We've helped many contractors choose the right heavy construction software so they can access a heavy-specific item database and monitor fuel costs. How does it work?

Heavy Construction Software


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Procore logo
 
Procore is a cloud-based construction management software application that helps firms increase their project efficiency and accountability by providing streamlined project communication and documentation. Users are able to manage... Read More
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Procore is a cloud-based construction management software application that helps firms increase their project efficiency and accountability by providing streamlined project communication and documentation. Users are able to manage... Read More
 
PlanSwift logo
 
PlanSwift is an on-screen digitizing and takeoff system that is suitable for both commercial and residential GCs and subcontractors in a number of industries, such as electrical, heavy/highway, plumbing, and custom and production home... Read More
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PlanSwift is an on-screen digitizing and takeoff system that is suitable for both commercial and residential GCs and subcontractors in a number of industries, such as electrical, heavy/highway, plumbing, and custom and production home... Read More
 
Sage 100 Contractor (formerly Sage Master Builder) logo
 
Sage 100 Contractor, formerly known as Sage Master Builder, focuses on small to midsize construction companies, whether they are a general contractor, service or specialty contractor or a home builder. Suitable for companies that... Read More
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Sage 100 Contractor, formerly known as Sage Master Builder, focuses on small to midsize construction companies, whether they are a general contractor, service or specialty contractor or a home builder. Suitable for companies that... Read More
 
ComputerEase logo
 
ComputerEase is a cloud-based construction accounting solution that helps contractors providing different services for a construction project to manage their business operations and routines. ComputerEase offers features such as job... Read More
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ComputerEase is a cloud-based construction accounting solution that helps contractors providing different services for a construction project to manage their business operations and routines. ComputerEase offers features such as job... Read More
 
PlanGrid logo
 
PlanGrid is construction management solution built for general contractors, specialty contractors, design teams and owners. PlanGrid provides project teams with access to all project drawings and all related documents including specifications,... Read More
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PlanGrid is construction management solution built for general contractors, specialty contractors, design teams and owners. PlanGrid provides project teams with access to all project drawings and all related documents including specifications,... Read More

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FOUNDATION Construction Accounting logo
 
FOUNDATION® construction accounting software is a job costing, project management and scheduling solution available as traditional installed software and on the cloud. The system offers hundreds of automatic job costing reports and... Read More
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FOUNDATION® construction accounting software is a job costing, project management and scheduling solution available as traditional installed software and on the cloud. The system offers hundreds of automatic job costing reports and... Read More
 
Roots logo
 
Roots is a cloud-based construction management solution designed for general contractors, government contractors and subcontractors of all sizes. It helps in estimating and work procurement, project management, accounting, progress... Read More
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Roots is a cloud-based construction management solution designed for general contractors, government contractors and subcontractors of all sizes. It helps in estimating and work procurement, project management, accounting, progress... Read More
 
CMiC logo
 
CMiC offers a fully integrated ERP system that caters to the needs to builders, design teams, and architects across the construction industry. The solution can be deployed locally on a server, or hosted in the cloud, and offers modules... Read More
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CMiC offers a fully integrated ERP system that caters to the needs to builders, design teams, and architects across the construction industry. The solution can be deployed locally on a server, or hosted in the cloud, and offers modules... Read More
 
ProContractor logo
 
ProContractor is a comprehensive estimating accounting, and project management solution designed to help small and midsize contractors manage critical financial operations. Deployed either on-premise or in the cloud, the solution enables... Read More
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ProContractor is a comprehensive estimating accounting, and project management solution designed to help small and midsize contractors manage critical financial operations. Deployed either on-premise or in the cloud, the solution enables... Read More
 
Sage Estimating (formerly Sage Timberline Estimating) logo
 
Sage Estimating is an on-premise based construction estimating software designed specifically to serve contractors and sub-contractors in construction and real estate industries of all sizes. The solution provides interactive tools... Read More
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Sage Estimating is an on-premise based construction estimating software designed specifically to serve contractors and sub-contractors in construction and real estate industries of all sizes. The solution provides interactive tools... Read More

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Corecon logo
 
Corecon is a construction software suite that offers organizations a solution for estimating, project management, job costing and scheduling. The cloud-based system features multiple dashboards which offer users visibility into all... Read More
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Corecon is a construction software suite that offers organizations a solution for estimating, project management, job costing and scheduling. The cloud-based system features multiple dashboards which offer users visibility into all... Read More
 
Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate (formerly Sage Timberline Office) logo
 
Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate, formerly Sage Timberline Office, is part of Sage’s line of construction and real estate solutions. Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate is a construction management system that offers functionality... Read More
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Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate, formerly Sage Timberline Office, is part of Sage’s line of construction and real estate solutions. Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate is a construction management system that offers functionality... Read More
 
InEight Estimate logo
 
InEight Estimate is construction solution that enables multi-user collaboration throughout the estimating process. InEight Estimate can be used to estimate projects of any size, across all construction and capital projects markets... Read More
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InEight Estimate is construction solution that enables multi-user collaboration throughout the estimating process. InEight Estimate can be used to estimate projects of any size, across all construction and capital projects markets... Read More
 
B2W Estimate - Estimating & Bidding logo
 
B2W Estimate from B2W Software (formerly BID2Win) is an application for heavy civil construction estimating and bidding. The system offers the ability to create and pre-populate detailed databases with costs, including default templates... Read More
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B2W Estimate from B2W Software (formerly BID2Win) is an application for heavy civil construction estimating and bidding. The system offers the ability to create and pre-populate detailed databases with costs, including default templates... Read More
 
HCSS HeavyBid logo
 
HCSS HeavyBid estimating and bidding software is built specifically for the construction industry. Used by more than 50,000 estimators, HeavyBid helps users build estimates and manage daily bids.  The software helps automate repetitive... Read More
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HCSS HeavyBid estimating and bidding software is built specifically for the construction industry. Used by more than 50,000 estimators, HeavyBid helps users build estimates and manage daily bids.  The software helps automate repetitive... Read More

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Explorer Eclipse logo
 
Eclipse by Explorer is a cloud-based construction accounting and project management solution designed for contractor businesses. It caters to medium to large construction companies belonging to different construction businesses, such... Read More
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Eclipse by Explorer is a cloud-based construction accounting and project management solution designed for contractor businesses. It caters to medium to large construction companies belonging to different construction businesses, such... Read More
 
eCMS Construction ERP logo
 
eCMS is construction ERP software that offers integrated project and financial management applications supported by business intelligence, content management, workflow and mobile applications. The solution can be deployed on-premise... Read More
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eCMS is construction ERP software that offers integrated project and financial management applications supported by business intelligence, content management, workflow and mobile applications. The solution can be deployed on-premise... Read More
 
PMWeb logo
 
PMWeb is a cloud-based solution geared toward construction project management. The solution is built on the Microsoft .NET technology and can be accessed via a web client anywhere with Internet access. PMWeb can serve real estate development,... Read More
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PMWeb is a cloud-based solution geared toward construction project management. The solution is built on the Microsoft .NET technology and can be accessed via a web client anywhere with Internet access. PMWeb can serve real estate development,... Read More
 
A-Systems JobView logo
 
JobView by A-Systems is a software solution for the construction industry, specializing in construction accounting. It is available for on-premise deployment. Key features of JobView include job costing, payroll, a general ledger,... Read More
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JobView by A-Systems is a software solution for the construction industry, specializing in construction accounting. It is available for on-premise deployment. Key features of JobView include job costing, payroll, a general ledger,... Read More
 
QuickBooks Enterprise logo
 
QuickBooks Enterprise is an accounting solution suitable for small to midsize businesses across several industry verticals including construction, distribution, manufacturing, and retail. The solution offers functionality to manage... Read More
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QuickBooks Enterprise is an accounting solution suitable for small to midsize businesses across several industry verticals including construction, distribution, manufacturing, and retail. The solution offers functionality to manage... Read More
 

Buyer's Guide

by Eileen O'Loughlin,
Market Research Associate
Last Updated: June 14, 2018


Heavy construction software is designed to meet the unique needs of contractors in the road, highway, infrastructure and civil construction industries. This includes site work, roads, highways, bridges, dams, tunnels and utilities, as well as materials suppliers, quarries and pits.

Regardless of project type, there are three main software applications heavy construction companies will use:

  • Cost estimating and takeoff
  • Project management
  • Accounting

Below we dig into some of the capabilities that differentiate top-rated heavy construction-specific systems from those systems designed for general construction other industries.

Estimating and Takeoff Requirements

Estimating and takeoff for heavy projects is unique and requires a specialized set of functionality, including the following.

3D takeoff Heavy contractors require special takeoff capabilities that will allow them to visualize the topography of their job. The system should have earth measurement capabilities to determine cuts and fills, as well as provide plan views, profiles views and section views. 3D visualization plays an important role in these tools.
Heavy-specific item database Heavy estimators will require a cost item database that is specific to their work. They need to determine costs of materials, equipment and labor like any contractor, but they will benefit from systems with pre-built templates that match operators to equipment, calculate fuel costs and have a library of common items.
Fuel costing Fuel is a major component of heavy jobs, so heavy contractors will benefit from a system designed to track and estimate their fuel costs in great detail. These systems will keep fuel cost estimates up-to-date and attach them to specific pieces of equipment so that you have have different rates for equipment based on fuel costs.
DOT databases Department of Transportation (DOT) requirements vary by state. A heavy estimating tool should offer pre-built cost databases that contain the various items required by each state’s DOT. Estimators can then use this information to ensure their bids include all DOT-required items and that cost information for these items is up to date.
Crew templates Heavy estimating will be vastly simplified if the estimator can simply drag reusable crew templates into a bid rather than build each crew from scratch for each bid. Crew templates combine employees and equipment into crews that can be reused across bids.

Project Management Requirements

Unitary billing and costing Unit-billing is central to heavy construction, so heavy contractors require a system designed to bill based on units completed. Both the job costing and billing components of the system should offer unit-based capabilities, as well as track progress/percent complete.
Timecard tracking Heavy contractors need to carefully monitor their crews in the field and make sure the right employees are on the right job at the right time. Heavy project management applications should include field time card tracking to manage employees.
Resource scheduling Heavy contractors need to schedule employees and equipment to the right job at the right time. A heavy project management system should enable contractors to schedule crews, in addition to individuals. That means pairing the right equipment with the right operator.
Dispatching White boards don’t cut it when it comes to dispatching crews and equipment. There is too much room for error. The best dispatching system will track (even with GPS) the location of every piece of equipment and employee.
Fuel tracking With fuel becoming such a large component of heavy project costs, a heavy project management system should track fuel costs and related fluids, like lubricants and coolants. It should track these fluids from suppliers to stationary tank to mobile fueling tanks, whether contractor-owned or third-party.
Mobile capabilities Mobile capabilities are especially important for heavy work. While all contractors work in the field, the location of heavy work shifts as the job progresses, so mobile support is critical for keeping field staff online and in touch.

Accounting Requirements

Specialized pricing A top heavy accounting system needs to support the specialized pricing models for heavy work. This will typically require unit-based pricing, progress billing, work-in-progress (WIP) billing, fixed-bid billing and cost-plus billing. It should also handle requirements for DOT and municipal billing requirements.
Equipment management With a wide range of equipment, heavy contractors’ profitability is dependent on keeping theses machines in great operating condition. Equipment management capabilities will track maintenance—preventative or unplanned. They also track the depreciation of the asset. More advanced systems will offer GPS tracking and electronic monitoring of equipment use and health.
Materials management Heavy contractors must ensure that the right materials arrive on time for jobs. Material cost tracking capabilities support this function for heavy contractors and materials producers by tracking the details of materials required for each job, including materials ordered, materials received, materials outstanding and scheduled time of arrival.
Scale integration Heavy contractors operating their own material sales, plants, quarries and pits will need to integrate their accounting system to their scales to reduce errors and improve efficiency. A heavy-specific accounting system should import weight tickets directly into the system.
Regulatory reporting Heavy contractors face a range of regulatory compliance requirements, such as employment fairness requirements (EEO), DOT requirements, certified payroll and prevailing wages and of course OSHA. A heavy accounting system should mange these requirements and produce the appropriate reports to demonstrate compliance.
Multi-company management Since many heavy companies are part of parent organizations with multiple subsidiaries, heavy accounting systems should provide multi-company consolidation capabilities. They should also manage inter-company payments—transactions between the affiliated entities.
Inventory management Heavy contractors need their accounting system to track inventory across multiple locations—job sites, warehouses, plants. Moreover, they need to understand what’s on-order, what is currently on-hand and what is already allocated to a specific job. The system should also manage discounts and mark-ups of inventory.

 

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