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What are scrapers?


On any construction site, you will see a wide variety of heavy equipment, and one of the largest is scrapers. While some machines you see on sites, such as bulldozers and backhoes tell you just what they are designed to do by their appearance, the scraper, with its upfront cab pulling a large wagon, doesn’t give anything away.

Within that large, heavy wagon section of any scraper is a gated front with a blade at the bottom. With the gate open, the blade scrapes up material as the machine moves forward, forcing the excavated material into the wagon itself until it is filled. The gate is then closed, and the scraper can transport that material away to be disposed of. If you imagine a carpenter’s plane as it shaves off wood, that is the best way to describe how a scraper operates.

It is important to remember that there are several other machines that would at first glance seem to do the same job, a bulldozer for instance, but when it comes to scraping a surface nothing is as efficient as the scraper itself. The ability to scrape and remove material in one go with a single machine sets the scraper apart on site, but it betters the alternatives in other ways too.


Scrapers are used for several tasks, most commonly for earth removal on construction sites or even in mining operations. Here, the big blade and ability to remove its own waste material make this purpose-designed machine much more effective than other equipment. In addition, unlike all other earth-moving options that require dry conditions, scrapers can easily move wet soil, which can save a huge amount of time for contractors. In fact, the scraper is particularly suited to heavier soils or other tough materials, and its efficiency advantage increases even further in those conditions.  In today’s world, scrapers have another significant advantage, offering up to a 30% reduction in fuel consumption compared to alternatives, again, reducing costs significantly for contractors.

With all those advantages, it is no surprise that scrapers, and scraper operators, are in high demand. With a skilled operator, scrapers can dig, load, haul and dump with just that one machine, whereas in the past, they may have taken as many as three machines. From volume earth moving to surface preparation on site, the scraper has proved itself a machine that can reduce costs and speed up operations. It may look odd, but it does its job perfectly.

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