In the construction industry, the term mounting refers to attaching or installing a piece of equipment or device primarily for support, but also for other purposes, such as mobility. Early examples of mounting occurred when machinery was developed for construction applications.
While mounting is not a new term to the industry – workers were always mounting equipment, whether on carts or horseback – it was one that was capable of catapulting the industry into the fully mechanized, modernized industry that it is today.
Mounting can refer to the support that comes from attaching one device to another. Engines, for example, were often mounted on wheels along with pistons, crankshafts, and other parts to produce a working, energy-producing apparatus.
One of the early excavators, derived from the Otis Shovel invention, was mounted on rail tracks to make it mobile. Other inventors took this development further by mounting excavators on top of crawlers and tractors. This served the purpose of making the excavator multi-functional. Harry Barnhart’s 1884 tractor-mounted excavator produced a machine that could both dig and move simultaneously. This eliminated the physical labor required to load and transport excavators to various parts of the site. It also enabled workers to finish the project quicker and more efficiently.
Mounting was usually attempted by workers within the industry before the actual manufacturers of equipment, and this tended to establish a standard to which manufacturers would adhere when building their equipment. When the excavator was mounted, manufacturers recognized a market and mounted it on wheels and crawler tracks to suit a wide range of applications. It was only a matter of time before other equipment was mounted to produce the same results. Cranes and crawlers were among a few to be mounted onto other equipment, mainly tractors, making them multi-functional and mobile. Logging and farming equipment also followed suit, in some cases creating triple-threat combinations, such as the combine harvester, a machine capable of moving, threshing, and reaping.
Mounting has therefore provided the industry with many configurations of equipment and continues to do so.