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Highway is one of the most complicated engineering project, the construction process needs a lot of machinery to build up, the machinery make the process as fast as enough, now a days with some automated machines no more require for work force, in this article mainly focused on name and types of machines which may used in highway construction, each construction stage may require different machines or same machine with different function.

The construction phases of highway can be divided into many sub branches, the main of highway construction is the earthwork, the following machine usually used to build up earthwork structure for highways.

1- Graders:

Grader is known as a "road grader' or "Motor Grader" as shown in (Figure-1), used for leveling the ground during grading process, the machine consist of the long blade which can trim the soil easily, or it can spread the soil on existing layers, the blade is moving in all direction, it can rotate by a wide angle, and it can incline enough with vertical to spread the soil in incline way such as a super-elevation layer. Now a days the machine is developed to advance stage, the blade can connected with the survey system and controlled by " Robotic Total Station" instrument to adjust the elevations according to plan, the blade automatically moving vertically to reach the require elevation.

Fig-1: Grader

2- Bulldozers:

This is one the most heavier machine in highway construction as shown in (Figure-2), this machine consist of the large blade used to push the earth material, the blade can be not lifted and its not used for hauling material, only used to push the earth, at the back there is a ripper arm which used to ploughing the earth and its helpful for easy pushing process.

Fig-2: Bulldozer (Image Source)

3-Steel Wheel Roller:-

Steel wheel roller consist of the one or two steel drums, used for compacting process in highway construction, some times the vibrating equipment assembly inside the drum to make more compaction effect on compacted material. There is two types of steel wheel roller, single steel wheel roller as shown in (Figure-3) consist of two rubber tire at the back and one steel drum in front, its used for compacting soil layers such as subgrade, subbase or base material, and twin steel wheel roller as shown in (Figure-4) consist of two steel drums for back and front, mainly used for compacting asphalt layer.

Fig-3: Single Steel Wheel Roller for Compacting Soil (Image Source)

Fig-4: Twin Steel Wheel Roller for Compacting Asphalt (Image Source)

4-Sheep Foot Roller:-

Sheep foot roller is another types of roller only used for compacted soil layer such as subgrade, subbase or base material depend on the construction process, the back tire is mainly rubber tire, and the front tire consist of the heavy steel drum with steel bulbs as shown in (Figure-5), the steel bulbs exerts the load on smaller area, by this way the impact it will be greater.

Fig-5: Sheep Foot Roller (Image Source)

5-Pneumatic Tire Roller:-

This machine as shown in (Figure-6) is consist of the rubber pneumatic  tire in back and front, the back tire is not lies on same alignment with front tire, usually number of front tire is four tire with equal spacing, and the back tire is three located on the same alignment with spacing of front tire, mainly used for compacting asphalt layer.

Fig-6: pneumatic Tire Roller (Image Source)

6-Towed Pneumatic Tire Roller:-

This kind of machine is not a self propelled, usually towed by another machine such a trucks as shown in (Figure-7), the main advantage of this kind roller it can be loaded to exert more pressure to soil, the mass can be placed at the top platform such as placing cement bags, concrete segment, steel segment and large piece of stone which is created more downward pressure.

Fig-7: Towed Pneumatic Tire Roller (Image Source)

7- Scraper:-

The wheel tractor scraper as shown in (Figure-8) is another heavy machine used in highway construction, the machine consist of the tractor which is move the whole machine, and in the rear part there is large hopper, at the bottom of the hopper there is a sharp cutting blade which is lift and lower, the blade cuts the soil just like a carpenter plane cutter for cutting the wood, the hopper filled with soil while the blade cut the slice of soil, once the hopper is filled with soil, the blade is rise and close the gate, at the same time the machine can transport the material into fill places, the machine capable to unload the soil and leveled like a grader, there is a conveyor belt inside the hopper and pushing hydraulic jack to move the soil toward the gate while unloading.

Fig-8: Scraper (Image Source)

This video show the scraper how its work in construction site.

8- Excavators:-

Excavators  as shown in (Figure-9) are heavy construction equipment, consist of the bucket, boom, dipper and a cap on a rotary platform, the platform is carriage by the self propelled truck or wheels, the bucket is connect with movable arm which is moved by group of hydraulic cylinders, the main function of excavators used for excavate soil, and some times used for haul material into dump trucks, the excavator vary from small sized excavator to a very large scale excavator mostly working in mining site.

Fig-9: Excavator (Image Source)

8-Dump Trucks:

The dumping truck as shown in (Figure-10) is used for transported the material such as loose soil, sand, gravel, etc from place to place, the dump truck is equipped with the open box-bed, hinged at rear part and equipped with hydraulic cylinder to lift the front part for dump the hauling material.

Fig-10: Dump Truck (Image Source)


No Reference Provided, Written based on writer experience.


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BSc- Geotechnical Engineering\Koya University

MSc- Infrastructure Engineering\ Szechenyi Istvan University

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