Finding software can be overwhelming. We've helped many contractors choose the right heavy construction software so they can access a heavy-specific item database and monitor fuel costs.

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ConstructionOnline

UDA Technologies’ ConstructionOnline offers a web-based, integrated approach to project management, project scheduling, and customer management. Designed for emerging construction businesses in the homebuilding and remodeling indu... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 86 recommendations

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PlanSwift

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 ... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 79 recommendations

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Spectrum

Spectrum (formerly Dexter + Cheney) is a cloud-based construction ERP solution for small, midsize and large enterprises. Primary features include accounting, document management, job cost, project management, equipment management,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 24 recommendations

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Jonas Enterprise

Jonas Enterprise is an intuitive, integrated solution for contractors that has been present in construction and service management for over 25 years. The application offers service, accounting, and operations project management ca... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 21 recommendations

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CMiC

For over 30 years, CMiC has delivered state-of-the-art software solutions, purpose-built for the construction industry. Since its inception, CMiC has maintained a laser focus on automating essential back-office functions – such as... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 16 recommendations

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FOUNDATION

FOUNDATION is a job cost accounting, project management and scheduling solution available as traditional installed software or on the cloud. Plus, fully integrated apps like FOUNDATION mobile and Service Dispatch mobile sync remot... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 16 recommendations

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SharpeSoft Estimator

SharpeSoft Estimator is an on-premise cost estimating software for contractors and sub-contractors in the construction industry. Offered on a best-of-breed basis, SharpeSoft provides integrated tools for labor and equipment costin... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 9 recommendations

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JOBPROGRESS

JOBPROGRESS is a cloud-based construction management solution for residential remodeling contractors. The solution works with small businesses and can be customized as per the needs of an organization. It offers estimating, projec... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 8 recommendations

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RAKEN

Raken allows project managers to maintain daily work logs, schedule and assign jobs to employees, send updates to field agents, generate and share snapshots of a project's progress. The solution also helps businesses keep track of... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 7 recommendations

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Oracle Primavera Cloud

For more than 30 years, successful projects around the world have relied on Oracle’s Primavera solutions to plan, build, and operate critical assets. It is the only solution that integrates project and portfolio planning and deliv... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 7 recommendations

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Projectteam.com

ProjectTeam is a cloud-based construction project management solution that caters to businesses in the construction industry. Key features include requests for information (RFIs), drawing management, action forms, file management ... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 6 recommendations

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B2W Schedule

B2W Schedule software for heavy civil construction scheduling and dispatching is a centralized, online solution for managing employees, crews, equipment, materials, and trucking across job locations and over time. Employees throug... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 6 recommendations

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HeavyBid

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 ... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 5 recommendations

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B2W Estimate

B2W Estimate software for heavy civil construction estimating and bidding enables contractors to bid with speed, accuracy, and strategy. Users can pre-populate a centralized database with cost data and structures for labor, tasks,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 5 recommendations

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Explorer Eclipse

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, s... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 5 recommendations

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Corecon

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 al... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 5 recommendations

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Kahua

Kahua helps you manage processes, documents and cost on your construction programs and projects from inception to closeout. Purpose-built solutions for owners, program managers, general contractors and subcontractors help you mini... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 5 recommendations

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Estimating Link

Estimating Link is a construction estimating and bidding solution. It’s suitable for heavy highway, environmental, bridges, site-work and civil projects, and both state and private commercial work. Estimating Link allows user... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 5 recommendations

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HQ Platform

Infinity is a cloud-based construction management solution that helps small to large enterprises manage HR operations, field layouts and building information modeling (BIM) services. Users can configure role-based access across pr... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 5 recommendations

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HeavyJob

HCSS HeavyJob is a job management solution that allows companies to manage employee time, budgets, job costs, and resources. Company crew leads can record time and materials information in the field using a laptop or mobile d... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 4 recommendations

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Buyers guide


Last Updated: April 15, 2021

Here’s what we'll cover:

What is heavy construction software?
Project Management Requirements
Accounting Requirements

What is heavy construction software?

Heavy construction software is a tool designed for contractors involved in large-scale construction projects, such as highways, bridges, and dams, which require complex engineering and specialized equipment. The software helps contractors prepare cost estimates, manage tasks, and monitor expenses.

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.