Six Different Types of Construction Trucks
In a single commercial construction job, there may be dozens of different tasks a crew must handle. From delivery of construction materials to ground excavation to road maintenance, they rely on various pieces of heavy construction equipment to accomplish those tasks.
But there’s not one universal construction truck capable of handling all of these projects. Rather, these vehicles tend to be highly specialized—designed to perform a few key tasks. To finish the job, you may need to invest in several different types of construction trucks.
Want to learn more about the types of construction vehicles?
Here’s a quick rundown of the six most common classes in a construction fleet.
Excavators are the most important and expensive piece of heavy equipment on practically any job site. According to United Rentals:
“Hydraulic excavators consist of two main sections, the undercarriage and the house, which sits on a rotating platform. The house includes the cab, the counterweight that offsets the force of the digging, the engine, the boom, the digging arm (aka stick) and the bucket.”
An incredibly versatile piece of machinery, an excavator features a tank-like chassis and uses its bucket to perform a variety of functions, including:
- Digging out earth
- Cutting trenches
- Forming holes
- Lifting away waste
- Excavating mines
- Grading landscape
Excavators come in an array of types and sizes, ranging from mini to medium to large.
#2 Articulated Trucks
This is a type of heavy-duty dump truck that can be used for a variety of projects, whether it’s mining, hauling, scrapping, or recycling.
These tend to be massive vehicles, designed for rough, off-road terrain and loose soil. An articulated truck will have a chassis divided into two sections that can move separately for improved maneuverability and control. They are:
- The tractor component with the cab
- The trailer component with the dump body
Although this is the most common type of construction dump truck, other on-road dump trucks can be used for different aspects of construction, such as transfer dump trucks, side dump trucks, and standard dump trucks.
Bulldozers are another widely-recognized construction vehicle that you’ll find at practically any construction site.
A dozer is basically a powerful tread-tractor with a massive metal plate blade in the front that can be used to push large quantities of rubble, soil, sand, and debris around. This makes it ideal for several different tasks like:
- Leveling dirt
- Tearing up asphalt
- Clearing job sites
Depending on the bulldozer, it may come with other tools, attachments, or modifications that help it perform specialized construction-related tasks.
#4 Front Loader
A cousin to the bulldozer, a front loader is also an earth-moving piece of machinery that relies on a scooped loading bucket so it can carry a heavy load safely and efficiently. There are three significant differences between the two vehicles:
- A front loader is often on wheels, whereas the bulldozer has a track with treads
- The front loader’s movable attachment arm tends to be higher
- Instead of a blade, the loader uses a bucket for scooping
A wheel loader functions more like a shovel than a bulldozer; however, it’s not meant to be used for digging, but rather, for scooping and transporting debris.
#5 Backhoe Loader
A backhoe combines many of the capabilities of a tractor, loader, and excavator into one piece of machinery. It looks similar to a metal scorpion, with the backhoe mounted on the rear of the vehicle and the bucket arm mounted to the front.
Backhoes typically have large rear wheels and smaller front wheels. They can also deploy rear stabilizers that keep the vehicle steady when the backhoe is in use. These construction trucks have a variety of use-cases, including:
- Light transportation of debris
- Digging holes
- Breaking asphalt
- Paving roads
#6 Truck-Mounted Cranes
Truck-mounted cranes are incredibly useful for moving heavy materials and lifting loads both vertically and horizontally. These types of cranes are commonly made up of two parts: the carrier (truck) and the boom (crane arm). Also, they usually have counterweights and outriggers to ensure that they are stable while moving items.
Truck-mounted cranes are more convenient than fixed cranes since they can move on the road without needing to be carried by special machinery. This makes them ideal for small- to medium-sized construction projects.
Depending on the job’s requirements, other types of cranes may be utilized for a construction project, like a rough terrain crane or a crawler crane.
All of these types of construction trucks are used for various construction projects, such as road maintenance, building construction, home renovation, and more.
AtoB Fueling Your Construction Vehicles
A crucial step in construction fleet management is taking into account the vehicles in your fleet. The construction vehicles discussed above are just some of the trucks and machinery you’ll need at a job site. Other popular equipment may include graders, trenchers, compactors, excavators, forklifts, and conveyors.
Regardless, no matter what type of heavy-duty truck is in your fleet, one thing is certain—they all rely on fuel to run. That’s where we come in.
At AtoB, we offer universal, user-friendly fleet fuel cards that can help you save money on fuel and monitor your fleet expenses. With AtoB, you can enjoy exclusive discounts, automated reporting, and powerful expense analysis.
Ready to start saving on your construction truck fuel costs?
Fill out an AtoB fuel card application today.
United Rentals. What Is an Excavator? Different Types and How They're Used.