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Why is heavy machinery called plant machinery?

If you’re anywhere near as curious as us, you would have also caught yourself gazing out of the window on a Tuesday morning, reflecting on life, remembering you forgot to bring your lunch to work and asking yourself questions like which orange came first – the fruit or the colour? Or even why is heavy machinery called plant machinery?

Well, we’re here to help answer that second burning question, so you can finally get some clarity. 

So, why do we call it ‘plant machinery’?

If you do your research, you’ll find out that there is no definitive answer (sorry, we were just as disappointed as you). But, the most likely reason we could find originates from the verb ‘to plant’, meaning heavy objects (like a digger and other machinery) are “planted” in place on the ground. 

To go into a little more detail (if you’ll amuse us), the term ‘plant’ is actually derived from the Latin ‘plantus’ meaning ‘seed’ or ‘cutting’, which many years later was then influenced by the French Plantere, meaning ‘to fix in place’. See how it’s now all linking together to make some sort of sense!

There’s certainly no shortage of jargon in the construction industry, so we’ve collated a list of our favourite phrases and added their hidden (or not-so-hidden) meanings.

Our favourite industry phrases

For the Compactor

Rammer – A compaction rammer certainly lives up to its (very cool) name. It’s just as you thought, a tool that rams the ground repeatedly, compacting small areas.

Jumping Jack – What a great name! This term is completely based on the fact that a compactor is quite bouncy when it is not secured down, making people look like they’re doing jumping jacks. 

For the Excavator

Backhoe –  This term gets its name from what the machinery does, simply draws the earth backwards. Although, in today’s society, hoe means something very different than it did back in the day for farming purposes.

Rubber Duck – Though it could be used for other things, an excavator with wheels is the most common meaning for a rubber duck. Under certain conditions, it also tends to rock about a lot on the ground, just like a rubber duck bobs along the water.

For the self explanatory ones

Shaker Bucket – Just like you shake a sieve to separate the contents,  this is exactly what a ‘shaker bucket’ does. Plain and simple, does exactly what it says on the tin!

Dumpy – By simply getting rid of the ‘er’ and adding a ‘y’ at the end, a very fun word is born. When you’re on a job site long enough, people really do start coming up with all manner of strange pet names for things, including dumpy.

What next?

Well, if you have any other burning questions around the construction industry or even how to hire some top quality machinery for your site, get in touch today and a member of our team will be able to help you out.