Equipment Buyer's Guides

Air Compressors Buyer's Guide

Air compressors are trailered to work sites for a variety of industrial or construction applications ranging from powering impact wrenches in the assembly of a steel structure to triggering air hammers in demolition work. For purposes of this guide, we are talking about fully mobile units mounted on tow-behind trailers.

Backhoe Loaders Buyer's Guide

This Buyers Guide focuses on the backhoe, a piece of machinery that in some respects started the downsizing of construction and industrial equipment that continues today in the many compact machines on the market. Backhoes are commonly utilized in construction, aggregate, agricultural, industrial, municipal and landscape applications. The Guide examines the backhoe and attachment options that make it a versatile machine.

Compact Tool Carrier Attachments Buyer's Guide

This guide is offered as an introduction to the world of attachments that are available for compact tool carriers. It is designed to help you cull attachment offerings and determine which tool is right for you.

Crawler Dozers Buyer's Guide

This Buyers Guide focuses on the “dozer” — an abridged version of “bulldozer” — a heavy tractor-like machine with a push-blade on the front end. A bulldozer typically is used to gouge out earth and move it a short distance or to level an earthen pad. Frequent applications include road-building, site preparation, solid waste landfills and surface mining.

Excavator Buyer's Guide

This Buyers Guide focuses on the hydraulic excavator, a digging machine seen everywhere on job sites. Beside excavating, the machines also are employed driving piles, demolishing structures, mulching and cutting brush and lifting materials. This Guide specifically examines mid-to-full size hydraulic excavators.

Light Towers Buyer's Guide

Elevated lighting on trailers — “light towers” — tie electricity-generating powerplants to high-intensity banks of lights atop poles. They illuminate work areas where emergency teams are responding to disasters or doing night-time infrastructure repair work or where public events require illumination for reasons of public safety.

Off-Road Trucks Buyer's Guide

This Buyers Guide focuses on the off-road truck, a heavy construction machine for hauling loose materials in difficult ground conditions. The trucks are engineered in two configurations — with a rigid front-to-rear frame or with a frame that is hinged or coupled in the middle to enhance turning and maneuverability. The latter design is termed an articulated dump truck (ADT). Truck models scale up in carrying capacity from a few tons to 400-ton monster trucks used in mining operations.

Mini and Compact Equipment Buyer's Guide

This Buyers Guide is about the “mini” and compact equipment that has proliferated over the last couple of decades.

Paving, Compaction, and Milling Buyer's Guide

This Buyers Guide focuses on machinery used to build and rehab paved streets and highways. These are the massive paving machines that turn puddles of concrete or truck loads of hot asphalt into smooth pavement. These are the equally massive milling machines that efficiently rip up old pavement for recycling. And the compacting rollers that compress freshly laid hot-mix asphalt into durable roadways. For the most part, the milling and paving machines are huge and lumbering, but they also are beautifully engineered and global positioning system-enabled. They create roadways with exactness. Though compacting machines are simpler, they, too, are sophisticated pieces of machinery — certainly not just rolling dead weight.

Poratble Generators Buyer's Guide

Industry pros depend upon the publication to stay abreast of equipment news. This Buyers Guide reflects that marketplace experience. The guide is offered as an introduction to electrical equipment that sometimes is needed to supplement or substitute for fixed utility sources.

Skid Steer Loaders Buyer's Guide

The guide is offered as an introductory tool for equipment shoppers. In tool language, it is a tongue-and-groove plier with which contractors and property owners can get a grip on the skid steer marketplace. For the fact is, the sheer number of skid steers in the market is daunting. This guide is designed to help you cull equipment offerings and determine which machine is right for you.

Snowplow Buyer's Guide

Despite the hot weather, now’s the time to begin thinking about heavy snow and ice if you are in the market for snowplows. More specifically, if you buy equipment as a contractor or for a state DOT, county or municipality, purchasing snowplows is now in season. Waiting until mid- to late fall may be too late (depending on your location) as bad weather can always strike before winter even arrives.

Snow Removal Attachments Buyer's Guide

Contractors who use pickups, skid steers and other loaders in the warmer months to do site work or road construction can add to their bottom line when winter weather moves in by adding these attachments for snow clearing projects. In doing so, operators essentially weaponize their stable of construction vehicles to rid snow and ice from city streets, private roads, parking lots, sidewalks and other surfaces.

Trailers Buyer's Guide

This Buyers Guide is about “construction trailers,” a rather loose term encompassing a variety of pull-behind carriers. While the term can refer to flatbed transporters of heavy equipment and enclosed box trailers for carting hand tools or portable power units, it also applies to more specialty products such as belly-dump aggregate haulers and pull-behind temporary jobsite office units. This guide focuses on the most common application of “trailers:” flatbed haulers and enclosed tool carriers.

Trenching Equipment Buyer's Guide

This Buyers Guide focuses on machinery that has been engineered to drill horizontally, instead of vertically, or to dig trenches. Trench safety equipment also is a focus. Specifically, the guide examines horizontal directional drills (HDD), seated and walk-behind trenchers, and trench boxes inserted in excavations to protect workers from collapsing earthen walls.

Wheel Loaders Buyer's Guide

This guide focuses on the wheel loader, a piece of machinery that is crucial to many construction, aggregate, timber, agricultural, industrial and municipal activities. It is highly functional in all of these applications because of numerous front-end attachments — from buckets to grapples to blades. The Buyers Guide can help you examine wheel loader and attachment options and determine which of the tools is right for you.

Winter Dump Truck Bodies Buyer's Guide

In general, heavy-duty dump trucks with stout bodies are favored by DOTs and many larger municipalities because of their ability to remove heaps of snow in one pass, while also applying grit and liquid to important roadways. These trucks are classified as being Class 7 and Class 8 sizes, with gross vehicle weights ranging from 26,000 lbs. to more than 33,000 lbs. Many smaller towns and contractors, though, operate medium-duty trucks fitted with dump bodies just as tough to tackle ice and snow on the roads.

Winter Spreader Buyer's Guide

Many knowledgeable weather forecasting agencies have grimly predicted that winter 2019-2020 in much of the United States will be characterized by colder-than-average temperatures and excessive snowfall. That has lead municipalities and contractors to already be hard at work preparing for the onslaught of winter. Crews are busy across the country dressing their winter service vehicles (WSVs) for what could be heavy action, particularly in the northern and mountainous states.