Taking on independent construction jobs involves many moving parts. As a contractor, you must be prepared and equipped for any job. In this article, you will see some tools and equipment you’ll need to take on various work projects or programs and run them until completion. Read on to learn more!
1. Lifting, Hauling, and Transportation Equipment
There’s a lot of lifting and moving things around involved in independent construction jobs. From the beginning of any construction work, your company must ferry all the construction equipment and materials to the site. This requires several specialized pieces of equipment to pull off, including flatbed trucks and trailers. These highly versatile transport vehicles can carry huge material components as well as other vehicles.
During your independent construction jobs, you’ll also find instances where you need to lift heavy pieces of material to great heights, a feat only made possible by using specialized equipment like cranes and elevators. Cranes carry the heaviest loads, haul them to high heights, and place them in their respective positions with pinpoint accuracy. You can choose from various cranes depending on your needs.
Mobile cranes don’t offer the same mobility level as standard cranes. They’re typically mounted on tires or crawlers. Some mobile cranes may even be driven on public roads. Mobile cranes are common for many projects due to their flexibility in moving about construction sites and their capacity to handle significant weight.
Crawlers are another option. These are like track vehicles. Crawlers lack wheels and are mounted on an undercarriage with rubber tracks. These allow this crane to be used on sites with soft ground without sinking but limit its turning capacity.
The pick and carry variant, initially launched in the 80s, gave way to the more modern carry deck crane. They offer more portability than most of their counterparts since they’re small, have four wheels, and offer 360-degree rotation. Carry deck cranes are common on many construction sites since setting them up is easy, and they can easily move across tight and open spaces.
Construction elevators are built onsite to hoist construction workers and materials to different levels. Without them, the job would be much harder. You can hire a lift service company to help with that.
Your company can also take advantage of the investment in hauling and moving equipment to offer moving services. Here, consider looking into jobs like helping factories and large companies move. However, you can also venture into moving single households. Either way, you can earn great returns.
2. Electrical Installation Equipment
Several tools are indispensable for electrical installations during independent construction jobs. One of these tools is the drill. You’ll need it to drill holes through walls, ceilings, and sometimes even floors to conceal cables. You’ll also need a screwdriver. There’ll be plenty of screwing involved on the job as you fit in the necessary electrical fittings.
You’ll also need pliers. Different pliers are used during electrical installations. One is the needle-nose pliers, characterized by a pointed nose. It’s mainly used for bending and twisting wires.
Then there’s the diagonal, designed with a cutting edge to cut wires. Cable strippers can also fall into the category of pliers. They’re used to strip wires of their insulation jackets during electrical installation.
A voltmeter is another crucial piece of equipment for performing electrical service during construction jobs. It does several things onsite. This includes checking circuit connections, ensuring a continuous flow of current, measuring the voltage across circuits, and balancing out the voltage of power across phases.
3. Recycling Equipment
Recycling has increasingly become a more and more prominent part of the construction industry. Recycling in independent construction jobs involves recycling metal, wood, glass, and concrete, among other materials. This practice has proven highly profitable for independent contractors as it greatly reduces material costs.
For scrap metal recycling, you need a certain collection of equipment. These include metallic shears, swift balers, auto-balers for light iron, and non-ferrous metal balers. Having a furnace or furnaces also helps in the recycling of metal. You can use these furnaces to mix metals as well to get specific alloys you can use in your construction.
Glass waste generated from demolition projects, refurbishment projects, fluorescent lighting, PC monitors, and structural glass can all be recycled. Recycling glass typically involves crushing, screening, air classification, optical sorting, size classification, washing, and drying. The challenges faced in glass recycling come at the extraction and recovery stages and in case of contamination of flat glass. Wood recycling entails reclaiming reusable and recyclable wood for reuse in construction.
4. Roofing Equipment
Every house needs a roof. You’ll need to invest in some equipment for roofing work. The first is a ladder, which you’ll use to access the roof.
Tarps will be handy when it rains during a job, so you should have some on hand. They’ll keep the roof dry and cover any holes or exposed areas of the roof until you can continue your job again. Tarps should also help you capture loose nails, shingles, and other waste and protect the landscaping. Clean-up will be a lot simpler if you lay out tarps all around your work area like most reputable roofing companies do.
A roofing knife is a flexible tool that may be used for numerous roofing-related tasks. Its main purpose is to enable you to cut the shingles to fit them in the area that needs to be covered. While you can still use a utility knife or another blade, a roofing knife is best.
These blades are capable of slicing through multiple layers of asphalt shingles. They can also cut materials like roofing underlayment. Most even include hooks close to the edge to ensure you always cut a straight line.
5. Paving Equipment
Before overlaying asphalt paving, the previous pavement surface material is removed using a process known as milling. This is done to remove disturbed surface layers and offer a smooth surface for paving. Milling also makes concrete recycling operations, removing degraded pavement, and creating a skid-resistant surface possible.
Hot asphalt is transported between factories and job sites by dump trucks. End dump, bottom dump, and living bottom are the three varieties commonly used in independent construction jobs. In contrast to bottom dump trucks, which open gates on the bed and force the full payload through them, end dump trucks unload payloads by lifting the front end. Live bottom trucks have a conveyor system at the base of the bed, eliminating segregation issues and preventing the truck bed from coming into contact with the pavement. These kinds are well-liked for their adaptability and flexibility.
The High-Moisture Asphalt (HMA) is loaded into a self-propelled formless laydown equipment with a floating screed and spread out using conveyor belts. The tractor and screed are essential tools for leveling and compaction. The screed establishes the HMA’s profile and provides the first mat compaction while the tractor receives it and spreads it to the required width. The screed offers a level surface for compaction and aids in controlling material extrusion.
6. Door Installation Equipment
For custom doors installation services, you’ll need several tools and equipment to do a good job. A measuring tape is probably the least-rated tool on site, but the truth is, almost nothing can go on without the tape measure. You need it to get the frame dimensions where your door will fit. These measurements must be precise due to the nature of the doors.
You’ll need a level to ensure the sub-sill is level. If it isn’t, you can turn to wooden shims or a beveled board to level it. You may also need a spacer board to remove thickness from the floor’s surface. A caulk has to be used along the sub-sill and extended one inch in front and rear of the area where the sill will be fitted. Additionally, the caulk must go at least two inches up the edges of the rough frame.
Installing a new door frame involves fastening it. This is a crucial part of ensuring the door fits and functions properly. You need an electric drill for this. Besides all the materials and tools previously mentioned, investing in a pair of safety glasses and some type of hearing protection is always a good idea.
7. Scaffold Equipment
A scaffold wrench is one of the must-have tools for a scaffold company. You’ll need it to assemble scaffolding, particularly when loosening or tightening the fasteners. A scaffold wrench can also be used for any bolts or nuts on the job site.
Another piece of equipment used in independent construction jobs involving scaffolding is the podger. This one can be confusing, especially if you’ve never assembled scaffolding. Aligning the components properly so that a bolt can be inserted to fasten them is one of the main challenges in scaffolding construction. A podger resembles a spud wrench with a tapered cone at the handle’s end. By pushing the podger through the holes, you may quickly align them before inserting the bolt.
A spirit level is another necessary and handy tool for everything from setting up scaffolding to ensuring your project is level. It’s available in various sizes, just like tape measures. To get an exact reading, you can choose the larger one, which can be mounted on walls, floors, or other surfaces. Smaller levels work best in shorter areas, such as the tops of picture frames and similar structures. When building scaffolding, larger levels may be challenging to carry, but they can be added to the top of each succeeding level when it is finished.
8. Barn Construction Equipment
You’ll need several tools to get through the construction of a barn. Pole barn contractors always use some form of digging equipment, whether a clamshell hand digger or an entire excavator. What you need for each job depends on the size of the project and the amount of digging required. Post-hole diggers help speed up the framing process.
You’ll also need the humble hammer to build a barn. This simple tool will help you drive nails to fasten two pieces of wood. Many independent construction jobs require the hammer, so it should be a tool already in your arsenal. What you could add is a nail gun. This would greatly increase the speed of output and reduce workman fatigue.
Another tool used on the job is the drill. You’ll need it to make pilot holes for your nails, screws, and pegs. You can have a combination of a corded, cordless, and compact drill. The cordless drill will be particularly beneficial when roofing the barn. With the correct roofing screws, a compact drill to work as your screwdriver, and your roofing material, you can finish roofing your barn in hours.
9. Masonry Equipment
Many types of equipment are used for masonry work during independent construction jobs. These tools include a measuring tape to record the distances, a trowel for leveling, shaping, and spreading concrete, and a hammer for breaking large bricks and concrete. As a masonry contractor, you’ll need much more than the ones listed above.
To add to the list, you’ll need a concrete mixer to mix large quantities of concrete and a mortar mixer to mix large quantities of mortar. You’ll also need scaffolding to provide a raised platform to work safely. A masonry saw is necessary when cutting bricks and through concrete. A wheelbarrow is handy when transporting concrete, sand, cement, and ballast around the construction site. Levels are used to measure a surface’s flatness or a wall’s straightness.
You must be well-equipped before taking on independent construction jobs. It helps you deliver your services on time by minimizing holdups. Being prepared and equipped also presents your company as organized and professional. Consider all the equipment you’ll need for the services you plan to offer and make the necessary purchases. You can expect the initial investment to leave a big dent in your finances. However, it’ll all pay off in the long run.
That said, you don’t want to spend your hard-earned money on faulty equipment. The quality of the tools you use for each job will directly impact the quality of your services. You want to make sure you get everything right. Always ensure you’re buying your equipment from a reputable seller with a collection of the most recent models.