its activity is indicated for the extraction of soil from surface layers of easily excavatable materials, collection of material and subsequent dumping in the place indicated for it. They are suitable equipment for the excavation of large areas and shallow depths.