Know the Differences Between Earthmoving Equipment

Earthmoving equipment is used by many construction companies and in various industries, not just to dig pits for new construction but also for excavation, digging trenches, and removing buried power lines or other cables. If you're a contractor looking to rent some earthmoving equipment or a homeowner who wants to handle your own earthmoving job, you would do well to note some differences between the various forms of equipment. This will ensure you choose the right one for the job at hand.

1. Bulldozer

Bulldozers may all look alike to you, but note that they can either have tracks or tires. Tracks, sometimes called treads, are meant to keep the bulldozer level and even on soft or muddy ground. Tires are better for pavement where they won't produce so much drag. A bulldozer's shovel arm may not extend as far as you assume, so use these when pushing ground to create a grade that is level and even, not necessarily for when you want to actually dig any type of depth in the soil. That work is best left to a loader. 

2. Loader

A loader is a type of bulldozer that has a longer extension for the arm, to which is attached its bucket or digger. Note that the arm will extend much longer than a standard bulldozer, which is why a loader is needed if you intend to dig up dirt or other materials and then load it onto the back of a truck. The arm of a loader will extend up and over the truck back so that material can be dumped.

3. Dragline

A dragline is used for when you need to do earthmoving underwater or underground, such as in a mine. It's rarely something that a homeowner would use, but for contractors working with a water body, this equipment will lower the bucket into the water with a long line and then a second line will pull the bucket out.

4. Trencher

A trencher is a bit different than bulldozers and other diggers in that it has a long, narrow digger that is used to dig trenches in particular. A trencher can be small and compact and used by private homeowners for digging up rows of a small farm, or they can be larger and used by contractors for commercial-sized farms and other such properties or creating trenches needed for buried power lines, plumbing pipes, and the like.

Remember that if you're not sure of the right equipment to use for your job, calling an earthmoving contractor can ensure your digging needs are handled properly and safely.