Chapter 2: Transportation Equipment — Hauling Supplies and Materials

To begin excavation, pieces of heavy equipment not designed for roadways need to be moved to the construction area. Hauling essential building supplies into a site on time can make the difference between failure and success for any project.

After the extensive process of moving equipment and supplies, the project itself must be completed. Then, once finished, transportation equipment is just as valuable for hauling debris during the cleanup phase of the construction project.

For all of these tasks on a job site, crews may utilize several different types of hauling and material handling equipment — depending on the needed application. Almost every building project needs a type of hauler for material handling or equipment transport.

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Some of these haulers may be allowed and capable of operating on public roadways for access to and from the work site. Special drivers’ licenses, local highway restrictions and federal or state motor carrier safety rules need to be checked.

Large trucks equipped with rubber tires can be considered roadway vehicles. However, some tracked vehicles may also be permissible on local roads. All haulers, including tipper trucks, large concrete mixers, trailers and dump trucks, are self-propelled and offer extreme advantages in material or equipment handling.

Here are some of the most common types of heavy equipment used for hauling.

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1. Tipper Trucks: Dumping Large Quantities of Load Material

Tipper trucks operate with a large platform raised at an angle from the front to assist in dumping a large load of material. Gravity acts as the prevailing force that helps in the tipper’s design.

They pop up most frequently in environments such as mining or quarry operations where large loads of rock and minerals need to be unloaded quickly. Because the tipper is a truck, it offers excellent maneuverability, versatility and longevity, and can help significantly reduce operating costs for a construction crew.

2. Concrete Trucks: Carrying and Sometimes Mixing the Concrete

If the project calls for concrete, crews use concrete trucks designed specifically to transport the material to the work site. There are different types of concrete trucks that can be used depending on the nature of the application. For plant-mixed concrete, general transit trucks conduct transportation. In some cases, dump trucks haul concrete to the site and mix it on site. It all depends on how much and what use the concrete will serve in the overall building application.

Agitating and non-agitating trucks haul concrete, while mixers can be used for both. Concrete mixers have an agitator that will mix and then, when ready, pour the concrete into the proper location. Being hauled by a truck allows for speed, efficiency and maneuverability at a work site where fast pouring may be useful or essential.

3. Trailer Trucks: Hauling Equipment and Supplies Long Distances

The most common type of truck is the trailer truck. Trailer trucks haul almost any piece of equipment or building supplies over incredible distances. Trailer trucks transport things on highways and job sites. Loading a trailer presents a fast and effective means of getting your materials from point-to-point without much worry. Although these trucks face strict enforcement of weight regulations, and trailers are common, invaluable machines for hauling construction materials and supplies.

4. Tankers: Transporting Materials on Highways and Through Job Sites

Tanker trucks are not as common as some of the others on this list, but they are still an essential part of building and fueling applications on a job site. Tankers transport liquids, gases and waste materials on highways and public roadways. In some cases, they may be equipped with a vacuum to help remove waste materials from areas such as septic tanks. Often crews use tankers in situations where wastewater needs to be pumped out from a work site.

Crews often run into logistical issues refueling excavators and other machinery on-site. They can deploy tankers to bring fuel to this vital equipment. They offer versatility because they can handle materials in liquid or gas states.

5. Dump Trucks: Quickly Hauling and Dumping Their Loads

As with tipper trucks, dump trucks haul materials and dump their loads quickly. Gravity plays a role in their operation, but motors raise the automatic unloading device. The dump truck has an increased capacity for material and per axle, can carry 20,000 lbs. Typically dump trucks take part in earth-moving operations and haul soil. Crews most often use side or rear dump trucks:

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  • Side dump trucks tip their platform to the side of the truck with one side raised while gravity does the rest of the work.
  • Rear dump trucks operate like a tipper truck. Hydraulic lifts are needed to push up the immense load and platform.

In some cases, bottom dump trucks get deployed as well. They appear similar to trailer trucks, and the body of the platform does not move as with rear or side dump trucks. Instead, dumping takes place through the bottom of the truck platform. This feature makes them ideal for transporting materials such as sand, gravel or dry soil.

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