The heavy equipment industry — including machines such as the backhoe, crane, wheel loader, grader, forklift, and bulldozer — has been experiencing a near-6% growth rate worldwide for the past ten years. This demand is fueled by the need for new construction to accommodate growth, for the refurbishing of old projects and buildings, and for increased mining activity to provide raw materials for industry. The spinoff has also meant an increase in available employment in construction jobs for heavy equipment operators and maintenance mechanics, growth for parts manufacturers and distributors, and an increase in agencies providing operator certification.
Increased competitiveness has meant a better product for construction companies and operators alike. New technologies have meant increased safety, comfort, and reliability. Advancements include air conditioned cabins, automatic transmissions, engine monitoring systems, noise reduction, and GPS tracking systems for precision surveying. Some can even be programmed to repeat tasks or operate on driverless routes. Of course, these increased features require increases in training and certification for heavy equipment operators and companies alike.
The following pages showcase various types of heavy equipment and their uses.