The Six Main Categories of Heavy Equipment


While all heavy machinery has its own common themes, there’s no denying that within it there is certain equipment specialized for specific jobs. Whether it be for farming, construction, or moving materials, each piece of heavy equipment has its respective place in particular industries, and this post will explore some of these, as well as the machinery most commonly used in them.


In this industry, a multitude of different machines are used. Dump trucks carry dirt and forms of sediment to build sites for foundation laying, and cranes are used in spreading it on level ground for building. Bulldozers are another common machine often called upon in a variety of different construction projects because of their versatility. Demolition of old buildings makes up a significant portion of the modern construction project, as land becomes increasingly developed, and bulldozers are the main method of tearing down old projects. In skyscraper construction particularly, cranes are essential to hoisting up and putting in place enormously heavy objects thousands of feet in the air. All of these common types of heavy equipment seen in the modernized construction age contribute to safer, faster and cost-sensitive building plans.


Farming is one of the most talked about industries involving heavy equipment, and a litany of machinery including tractors, tillers, off-road vehicles and harvesters are instrumental to its success. Much of the farming industry’s heavy machinery is not very applicable to other industries involving heavy equipment, making it a much more specialized category. However, in the fields of a modern American farm, these pieces of machinery are vital to the upkeep of farm land, the most efficient methods of planting and harvesting crops, and ultimately the well being of the earth that provides income for those who own it. The tractor remains the most widely known piece of farming machinery, and one of the reasons why is because of its versatility. With the right attachments added on to a tractor, this vehicle can help yield huge production, and attachments may vary depending on what kind of farm is being maintained. Other less common but equally helpful pieces of farming machinery like grain carts, planters and farm drills help out on more specialized farms dedicated strictly to crop growing and nothing more, but having a tractor is absolutely essential to running an efficient farm in today’s economy.


While this industry serves ulterior purposes to construction, it also can be intertwined with building projects if they are to take place on undeveloped, wooded areas. Land clearing is a huge part of forestry and construction alike, but forestry’s main claim to fame is the production of paper goods, plywood and other tree-based products. Machines such as wood chippers, knuckleboom loaders, skippers, feller butchers and loaders are used to both harvest wood and create many different things, and all serve individual purposes in the forestry industry. For land clearing, mulchers are excellent options at your disposal, and are essential to any forestry business’ modern day arsenal of machinery.

Material Handling

The packing and loading industry is packed with machinery, mainly in the form of forklifts. Like the previous two industries mentioned, there is at least some form of interchangeable machinery across multiple different industries; namely, the forklift. The forklift remains one of the most common machines for shipping and loading in a warehouse setting, but some models are also designed for the wear and tear of a construction site and can easily be used to move large amounts of building materials around a location. Some other types of forklifts are suitable only for warehouse settings and are not equipped currently with off-road ready parts, making it very important to have a clear understanding of what type of work you’ll be doing with it. Rail transport is a newer method of delivery that is starting to pick up, but the forklift has dominated this industry for a while and will still be a relevant piece of equipment in both construction and shipping for years to come.


Trucks are widespread in the shipping industry, and often times work hand in hand with machinery in the loading industry. Machinery in loading supplies trucks with the necessary goods for national commerce, and trucks themselves do the cross country leg work in delivering them to specific locations. The trucks used in delivery are mostly seen in the form of semi trucks, but this concept of is still frequently found in other businesses such as the construction industry. Dump trucks are the most common types of trucks in construction, because they are better designed to handle rougher terrain on construction sites when compared to semis. They also are fitted with a bed tilting feature that allows them to pour sediment or dirt onto a site for foundation laying, something that semi trucks obviously don’t have (this also lends credence to the name ‘dump’ truck). Despite the differences, both types of truck ultimately serve the same basic purpose of goods delivery, and they are just equipped to complete those deliveries in ways customized to each of their respective environments.

Grounds Care

Whether it be a lawn, golf course or any sort of grassy property, grounds care contains a sect of heavy equipment unlike any other industry mentioned. In a sort of comparable way to the construction industry, grounds keeping is all about aesthetics in the end result; that is, how the finished project looks. Common lawn maintenance equipment is usually seen in the form of lawn mowers (both push and riding lawn mowers), weed whackers, compact tractors and sweepers. Perhaps the most widely known machinery for cutting acres and acres of grass is the riding lawn mower, which brings a vehicular approach to traditional grass cutting. These are especially effective in slicing through high grass that covers a large expanse of land, and ultimately make achieving an aesthetic landscape possible with minimal physical labor. Grounds keeping draws some minor similarities to forestry in that both businesses deal with managing foliage distribution, albeit in different ways. However, grounds keeping often times is done on a much smaller scale, mostly dealing with shrubbery or grass rather than huge amounts of large trees, like forestry manages.

All of these respective industries are linked in some way or another by their usage of heavy machinery, but there’s no question that some are much more specialized than others. While some pieces of heavy equipment can transcend industry boundaries, it’s fair to say that all play large roles in the way we go about accomplishing work in the 21st century. Mascus provides easy access and search for used equipment in all of these categories.

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