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The Most Practical Heavy Equipment for Road Construction

What are the heavy equipment used for road construction?

  1. Road roller
  2. Wheel loader
  3. Excavator
  4. Forklifts
  5. Site support items


Road construction might seem as if it’s straightforward and simple. But in reality, it isn’t. Many people believe that all it takes to create roads are road rollers, which is not the case. In fact, road construction requires a whole slew of construction equipment.

Even for simple and straight roads, a road roller alone won’t suffice. Think of road construction as a multi-layered project on its own. You will need at least 4 different kinds of heavy equipment just to start with the foundation of the area.

Keep in mind that road construction is not just the flattening and asphalting of roads—there’s so much more to it that many people don’t necessarily see. With that being said, here’s a list of construction equipment almost always needed in road construction.


Road Roller

These machines are what will finish the whole construction project—that is once everything is set in place. The roller has one primary job, and that is to flatten and press down materials. This means that it is used to strengthen the foundation or the subfloor of the road. This is very important as a weak subfloor can lead to complications on the road itself.

When the subfloor is not properly compacted, the road might develop small dimples. These are the result of some areas of the soil below giving way to the weight that the asphalt is carrying.

Speaking of asphalt, the roller is also the machine that’s responsible for the even pressing and flattening of the asphalt on the road. Without the roller, the use of asphalt will most likely be for nothing as it’s the smooth layout of asphalt that makes it ideal for roads.


Wheel Loader

Wheel Loader

This is essentially a type of material handling equipment that focuses on hauling large amounts. For road construction, wheel loaders are used to do two things: First, they are used to transfer excess soil and ground from the construction site onto the trucks to be carried away. This way, the soil is either transferred to other construction sites or dumped in a landfill of some sort for future projects.

Second, the wheel loaders are used to pile up soil onto the area where the road will be made. Paired with rollers, they create the foundation of the road construction itself. These machines are useful for road construction in areas where no roads have been established.



This type of heavy equipment is usually found in quarries or any site where you have to dig through the earth. Because of this, excavators see use in almost every kind of construction site. It’s specifically designed to dig, pick, and move earth and other heavy objects. Its primary use is to excavate foundations, trenches, and holes.

For road construction, however, excavators are strong enough to literally tear down hills and sometimes even mountains, just for roads to pass through them. Not only that, but they’re also commonly used to carve out the entire expanse of the road that should be constructed.

As a secondary note, excavators can also act like wheel loaders wherein they either scoop up or pile down soil in hard to reach places. A minor, but definitely useful feature that goes with its long arm.




Often, road construction has a few projects that are done aside from it. For example, sewers, electricity cables, and internet cables. Many countries place these cables underground for safer and easier access. Either way, in most cases, these cables are laid out alongside roads because that’s the easiest places to access them, and where there are roads, there likely will be people who need internet and/or electricity.

In this application, forklifts are used to transport some of the more fragile and important components into the construction sites. Objects, such as concrete cylinders that need to be made out of the site and delivered as is, are the prime objects used here.

Aside from that, forklifts are also used to transport other materials that need more delicate care.


Site Support Items

Often, road construction is done consistently. It’s a project that can last hours into the night. This means that they will need some form of lighting fixtures during that time.

A portable generator should also be procured as there’s more to construction than just the heavy equipment, power tools are also used because a consistent power source is almost always needed in a construction site.


Key Takeaway

Road construction is not as easy as it looks. Just like the typical construction sites for buildings, road construction projects need sufficient equipment and manpower as well. Road rollers alone won’t suffice. No matter what construction project it may be, you always need to utilize the proper heavy equipment required.

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