The world is constantly changing, and so are the construction methods. A lot of techniques have been improved, new machines invented to help with certain tasks, but still there are some that are not completely abandoned even though they might be quite inefficient. Methods can vary from one country to another or between different areas within a country. Even though most of the modern equipment is self-propelled now, there are several types of construction vehicles which are pulled by horses.
Many people would probably agree that steam-powered engines were an amazing invention which allowed mankind to make great progress in various fields, including construction. One of the things that needed improvement was transporting materials over long distances. And that was when steam-powered tractors started being used widely in agriculture. Even though they are not being used for this purpose much anymore, the progress didn’t stop there.
There are several types of construction vehicles which are still being used regularly in various fields, including road building and leveling works, excavating works, transporting materials over long distances or dust removing.
Steam rollers have been in use since 1769 even though their modern counterparts are driven by an internal combustion engine instead of a steam engine. The very first ones were horse powered but it wasn’t long before they became self-propelled and today’s modern machines use an electric motor to turn the drums and propel them forward.
Another interesting type of construction vehicle is the railway excavator. If you are thinking about steam locomotives, don’t be mistaken as they are completely different. These machines are used to dig tunnels and lay tracks for railways or subways. They have a long boom which can be maneuvered in any direction by remote control via an external hydraulic circuit. The machine has three major parts – the operator’s cab, the engine compartment and the dipper arm with jib crane.
Unlike most types of construction vehicles that were self-propelled from the beginning, these ones had to wait until 1969 when New York City Transit Authority introduced them on one of its projects.
Mini excavator with barrels
Dozers are also excavating machines but they have a blade which is used for leveling surfaces before another process is to take place there like construction of roads, runways and buildings. The term dozer can sometimes refer to bulldozers (which don’t use teeth) used to push large piles of earth around in marshy areas where ordinary tractors wouldn’t be able to travel or would simply get stuck. Bulldozers usually have toothed blades so they can break up the ground before it is being leveled.
Bulldozer with barrels
Dump trucks are so widely used that some people might have a wrong impression that they are self-propelled. Although most of them are, there are still several types of construction vehicles which rely on drivers to turn them around in order to empty their load.
Dump truck with barrels
The type of construction vehicle worth mentioning here is the steam roller. It consists of two heavy cylinders mounted on a steel platform and harnessed to four horses through yokes (frames) resting on the animals’ shoulders at an angle appropriate for movement in the desired direction (generally forward). A steam engine mounted on the platform supplies power to the cylinders through pipes and hoses which can be connected or disconnected without stopping the engine.
The force of the steam pushes pistons inside cylinders which are connected to flywheels that turn drums attached to both sides of one or both axles, thus propelling the roller forward. As this machine has large metal wheels it is generally not used for leveling surfaces but rather for compacting them.
Mini dump truck with barrels
Although some construction vehicles rely solely on an internal combustion engine as a source of energy others use alternative energy sources as well. Steam powered cranes were widely used at ports from 1900 up until about 1950 when they started being replaced by diesel powered machines.
All in all this is a list of most commonly used types of construction vehicles, but they are far from being complete. There are literally hundreds of other machines built for specific purposes and each one has a huge impact on the industry as a whole. Construction companies come up with new ideas every day so it’s likely that we’ll see many more types of construction vehicles in the future.
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3D rendering – Rollers with barrels
Tractors, graders and scrapers are all used for leveling surfaces before another process is to take place there like construction of roads, runways and buildings. These machines can be self-propelled or even remote controlled by an external hydraulic circuit. They have one major part – the cab which provides both driver’s seat and controls for machine operations.
Most modern models come equipped with tracks instead of wheels so they don’t require continuous maintenance to repair damage caused by ground surface irregularities or wear down. Although this type of construction vehicles has served well since 1920s when it was invented this wasn’t the first attempt at mechanizing construction processes.
It seems like improvements in technology can be traced throughout all periods of history and this concept is valid not only for machines and tools but also for construction. The Ancient Egyptian pyramids, although truly awe inspiring at first glance, were built with very simple technology such as ropes and wooden rollers that people used to move huge blocks of stone. The biggest pyramid – the Great Pyramid of Giza (or Kheops) was completed around 2560 BC . This structure still baffles scientists who are unsure how it was constructed despite modern computer simulations which were used in 2010 in an attempt to recreate one of the largest logistical operations ever attempted by humans when they moved 2.5 million tons of limestone into position over a 20 year span.
Tractor scrapers for wheels
Combined with a scraper unit, a tractor scraper comprises a tractor and an engine. Scrapers cut into the ground as tractors move forward, filling their trailer bowls with materials. It is the job of scrapers to move or remove soil, gravel, and other materials from the ground. As well as excavation, leveling, loading, hauling, and dumping, they help with other earthmoving tasks.
Excavators with barrels
It is commonly known that the wheel was one of humanity’s biggest inventions in terms of its effect on how civilizations developed. Despite this, wheels are relatively new when compared to other ancient technologies such as the plow or inclined plane. The oldest wheel found so far dates back to 3500 BC and it belongs to a primitive wagon which was used only for transporting goods. This momentous event happened over 5500 years ago and brought us closer than ever before to mechanized agriculture.