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Copyright Š 2010 Top That! Publishing plc Tide Mill Way, Woodbridge, Suffolk, IP12 1AP, UK All rights reserved

CONTENTS Working Machines Pages 4–5

Special Parts Pages 6–7

Backhoe Excavators Pages 8–9

Different Jobs Pages 10–11

Backhoe Loaders Pages 12–13

Dump Trucks Pages 14–15

Bulldozers Pages 16–17

Preparing the Way Pages 18–19

Finishing the Road Pages 20–21

Mobile Cranes Pages 22–23

Snow Tractors Pages 24–25

Safety on Site Pages 26–27

Tractor Parts Pages 30–31

Tractor Tasks Pages 32–35

History of Tractors Pages 28–29


CONTENTS Tractor Tracks Pages 36–37

Truck On Pages 38–39

Rubbish Trucks Page 40

Car Transporters Page 41

Petrol Tankers Page 42

Concrete Transporter Page 43

Monster Trucks Page 44

History of Racing Page 45

Old vs Modern Car Pages 46–47

Ferrari Pages 48–49

Porsche Pages 50–51

Aston Martin Pages 52–53

Lamborghini Pages 54–55

Jaguar Pages 56–57

Lotus Pages 58–59

Petrol-less Future Pages 60–61


WORKING MACHINES Imagine digging the hole for a swimming pool using just a bucket and spade. Or, how about making a road’s surface smooth with just a rolling pin? Without the help of special machines like diggers and dumpers, these jobs would be very difficult and dangerous, and would take an extremely long time to complete!

What were early excavators like The very first excavators were used in the late 1800s. They were powered by steam engines, and their buckets were operated by rope or chain pullies.

Early excavators were powered by steam.

When did it all change In the early 1940s, a more powerful, hydraulic digging machine was invented by Ray and Koop Ferwerda. These Dutch brothers owned a road maintenance company in America.

Today’s hydraulic machines are extremely efficient and powerful.

What are hydraulic excavators

How mega are today’s machines

With so many of the Ferwerda’s workforce fighting in World War II, the brothers developed their idea to help them mend the roads and keep their company in business. Hydraulic excavators are much tougher than those of the past. They use the pressure of oil pushed through metal pipes called rams to move their parts smoothly and accurately.

Whether they are digging, shovelling, pushing or lifting, today’s machines use all the latest technology. The companies that make them want theirs to be the biggest and the best – and to be able to do all the most difficult jobs. Caterpillar, JCB, Oshkosh and Komatsu are four of the world’s top makers of mighty machines.


SPECIAL PARTS Diggers, dumpers and other big working machines are not like everyday trucks and cars – they have special parts to help them do their jobs in all sorts of tricky situations.

Why do bulldozers have sharp blades Bulldozers have sharp blades to help them clear the ground. The backhoe’s sharp teeth can scrape out huge scoopfuls of earth.

What are backhoes Some excavators use buckets, called backhoes, to dig and carry. Pushing and shoving, the bulldozer’s blade clears the ground.

Why do mega machines have big wheels Big wheels and tyres mean that heavy loads can be carried safely. Sometimes a digger’s tyres can be taller than a man!


What do cranes use to lift heavy loads

How do crawler tracks help Crawler tracks help heavy machines grip muddy or uneven ground.

Cranes lift heavy loads on big steel hooks. Steel is one of the strongest materials on the planet, so is perfect for bearing the heavy loads that cranes lift.

Where can you spot diggers and dumpers

Crawler tracks can cope with the muddiest conditions.

There are lots of different places all over the world where you can spot diggers and dumpers at work … but remember, these machines can be very dangerous, so you must never get too close. Keep a look out when you’re passing any of the following:

What are hydraulic rams Pipes known as hydraulic rams act like powerful muscles and help working machines to lift, push and pull huge weights.

• FARMS • QUARRIES • ROADWORKS • BUILDING SITES • DEMOLITION SITES • WATERWAYS • PORTS • RECYCLING SITES Hydraulic rams, like this one, can be seen on diggers, dumpers, bulldozers and cranes.


BACKHOE EXCAVATORS Excavators are machines that can dig. They dig into the ground with a large metal bucket, called a backhoe, and can move more than 500 spadefuls of earth with every scoop!

How do you control a backhoe excavator The driver of a backhoe excavator may have to operate the machine all day, so needs a comfortable cab to sit in. Inside the cab, the driver uses joysticks (on the arms of the chair) and foot pedals to control the excavator. A digital display shows the driver whether the engine is working properly.

These powerful machines can cause a lot of damage, so the driver looks through the cab’s large windows to make sure that it’s safe to start work. The cab can be turned all the way around, so the excavator can work in quite a small space. The driver also wears a hard hat and has to be observant all of the time to prevent accidents from happening.

The driver has a clear all-round view from high up in the cab.

The backhoe is often operated with a joystick.


Can you see how the boom gets the name ‘gooseneck’?

What does the driver control The driver controls the whole machine, from the direction it travels to the long digging arm, which is called a gooseneck boom. The driver can make the boom longer or shorter depending on the job. At the end of the boom is the part called the dipper arm, which is connected to the bucket. The dipper arm lifts the bucket in and out of the ground. The driver uses the controls in the cab to make sure the bucket digs in exactly the right place every time. The bucket has strong metal teeth, which cut through earth and rubble with ease!

The dipper arm lifts the bucket.


DIFFERENT JOBS Not all excavators are used for digging. The bucket can be changed to a different attachment depending on the type of job.

How does an excavator smash

How does an excavator drill

When there’s concrete to smash or rocks to shatter, the rock breaker is the tool for the job! Its powerful hammer-like action breaks the concrete or rocks into smaller pieces that a bulldozer can then shovel out of the way.

Some excavators can drill far into the ground using an attachment called an auger. An auger is like an enormous screw, which can remove earth when it is twisted deep into the ground. An auger drills into the ground.

What is a grapple A grapple is a very useful attachment for lifting up heavy loads. It is like a giant claw, and is often used to move rubbish at landfill sites.

A rock breaker can quickly smash up solid surfaces, such as concrete.

A claw-like grapple.


How does an excavator lift heavy loads

How does an excavator ‘bite’

Metal forks are used to lift pallets, crates and boxes. They make it easy to load and unload lorries or to move goods around a warehouse.

Looking like the two halves of a shell, an excavator clamshell attachment acts like a giant mouth. It is able to bite huge chunks out of the ground and is also used for grabbing and lifting.

These strong metal forks make a platform to lift pallets and crates.

How does an excavator pick things up A lumber grapple is a loader attachment that is used to pick up heavy equipment and resources, such as logs and load them onto lorries ready for the sawmill. It is also able to pick up lots of pipes at once.

A lumber grapple is used to pick up a pile of logs.


BACKHOE LOADERS This machine is two in one! As well as digging with its backhoe, it can move rubble and earth with a specially shaped shovel on the front called a loader bucket. A backhoe loader is two machines in one!

What does ‘JCB’ stand for The letters ‘JCB’ stand for Joseph Cyril Bamford, the man who invented the backhoe loader. Back in 1953, Bamford modified a farm tractor with a backhoe and a front-mounted loader bucket, and now his invention is used all over the world!


What is a loader bucket Known as the ‘JCB Dancing Diggers’, the JCB display team tour around agricultural shows, demonstrating unusual moves and ways in which the machines can support themselves.

Loader buckets come in different sizes, and can be changed to suit the job in hand. The bucket is specially designed to prevent earth being spilled as it is lifted. Some loader buckets have a retractable bottom, meaning they can drop their load quickly and efficiently.


To purchase this book and others in the series, vistit

What is a clamshell attachment? How fast does a Ferrari go? Why do tractors plough fields? Bursting with bite-sized facts, illustrations and photographs, this engaging 64-page book contains answers to all the questions you always wanted to ask about mega machines – and more! No question is too tough, no answer too difficult to explain – Focus On titles are the ultimate in addictive reading!

Published by Top That! Publishing plc Copyright © 2010 Top That! Publishing plc Tide Mill Way, Woodbridge, Suffolk, IP12 1AP, UK Top That! is a registered trademark of Top That! Publishing plc All rights reserved. 0246897531 Printed and bound in China

Focus On Mega Machines  

What is a clamshell attachment? How fast does a Ferrari go? Why do tractors plough fields? Bursting with bite-sized facts, illustrations and...