It’s every dirt lover’s dream come true. From flattening hills for a solar field, to channeling a road from the oil rig to the highway, dirt movers are clearly man’s beasts of the ground. Here are seven reasons why we love those magnificent machines that move dirt!
7 Machines That Move Dirt
The modern day bulldozer traces its roots back to 1883. It was known as the Fresno Scraper, a blade that was towed by horses to scrape the dirt from the ground. Today this mammoth can also be equipped with armor for use in military combat maneuvers.
Excavators come in many shapes and sizes, but they all have one thing in common – a boom, a dipper and a bucket. Excavators can easily move loads of dirt from one section of the job to another, or load a truck with it to be hauled away. It’s estimated that it would take 20 manual laborers or moreto do the same amount of work in an hour as one of these brutes.
Every wonder how that road gets so flat? Well, welcome the grader. It wasn’t until 1920 that the grader became self-propelled. Nowadays this beauty helps with soil foundation, road construction, drainage ditches and even snow removal.
Imagine a giant crane with a chained scoop that can drag across the surface of the dirt, sand or coal. More commonly used in mining, dragline excavators are very large and yet very mobile. They can weigh up to 2000 metric tons and move on track-type crawlers. In smaller operations, the dragline is used as a rig for pile driving giant poles into the ground. It’s clearly a versatile marvel.
One of the smaller mighty machines is the skid steer loader. It has the ability of operating its wheels separately, which allows them to skid when they turn. Primarily used for compact maneuvers and operating on a variety of terrains, the independent wheel control gives this small fry high capabilities in the world of dirt. This machine can have four wheels or a tank-like tracks, and over 70 attachments including hammers, backhoes and augers.
Payloaders, scoops, shovels, bucket and front-end loaders are just a few of the names our next dirt mover maintains. This tractor-type machine is different from its siblings because the scoops are steered by a hydraulic pivot-point set, which allows it to carry greater weights. A loader can be used to carry everything from debris to dirt and snow. It’s commonly used to load the dirt that has been piled up into dump trucks. There are also armor-plated versions for military combat and law enforcement.
One of the most recognized dirt movers is the dump truck, which is generally outfitted with an open-box bed hinged on pistons in the front. This allows materials and dirt to be moved and then dumped on the ground at its destination. Originally these trucks were only able to dump from the back. Today, dump trucks can deposit from the side and the belly of the truck. There are even some called haul trucks that have very specific metrics and are designed especially for large quarries rock hauling and mining. These usually have a carrying capacity of up to 800,000 pounds (400 short tons).
Pay attention next time you’re traveling or out and around town and take a moment to watch these marvels at work. No matter the method be it shovel, scoop or scrape, the machines that move dirt are never second rate. We truly love those machines that move dirt!
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