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Front end loaders are used in the construction industry for moving large amounts of earth or debris. A hydraulic scoop, or bucket, on the front of the machine lifts the material and then it can be transported to another location or a dump truck for removal. They can also be used to transport new materials around a site.
Front end loaders come under the category of heavy equipment. The bucket on the front may be permanently attached or have interchangeable attachments to perform a variety of jobs. The bucket can have tines for digging or forks for pallet lifting. Smooth buckets can be used for snow removal. They are not normally used for digging to any great depth, as they cannot dig below their wheel level.
Front end loaders do come in many sizes and some are available with a small backhoe on the rear of the machine. They are similar to bulldozers but have four wheels instead of a track. Smaller versions of these machines are suitable for farming operations.
Heavy equipment operators need to have training in both equipment use and safety. The equipment needs to be serviced correctly and the operator is normally responsible for minor maintenance.
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