Scrapers Heavy Equipment Uses

Insight - 34 Min read

May 15, 2024

Scraper refers to a specific type of machinery used for earthmoving tasks in construction, mining, agriculture, and other industries. Scrapers or wheel tractor scrapers, are frequently employed for scraping and leveling surfaces. These robust earthmoving machines not only scrape and level but also transport earth and materials such as dirt and gravel over considerable distances, even from one job site to another.

Scrapers demonstrate exceptional efficiency compared to other earthmoving vehicles, particularly in material transportation. 

How Wheel Tractor Scrapers Operate?

Scrapers come in two types: self-propelled or towed. In both setups, they use a scraping blade to cut into the earth and push material into a bowl or hopper.

Self-Propelled Scrapers:

Self-propelled scrapers are equipped with their own engine and operational controls, making them independent and highly mobile. These scrapers are capable of moving quickly between locations on a site without the need for additional towing vehicles. This autonomy allows for greater flexibility and speed in operations, particularly beneficial in large and open worksites.

Towed Scrapers:

Towed scrapers, in contrast, do not have their own means of propulsion and must be pulled by another vehicle, such as a tractor or a heavy-duty truck. These are generally used in conditions where additional pulling power is necessary, or when it is cost-effective to use a separate vehicle that can serve multiple roles on a construction site.

Components of a Wheel Tractor Scraper


The primary component for cutting into the earth. As the machine advances, the blade makes the initial cut, lifting and directing the dislodged material into the bowl. The effectiveness of the scraper blade is critical for the efficiency of the machine.


The bowl serves as the containment area for the material. It is equipped with a cutting edge that aids in excavating and collecting the material efficiently. The size of the bowl determines the load capacity of the scraper and varies based on the model and intended use.


Positioned close to the scraper blade, the apron acts like a gate. It can be raised or lowered to either allow material to enter the bowl or to retain it once the bowl is full. The apron is controlled hydraulically and ensures that the material is securely held within the bowl during transport.


This is a crucial component for unloading the material at the dumpsite. Operated by hydraulic cylinders, the ejector slides forward from the rear of the bowl, pushing the material out. This system allows for precise control over the unloading process, facilitating an even spread of the material as required by the project specifications.

Applications of Wheel Tractor Scrapers

Wheel tractor scrapers are among the most versatile and effective pieces of heavy equipment used in a variety of industries. Their ability to efficiently cut, collect, transport, and dump large volumes of earth and other materials makes them invaluable in numerous applications. Below, we delve deeper into the diverse uses of wheel tractor scrapers across different sectors:

Construction Industry:

In the realm of construction, wheel tractor scrapers are pivotal for site preparation tasks. They are used to level and grade the site before the construction of buildings, roads, or other structures begins. Their efficiency in moving earth quickly and in large amounts is crucial for setting the foundation of construction projects on schedule.

They are also extensively used in road construction. Here, scrapers prepare the subgrade (the soil upon which the road will be laid) by removing the topsoil and leveling the surface, which is essential for the durability and quality of the road.


In agriculture, scrapers are employed for land leveling and soil grading, which are critical for optimizing irrigation and drainage. By creating a level field, scrapers help in the uniform distribution of water, reducing water wastage and enhancing crop yield.

They are also used for constructing agricultural infrastructure, such as farm roads and irrigation channels, facilitating better access and water management for large farms.

Mining Industry:

In mining operations, scrapers are crucial for stripping and excavating tasks. They remove the overburden – the layer of soil and rock overlaying a mineral deposit – which allows for easier access to the resources below.

They also transport the extracted material from the mining site to processing areas or dump sites, making them essential for maintaining the efficiency of mining operations.

Forestry and Land Management:

In forestry, wheel tractor scrapers are used for clearing land and constructing access roads. These machines can quickly clear out debris and level areas for firebreaks or new plantings, contributing to forest management and fire prevention strategies.

They are also instrumental in environmental restoration projects, where they help in reshaping landscapes and constructing features like terraces and ponds to support ecosystem recovery.

General Earthmoving:

Beyond specific industries, wheel tractor scrapers are a common sight in any project requiring significant earthmoving. Whether it’s creating embankments, digging ponds, or relocating large quantities of earth for landscape modeling, these machines provide the muscle and capacity needed for large-scale earth manipulation.

Urban Development and Infrastructure Expansion:

As urban areas expand, scrapers play a key role in the development of new subdivisions and infrastructure. They prepare the ground for utility lines, roadways, and residential areas, shaping the very foundation of new communities.

Different Type of Scrapers

Scrapers are essential heavy equipment used in construction, mining, and large-scale earthmoving projects. They are designed to move, cut, and fill large quantities of earth and other materials efficiently. The different types of scrapers are designed to meet specific needs based on terrain, material, and project scale. Here's an expanded overview of the main types of scrapers:

Single-Engine Wheeled Scrapers:

Single-engine wheeled scrapers are common in various construction settings and typically require additional power support for operations. These machines have one engine and rely on external assistance, such as a bulldozer or tractor, to help push the scraper while loading material. This makes them somewhat dependent on other equipment but still effective for medium-sized earthmoving tasks. They are particularly useful in applications where the material is somewhat compacted but not overly dense.

Dual-Engine Wheeled Scrapers:

Dual-engine wheeled scrapers are equipped with two engines, one powering the tractor and the other operating the scraper, which enhances their efficiency and allows them to self-load. This configuration provides greater power and control, making them ideal for working in tougher terrain and conditions where additional traction and force are necessary. The presence of two engines improves their capability to handle larger volumes of earth independently, without the need for additional pushing machinery.

Elevating Scrapers:

Elevating scrapers feature a unique mechanism that includes a chain conveyor belt inside the bowl, which lifts the material from the ground and transports it into the bowl as the machine moves forward. This design is highly efficient for continuous loading and can significantly speed up the earthmoving process. The scraper also has a retractable floor that facilitates rapid unloading of the material at the dumpsite. Elevating scrapers are particularly effective in environments where the material is loose and needs to be collected and transported over relatively short distances.

Pull Type Scrapers:

Pull type scrapers are unpowered units that must be towed by another vehicle, such as a tractor. These scrapers are simpler and more cost-effective than self-propelled models but require a compatible towing machine. They are best suited for lighter and smaller scale operations where the terrain does not demand the intense power and independence of self-propelled units. Pull type scrapers are commonly used in agricultural, small construction, or landscaping projects where the soil conditions are relatively manageable.

Choosing Between an Excavator and Wheel Tractor Scraper

While both machines are proficient in maneuvering soft soils, wheel tractor scrapers stand out by consolidating multiple functions into one unit, capable of scraping, loading, grading, and hauling material. Nevertheless, in challenging conditions such as wet clay or rocky terrains where scrapers encounter difficulties, articulated trucks and excavators might be better suited for the task.

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