Take a look at any construction site, anywhere in the world, and the chances are that you’ll see something familiar. Massive single-use pieces of equipment are a mainstay in any construction fleet, but for smaller businesses, a lack of both space and funding means that you need to look into multi-use alternatives. Backhoes, skid steer loaders, and compact track loaders are capable of utilizing a myriad of attachments, depending on the needs of the job.
Here is a quick breakdown of construction equipment attachments and what you might use them for.
Augers are heavy-duty high-torque drill bits designed to dig holes in the soil or rocky surfaces. These are ideal for everything from creating post holes to digging transplant holes for trees and other landscaping.
If you’re working with a skid steer loader or a compact track loader, a backhoe attachment can give you all of the functionality of a backhoe without having to invest in an extra piece of equipment.
Buckets for backhoes come in a variety of different sizes and applications, so you’re sure to find something that works for you. General-purpose buckets can work for most applications, but if you’re working on a specific task like lifting heavy rocks or excavating soil, there are variations of the standard bucket that works for those as well.
Blades are a valuable tool for site clearing and cutting applications. They do require frequent sharpening when cutting through dense materials but they’re more efficient than doing the same tasks by hand or with handheld tools.
Why sweep your job site by hand when you can attach a broom to your backhoe or skid steer loader and use it to keep your site clean and safe. It is also a valuable tool for shifting materials like sand that might be difficult to lift or manipulate with larger equipment.
If you find yourself needing to clear-cut a new lot before construction begins, brush cutters are the perfect attachment for the job. They come in widths ranging from 60 to 78 inches, making it easy to clear even large lots quickly and easily.
Heavy-duty compactors might be more efficient for large stretches of land, but for small projects or those that have limited space, smaller backhoe or skid steer attachments are the best option.
While these aren’t as common on construction sites, hammer attachments are valuable tools if you need to break up large rocks or concrete. They’re more common on quarries and on demolition sites.
These might not always be necessary, but if you find yourself needing to move palletized materials, a pallet fork attachment can make the job infinitely easier. These attachments usually come with adjustable fork widths so you can lift different size pallets with ease.
Snow, sleet and mud can throw a wrench into the best-laid plans. Instead of letting them delay your project or investing in a single-use snowplow, consider a plow attachment for your backhoe or skid steer loader.
Whether you’re trying to smooth uneven terrain or remove rocks and other debris, a rake attachment makes the job move a lot faster than trying to complete the same task by hand.
There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to work when the ground is frozen. Ripper attachments can easily cut through the frozen ground. They can also tear through concrete and asphalt if necessary.
Sometimes a table saw just won’t cut it — literally. Saw attachments can complete challenging cutting tasks with ease, without ever needing to break out the hand tools.
When pulling an entire tree out by the root isn’t an option, stump grinders can help take unsightly stumps down to nothing. These are necessary for site clearing operations, but you don’t need to bring in an extra piece of equipment to complete the job when you can do exactly that with
Sometimes you need an extra set of hands — or in this case, an extra set of thumbs. These help to lift heavy and often awkwardly shaped items and transport them throughout the construction site.
If landscaping is part of the plan, a tiller can make the job easier by breaking up the soil and providing straight and even lines ready for planting.
If you need rows deeper than a tiller can provide, the trencher attachment is the next logical step. These attachments can dig trenches three to five feet deep, which is usually plenty for installing infrastructure and plants or trees that may require a deeper starting point.
Comprehensive But Not Exhaustive
Despite the sheer number of items on this list, it is not exhaustive by any means. There are nearly as many attachments for construction equipment as there are applications for them. Before you invest in a new piece of equipment for your construction fleet, look into attachments for your existing equipment. You might be surprised by what you find.
Author Bio: Rose Morrison is a freelance writer who covers construction and building design topics. She is also the managing editor for Renovated.
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