HomeHOME IMPROVEMENTThe Construction Industry: The Development of Heavy Machines

The Construction Industry: The Development of Heavy Machines

The bulldozer and the crane which are among the most critical heavy machines that were invented or developed for the purpose of earth moving and lifting heavy elements which were integral to building changed the face of construction forever. The positive impact that these two machines brought to the table resulted in a push by manufacturers to develop better versions of heavy machines that were able to do much more for much less. The result of the combination of the bulldozer and the crane was the development of heavy machines such as backhoes, skid steer loaders, mini dumpers and of course the ultimate excavator which has become integral to just about any construction project imaginable.

By the 80s, advancements in hydraulic and engine related technologies began to transform these excavators to be more powerful than ever improving their performances like never before. The introduction of the mini excavator and zero tail swing excavators eventually allowed these machines access to projects that were limited by space as they required very little space to perform their tasks. By the 90’s the introduction of hydraulic couplers to these machines made them even more versatile that they were able to perform a greater variety of tasks, no longer were these machines limited to just digging, shovelling and moving earth and construction material. The excavator was by now capable of digging, drilling, cutting, crushing, compacting and demolishing among others simply by attaching the hydraulic tool using the hydraulic couplers. However, these improvements did increase the cost of these machines which indirectly improved the fixed asset standing of the companies they belonged to, but nevertheless placed pressure on their capital standings and impacted cash flow quite drastically. There were also issue with logistics as these machines were not allowed on regular roads and companies needed to also purchase transport vehicles and also put up with the maintenance cost of these machines. This issue was only resolved with the arrival of heavy machine companies that were only interested in giving out these heavy machines on hire which allowed even small construction companies to take on projects that they were unable to. A construction company was now able to take an excavator for hire for as little AUD 200 a day and not to have to worry about moving the excavator between project sites as these companies also provided delivery and pick up services and took care of all the maintenance aspects of these heavy machines.

The direct impact of these machines, especially the excavator resulted in the reduction of cost, but on the negative side, it also reduced the amount of labour required for projects. This was simply because of the fact that an excavator is able to replace a dozen workers. Currently, excavators are able to perform one hundred and fifty six tasks (excavators that have hydraulic couplers). The modern day excavator comes in all sorts of variants with differences in size, reach, power, mobility elements and breakout force. They have also become essential to other industries since, and these industries include forestry, agriculture, shipping, and even home improvement projects just to name a few. Currently the most common type of heavy machines that are taken on hire by construction firms include the mini excavator, mini dumpers or skid steers along with the various hydraulic attachment tools which are also available for skid steers. The latest machines also have on board computer assisted guides that allow even novice operators to perform grading by hiring excavators or skid steers with high accuracy. Soon enough, most mini excavators will be powered by electric based on current trends and it is something that the industry can count on.

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