When most people think of construction equipment, their mind usually goes to massive machines with huge shovels, enormous scoops, and big treads. But sometimes even the biggest jobs—especially those in tight spaces—can be handled by little worker vehicles that are small, speedy, and stronger than they look. Here’s a selection of small construction machinery that does large jobs. They may look similar, but each serves its own unique function.
Compact Wheel Loader
Compact wheel loaders are handy little multipurpose vehicles that can be equipped with attachments and treads to tackle any job, from lifting to sweeping to scooping and beyond. Their tiny size allows them to easily get in and out of snug areas where much larger vehicles can’t go. Their windowed cabins permit a 360-degree view, which helps the driver stay aware of their surroundings and anyone or anything nearby. With a powerful engine, a well-balanced body, and the right accessories, compact wheel loaders are great for loading trucks, plowing snow, working construction sites, and much more.
Skid steers are often compared with compact wheel loaders and perform some of the same tasks, but they excel at digging and construction. Skid steers can also be hooked up with attachments that allow them to perform other chores. Skid steers are easily equipped with wheels or tracks, and here’s where the name comes from. Skid steer wheels are fixed in place and cannot be turned, and each side is driven by a separate engine. The driver increases the speed of the wheels on one side to turn, causing the other wheels to drag and skid along the ground. Larger skid steers can lift to 3500 pounds (about half the weight of an elephant). Skid steers are best on flat surfaces like concrete and asphalt.
Compact Track Loader
Track loaders are another type of small worker vehicle that bring plenty of power to jobs like hauling materials, clearing sites, performing general farming tasks, and more. They share features and attribute with skid steers but are more maneuverable and have rubber tracks with high-flotation ability to deal with difficult earth conditions like mud, snow, sand, uneven ground, and the like—places where skid steers might have trouble getting a grip or could be damaged. As with the previous two vehicles, track loaders can be equipped with attachments for different jobs.
As the name suggests, compact excavators are exceptionally good at getting dirt out of the way. You can use them to backhoe a pit, auger holes, and even dig trenches in your backyard and other places a larger backhoe or similar excavator could never fit. For a particular kind of small construction machinery that does large jobs, compact excavators can handle more delicate work like landscaping, getting the job done without making too much of an impact on the environment around it. These scrappy little vehicles are also good at tearing things down, ripping out stumps, and similar demolition work!