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
 
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
 
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
 
Smartsheet logo
 
Smartsheet is a project management application with a spreadsheet-like interface to help teams collaborate, plan projects and manage tasks. The software offers a suite of project management applications, such as document management,... Read More
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Smartsheet is a project management application with a spreadsheet-like interface to help teams collaborate, plan projects and manage tasks. The software offers a suite of project management applications, such as document management,... Read More
 
ComputerEase logo
 
ComputerEase was founded in 1983. Since then, the vendor has built a large customer base of over 6,000 contractors. It offers a fully integrated construction management suite with accounting, project management and service management... Read More
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ComputerEase was founded in 1983. Since then, the vendor has built a large customer base of over 6,000 contractors. It offers a fully integrated construction management suite with accounting, project management and service management... 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
 
Viewpoint Estimating logo
 
Viewpoint Estimating (formerly known as Maxwell Estimation) specializes in generating estimates and takeoffs for residential and commercial HVAC, mechanical, plumbing, and electrical firms.  It includes trade-specific estimating capabilities... Read More
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Viewpoint Estimating (formerly known as Maxwell Estimation) specializes in generating estimates and takeoffs for residential and commercial HVAC, mechanical, plumbing, and electrical firms.  It includes trade-specific estimating capabilities... 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
 
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
 
InEight Estimate logo
 
InEight Estimate is construction software 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 software 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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ProContractor™ by Viewpoint 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
 
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
 
Traqspera logo
 
Traqspera is a cloud-based construction management solution. Key features include training and certification management, asset management, safety management and time and billing.  Traqspera provides a searchable employee management... Read More
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Traqspera is a cloud-based construction management solution. Key features include training and certification management, asset management, safety management and time and billing.  Traqspera provides a searchable employee management... Read More
 
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
 
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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PMWeb logo
 
As the name might suggest, PMWeb is a web-based solution geared toward construction project management. The software is built on the Microsoft .NET technology and can be accessed via a web client anywhere with Internet access. This... Read More
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As the name might suggest, PMWeb is a web-based solution geared toward construction project management. The software is built on the Microsoft .NET technology and can be accessed via a web client anywhere with Internet access. This... Read More
 
Viewpoint - Spectrum logo
 
Spectrum Construction Software provides complete construction management, combining accounting, job cost and project management software in one cloud-based application.  Spectrum offers full-featured accounting, document management,... Read More
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Spectrum Construction Software provides complete construction management, combining accounting, job cost and project management software in one cloud-based application.  Spectrum offers full-featured accounting, document management,... Read More
 
Explorer Eclipse logo
 
Established in 1984, Explorer Software provides Construction accounting and project management solutions to many different contractors around the world. The system is completely browser-based, allowing it to be accessed from any type... Read More
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Established in 1984, Explorer Software provides Construction accounting and project management solutions to many different contractors around the world. The system is completely browser-based, allowing it to be accessed from any type... 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
 
Vista by Viewpoint logo
 
Vista is an integrated suite of finance, operations and project management applications for contractors and capital project owners that can be deployed on-premises or hosted in the cloud. Users can manage workflow and reporting that... Read More
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Vista is an integrated suite of finance, operations and project management applications for contractors and capital project owners that can be deployed on-premises or hosted in the cloud. Users can manage workflow and reporting that... Read More

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Buyer's Guide

by Eileen O'Loughlin,
Market Research Associate
Last Updated: September 20, 2017


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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