Tulsa commercial contractors have to be familiar with most trades and the equipment used to complete work. For some trades like mechanical, electrical, and plumbing the Tulsa commercial contractor needs to be as knowledgeable as the tradesperson doing the installation. The Tulsa commercial contractor must be able to ensure that when one trade leaves the site is prepared for the next trade to begin. The list of equipment used by any given trade is practically endless, but the American Institute for Constructors or AIC listed the following pieces of equipment as particularly important:

“… Piling equipment varies based on the method of installation and type of piling being installed. Piles may be made of steel, concrete, or composite materials and are commonly driven, water or air jetted, drilled and poured, or vibrated into place. Piling equipment may be specialized stand-alone pieces of equipment or mounted to/used in conjunction with other pieces of equipment, such as a crane or excavator… Steel and precast concrete piles are commonly installed by pile drivers. A pile driver is a mechanical piece of equipment that drives a piling into the ground by striking the head of the piling. Following are three common types of pile drivers:

  • Drop hammer pile driver: simplest type of pile driver. A drop hammer pile driver consists of a heavy weight that is raised by cable along a guided track and then dropped freely onto the head of the pile.
  • Mechanical hammer pile driver: uses a mechanical actuated piston and hammer to drive pile into the ground. The piston may be powered by internal combustion, steam, compressed air, or hydraulics.
  • Vibratory hammer pile driver: rapidly vibrates the head of the pile in up-and-down cycles while placing downward pressure, which causes the soil and piling to expand and contract, relieving friction and driving the piling downward. Typically, this is the fastest type of pile driver; however, the vibration from this equipment may disturb adjacent soils, especially those of nearby open excavations…”

For the Tulsa commercial contractor, earth moving equipment is critical. The building pad must be correct before anything else can even begin. The AIC listed the following pieces of equipment to be knowledgeable on before overseeing excavation:

“…A tieback bracing system is an external bracing system that uses metal rods or wires anchored into rock or soil outside of an excavation to support the face of an excavation. The main advantage of tieback bracing systems is that they provide larger clear work areas within the excavation than internally braced systems do. Tiebacks are typically installed at an angle and are either driven or drilled and grouted into place. They may individually anchor metal plates or wood sheets, be used in rows with wales and planks or sheeting, or be used to provide support for other protection systems, such as sheet piling and concrete slurry walls. Tieback bracing systems are commonly used in urban areas where excavation for a building extends to the edge of the property… An excavator is a piece of heavy construction equipment commonly used in the excavation of soils (basements, footings, trenches, pits, etc.), demolition, and material handling. Excavators may be track or wheel mounted and generally consist of an undercarriage, a housing, a cab, a two-part articulated arm (boom and stick), and a bucket. Most modern excavators are hydraulically powered (), but they may also be cable operated. Excavators are manufactured in a large variety of sizes and typically have easily removable buckets that can be interchanged with a variety of bucket sizes and attachments based on the project’s needs… A dozer is a tractor-like piece of construction equipment equipped with a front-mounted blade (). Dozers may be wheel mounted but are most often track mounted and commonly used in clearing and leveling of a job site and in pushing/spreading large quantities of materials… A grader is a wheeled piece of equipment with a center-mounted angled blade (). Graders are primarily used to finish level grade… Loaders may be wheel or track mounted and have a wide front-mounted bucket that can be raised, lowered, and dumped. Although able to excavate loose materials, loaders are more commonly used for landscaping, material handling, and loading of stockpiled materials into trucks to be hauled. There are three common classifications of loaders: skid steer loaders, wheel loaders, and track loaders. Because of their smaller size, versatile use (some with interchangeable bucket attachments), and greater affordability, skid steer loaders are the most widely used type of loader. shows an example of a skid steer loader… A scraper is a multipurpose piece of equipment designed to excavate, load, haul, and discharge soil (). Typically consisting of large wheels and a center-mounted blade, scrapers may be self-propelled or towed behind another piece of equipment. Scrapers are commonly used to quickly excavate large areas. A backhoe is a tractor-like piece of equipment that consists of a two-part articulated arm and bucket, similar to those of a small excavator, mounted to the back and a loader bucket equipped on the front (). Backhoes are a multipurpose piece of equipment and are commonly used in shallow and narrow trench excavations, utilities, and material handling…”

After the soil has been moved it must be compacted back in placed depending on the purpose. The following are pieces of compaction equipment listed by the AIC as important for the Tulsa commercial contractor to be familiar with:

“… Soils are compacted to increase their density and shear strength and to decrease permeability and future settlement. In construction, compaction typically occurs rapidly and is performed by equipment. The method of compaction and type of equipment used highly depend on the accessibility and type of material to be compacted. Several types of compaction equipment and their uses are outlined in the following sections. Tampers are hand-operated devices that compact material by delivering a series of vertical blows. Because of their small size and ease of maneuverability, tampers are typically used for the compaction of soils and aggregates in areas with limited space that are not accessible by other types of compaction equipment. Following are two types of tampers commonly used in construction:

  • Manual tamper: often a simple pole with a flat, heavy metal plate affixed to the end () that compacts material by manually delivering vertical blows
  • Rammer tamper: also commonly referred to as a jumping jack; typically a stand-alone piece of equipment powered by a gasoline engine () that compacts material by mechanically delivering vertical blows and is self-propelled in that each blow moves the tamper slightly ahead to contact new material…

Plate compactors, also commonly called plate tampers, are hand- or machine-operated devices consisting of a flat, heavy metal plate that is vibrated up and down to compact material. Plate compactors are commonly used for compacting a wide variety of materials, including soils, aggregates, and asphalt in small or narrow areas, such as patios, sidewalks, small driveways, and trenches…”

These are just a fraction of the equipment used in a construction project and isn’t a complete list of the equipment used for excavating and pad building.