Interesting Yet Random Facts About The Construction Industry

Caterpillar is a longstanding, multinational construction equipment industry which serves over 180 countries globally. With well over 500 manufacturing and service locations around the world, we at Wagner Equipment are proud to count ourselves among them. For our part, we are the top CAT dealer in Colorado, New Mexico, and far west Texas, providing elite heavy machinery and construction equipment at an affordable price. Whether you are looking to rent or sell, buy used or new, or perhaps just get your CAT machine serviced and repaired, we can help you out at Wagner. 

Now that we’ve established that we are at the very top of the food chain as a Colorado Caterpillar equipment dealer, we can move onto the meat and potatoes of today’s blog. As the title no doubt already gave away, today’s blog is a bit of gear change from what we’ve been talking about lately (which you can find out more about here and here). Yes, today we will provide you with a laundry list of interesting, if not completely random, facts about the construction industry. 

This is exactly why we led this blog off with a very business-like attitude — if we are going to take the rest of our time we’ve set aside to provide you with the entertaining, interesting, and arbitrary construction facts we’ve found for you…we figured we might as well cover our bases with something a bit more practical right off the bat. 

All that being established, let’s dive in!

Surprising Facts About Construction

Let’s start close to home, shall we? Did you know that Caterpillar is not exclusively a manufacturer of large-scale equipment and machinery? Caterpillar also has developed and released a series of smartphones specifically designed for users in industrial verticals. In February 2016, for instance, Caterpillar released the Cat S60, which remarkably lets operators detect heat patterns using a specialized thermal imaging feature. Yes, there’s an app for that!

Concrete Is King

Let’s get farther away from home, shall we? Unless, that is, your home is made completely out of concrete — in that case…we digress. Back to the concrete. It’s the most used material in the world, when we are talking pure volume. And it’s been used by many for a good long while now, dating all the way back to ancient Egypt, if you can believe it! 

The issue with concrete is the same problem many things are faced with in 2019 — it’s known as environmentally unfriendly. Why? Making it causes significant gas emissions, which is less than ideal. But here’s the good news: recent innovations have dramatically reduced gas emissions, and further, there exists pollution-absorbing cement. That’s pretty neat, as far as we are concerned!

China & Cement

Sticking with the cement talk, from 2011-2013, China used more cement than the United States did in an entire century, totalling 6.6 billion tons of cement! In order to put that in perspective, that’s the equivalent of building a parking lot of cement that completely covers Delaware and Rhode Island combined. Plus, you’d have some spare cement left over in case you wanted to build a skate park on Connecticut. Put another way, it’s the rough square footage of Hawaii’s big island. Basically, that’s a lot of cement, China, slow down!

Cement & The Hoover Dam

We aren’t done talking about cement and concrete, believe it or not! The Hoover Dam was quite the undertaking in terms of materials used and time spent during construction. To the latter point, it took five years, from 1931 to 1936, to complete the project. To the former, by completion the project required 3,250,000 cubic yards of concrete. To put this into perspective on some level, you could take the same amount of concrete and build a two-lane road that stretches from San Francisco to New York City. That’s almost 3,000 miles of concrete!

Tallest Building In The World

At the time of writing, the Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world, followed by the Shanghai Tower — both soaring at over 2,000 feet in the air. But, to be completely honest with you, dear reader, we aren’t that interested in what is the tallest building in the world; what concerns is which building held the title for close to 4 millennia! That’s right, we are talking about the Great Pyramid of Giza, which was the tallest building on earth from completion, around 2500 BC, to 1311 AD when the Lincoln Cathedral was constructed in England. 

Why do we care about a pyramid? 3,800 years is a long time, that’s why. Plus, since the cathedral overtook the pyramid for the top spot, no other construction has held the title for more than 250 years. Credit where credit is due!

Largest Building In The World

If you figured that the biggest building in the world probably has some pretty big objects inside, you’d be right. In Everett, Washington, just a short drive north from Seattle, you’ll find the largest building in the world by volume. The Boeing Factory has a floor area of 4.3 million square feet and a volume of 472 million cubic feet, and it’s full of planes. 


There were approximately 8 million construction workers in the United States during 2015, but that’s a number that can fluctuate quite a bit depending on a few different factors. For instance, in 2010 the number fell from 11.5 (as of 2006) to 9 million due to the economic crisis fueled by the housing bust. 


Quick-Hitting Facts

  • Caterpillar Inc.’s headquarters are located in Illinois since 1910. Most of the organization’s business operations still happen in Peoria, Illinois, but most of the manufacturing takes place in other locations throughout the Midwest (although some are outsourced to Brazil, Russia, and China). 
  • On a more somber note, the biggest risk for construction workers is falling. While there are many safety risks on a construction site, a deathly fall is four times as likely to occur than other fatal incidents. 
  • Choosing to rent is a great option for organizations or private parties looking for an economical yet reliable solution in terms of machinery. CAT dealers around the world sell and rent new and used CAT equipment for affordable prices. Check out our Wagner Rents CAT Rental Store at your convenience!
  • Many CAT dealers have been working with Caterpillar for close to a century. Yancey Brothers, for instance, remains one of the company’s longstanding dealer partners. There are over 160,000 members in our dealership network, which is comprised of more members than the parent company itself. For our part at Wagner Equipment, we’ve been a CAT dealer since 1976, which means our 50th anniversary is right around the corner!

We hope you’ve enjoyed today’s blog as much as we enjoyed writing it! We are proud to be Colorado, New Mexico, and far west Texas’ top Caterpillar dealer. Give us a call at your convenience if you have any questions, or better yet, stop by and see us in person! Check out our dealer locations right here. We’d love to hear from you and make sure you are set up for the right machinery for the project you have in mind.