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Scraper, an unsung workhorse

Scraper, an unsung workhorse

They can be one of the larger pieces of heavy machinery on any site, but the tractor-scraper has managed to be one the least appreciated machines in the industry too. Designed to move large quantities of earth, and consists of a tractor and rear truck, which is a hopper that can be moved up and down as required, and features a sharp blade at the front. When lowered, the blade cuts into the earth and shaves off the top, pushing it into the hopper. When full, the hopper can be emptied at a drop-off point, usually through a hydraulic pusher that forces the collected earth out of the back.

While it may not attract as much attention as the huge dump trucks or the more interesting backhoes and so on, the scraper is an important element of any construction site, moving earth for construction work to begin. Scrapers come in many sizes, although even the smallest capacity would be considered a large piece of heavy equipment by anyone’s standards, and there are variations of the design too. Elevating scrapers use a conveyor belt system to transfer scraped earth into the bowl, or hopper, further back, making loading much simpler, and they are very popular on smaller projects.

From the smallest, 10-yard sizes to the huge mining scrapers, operators can find themselves in all kinds of construction projects, from roadworks or commercial construction projects to huge mining sites or even agricultural use, scrapers are found on all kinds of sites and endless different projects.

Until recently, scrapers seemed to be losing their appeal for construction firms, preferring the multi-tasking capabilities of other machines, however, by incorporating clever technology and features that aid accuracy, speed, and ease of use, modern scrapers from the likes of CAT and Terex are seeing a resurgence in their use. The latest scrapers, featuring computer-controlled unloading features and other operator assistance features, provide a more efficient, cost-controlled earthmoving solution that provides real moving power for construction needs.

However, there are limitations to the scraper’s talents, and you are unlikely to see them used on the smallest of sites, simply due to their size, while they also operate at their best when the distance between loading and unloading is kept to manageable distances. A scraper is not the solution for the long-distance movement of material. However, with the aid of modern technology and improved maneuverability, the scraper today provides efficient earthmoving for a variety of construction, including road and building works and even in agriculture.

For heavy machinery operators, modern scrapers are fantastic machines, with computer aids to help load and unload, and damped hydraulics to smooth the ride on even the harshest site, these machines are in demand and used on most major construction works, offering great career prospects.

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