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Construction Vehicle Rampage

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Construction vehicles are intended for building large facilities, but these guys didn't get the memo. The trope flips the intention on its head, using tools of creation as weapons of war.

A bulldozer tends to be a popular pick because its resemblance to a tank and its front blade that is capable of moving large chunks of land makes it a very versatile vehicle. As it is more useful in both landscaping and destruction than most other vehicles, a savvy character looking to cause mayhem will likely pick one as their go-to option.

Other popular picks include the front-end loader (with its large all-terrain wheels and maneuverable scoop), the wrecking ball crane (the quintessential demolition vehicle), and the excavator (with its modifiable arm and the ability to turn a complete 180° or even 360°). A steamroller is a popular pick for flattening characters against the ground. In Science Fiction settings, construction robots may count as well if their programming is overridden to cause nothing but destruction. It may also count exo-suits or mechas that were primarily created for the use of construction but are then commandeered to be used for combat instead.

Farm machinery also count towards this trope. In particular, combine harvesters seem to lend themselves to it; with their rotating blades being able to reduce unfortunate passersby into so much chunky salsa, like an oversized version of a chainsaw.

Super-Trope to Forklift Fu. Sub-Trope of Irony and Car Fu. See also No OSHA Compliance for when general safety in a workplace is thrown out the window. Compare This Is a Drill and Drill Tank.

No relation to Deconstruction and Bias Steamroller.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Appleseed Ex Machina, a construction worker goes berserk upon being fired and jumps into a nearby construction landmate, whereupon he starts wrecking the site while raving over its loudspeaker about being treated poorly. Deunan manages to get behind him and press the emergency stop button.
  • Giant Gorg: One episode had Gorg battling against a behemoth-sized weaponized bulldozer, modified from a military-purpose construction vehicle.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders: In Jotaro's final battle with DIO, when the latter uses The World to stop time, he seemingly disappears, then he comes back from the sky to try to drop a steam roller onto Jotaro.
  • Iris steals a large amount of construction equipment from Tsukimura Constructions in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Reflection, using her Technopath powers to control and alter them on the fly into more combat appropriate forms.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin: The Mobile Worker MW-01 is a Humongous Mecha designed with construction purposes in mind, acting as a humanoid bulldozer. The Principality of Zeon saw the potential to turn it into a war machine, and had both Mash and Ramba Ral duke it out to test its combat capabilities. Despite promising results, the Zeon engineers decided that the design would be too slow and ineffective for real combat, and began the mobile suit development project based on the MW-01, with the MS-06 Zaku as the eventual endpoint.
    • While in Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin the Mobile Worker construction robot only saw mock combat, in the Gundam Breaker series of mecha combat games, the Mobile Worker is a common sight due to its unique industrial design standing out from the mass of Gundams and Zakus and more militaristic robots.
  • In Patlabor, criminals started using large construction machines called "Labors" to commit crimes across the nation, which was an impetus for creating a Special Vehicles section of the police.
  • In the Sonic X episode "Chaos Emerald Chaos" during the construction scene, an excavator itself goes out of control after its bucket came into contact with the Chaos Emerald and goes on to flip a truck, scaring a confused construction workers including its operator. The machine eventually stops just as suddenly as it began.
  • The☆Ultraman: One of the Monster of the Week is Hectore, a giant bulldozer-weapon taken over by the Liquid Monster, an alien creature that can possess machinery, turning the construction vehicle into an unstoppable kaiju.

    Comic Books 
  • Clone Wars Adventures: In the story "Graduation Day," droids attack a farm operated by failed candidates for Jedi Knighthood, one of whom plows through them with a farming machine.
  • Green Lantern foes the Demolition Team are a team of villains with a construction motif and using specially designed power tool inspired weapons. Member Steamroller is a former motorcycle stunt rider from Chicago. He rides a compact version of a steamroller that can flatten buildings.
  • In Wacky Races #4 (Gold Key), "Follow Through To Yoo Hoo" has Sgt. Blast and Meekly in the Army Surplus Special allowing the racers behind them to go ahead, only for the racer to get clobbered by a logging truck. Dick Dastardly is the first they victimize (it was a chapter in his book "How To Win a Race by Hook or Crook"), but the next racer, Rufus Ruffcut easily avoids the truck (as a lumberjack, he can smell a logging truck a mile away). The truck eventually clobbers the Surplus Special.
    Sgt. Blast: Meekly, you're demoted to private last class!

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animated 
  • In Cars, Lightning and Mater go tractor-tipping, and in doing so incur the wrath of "Frank", a combine harvester who acts like a vicious, angry bull. Lightning later has a nightmare about Frank running in the Dinoco 400, chewing up all his opponents, and winning the race.
  • In Hey Arnold! The Movie, Big Bad Alphonse Perrier du von Scheck plans to bulldoze the entire neighborhood and build a shopping mall. As a result, bulldozers are prominently used in the climax.
  • The LEGO Movie: During the final battle, Emmet combines an entire fleet of construction vehicles into a Humongous Mecha powerful enough to tear through the Micromanager army.
  • Monster House: Construction workers for some unknown reason leave the keys in their construction machines, which allows Chowder to briefly start up an excavator by accident. He later uses it in the climactic fight against the titular, monstrous house with DJ and Jenny accompanying him. DJ also swings on the rope of a tower crane to drop a stick of dynamite into the chimney of the house.
  • In the climax of Rio 2, one of the friendly human characters, Linda, commandeers a bulldozer and saves Eduardo with it when one of the loggers tries to run him over after he's knocked out of the sky.
  • In the climax of the 2015 Shaun the Sheep movie, the insane Big Bad Trumper uses a farm tractor equipped with grabber, the vehicle that Shaun drove at the beginning of the film, to try to push the shed that has the heroes inside into a nearby rock quarry.

    Films — Live-Action 

  • Black Tide Rising: In "Maligator County", the local survivors use a convoy of bulldozers, tractors, sprayers (to distribute poisonous pesticides), and combine harvesters to clear out the 7,000 zombies keeping them from re-settling the nearest town.
  • The Han Solo Adventures: In Han Solo and the Lost Legacy, two female mining technicians run over scores of Xim's War Robots in a vehicle called a land gouger while trying to escape the besieged camp.
  • X-Wing Series: In Wedge's Gamble, Rogue Squadron hijacks a construction droid (a skyscraper-sized part-vehicle, part-mobile-factory that can demolish buildings, recycle their material, and build new buildings) on Coruscant in order to seize an orbital mirror control center, which helps them disable Coruscant's planetary shield.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Annika (2021): In episode #2.3, workers at a recycling plant, angry at suddenly discoering they are unemployed, attack their boss's SUV with a front end loader. McAndrews and Clarke manage to pull him out just before the roof is crushed.
  • The A-Team would often use construction equipment as part of their A-Team Montage, turning it into an armored vehicle that they would then use to rain mayhem on the bad guys.
  • The Brittas Empire: In "Back From the Dead", Carole, who thinks that Brittas is using her son's body to gain eternal youth, uses an excavator to try to destroy Brittas' car... with him inside it.
  • In the fifth season finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, "The Gift", Xander sucker-punches Big Bad Glory with a wrecking ball.
    Xander: And the glorified bricklayer picks up a spare.
  • The F.B.I.: In "All the Streets Are Silent", the FBI have to storm a motel occupied by heavily armed criminals. When the crooks open fire with machine guns, the FBI use a bulldozer to advance on the building and smash through the fence: using the blade as a bulletproof shield, and with other agents advancing behind the cover of the dozer.
  • The Goodies: In "The New Office", the Goodies tow their new office a location completely surrounded by paddocks and open woodland. Their new location seems eerily quiet though until the silence is shattered by loud roaring noises. Tim initially thinks it's just a cow, but a peek outside reveals several huge dinosaur-like bulldozers and construction machines moving around the adjacent paddock with nobody driving them. Some of the monster machines graze in the paddock and on a nearby hedge, but most appear to be carnivorous and launch a counter-attack against the Goodies; whose brave pitched battle appears fruitless when they are eventually cornered at the door to their office by a looming throng of lethal construction equipment.
  • S.W.A.T. (2017): "Pride" sees the team having to safeguard the local LGBT rights parade against an extremist hate group, climaxing in them having to stop the hate group's big plan — namely, driving four bulldozers simultaneously into the parade, hoping to kill as many people as possible. While the team manage to stop three bulldozers from doing any damage, it takes plowing their own armoured transport van into the fourth to stop it from injuring Deacon in the process.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Battletech has non-combatant IndustrialMechs designed for farming, forestry, mining, demolition, construction, security etc. With the shortage of BattleMechs, particularly after the Word of Blake Jihad, many such 'Mechs have been commandeered, armed, and up-armored into improvised combat machines, sort of like bipedal Technicals. Irregular conflicts between users of these vehicles may sometimes be decided by them, but few of these so-called "IndustrialMech MODs" will last long against proper BattleMechs.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Orks will often attach the equipment they use to construct their ramshackle vehicles and buildings to their vehicles in an attempt to increase their deadliness when they get close to their foes. Wrecking balls and scrap grabbers are particularly common as they can cause carnage when turned on enemy infantry. While they have never been used for construction or demolition, deff rollas are also extremely popular, apply the principle of a steamroller to warfare and improves it by adding spikes.
    • While not true construction vehicles, many Imperial and Chaos armoured vehicles are equipped with dozer blades when operation in dense terrain so that they can clear roads of rubble and other derbies during a battle.
    • The massive bipedal war machines known as Knights were originally designed to help construct human colonies on hostile worlds as well protect them from indigenous lifeforms. Over the years, the massive reaper chainswords have proven just as good at cutting down the enemy as they were at cutting down trees, while thunderstrike gauntlets can throw armoured vehicles as easily as they can carry heavy building material.
    • Genestealer Cults, to fit their theme of rebellious Imperial citizens, repurpose mining equipment and heavy mining loaders for their army vehicles. They even put large mining drills to use to create localized earthquakes during battles.

  • Ninjago: the Fangpyre Wrecking Ball is a normal wrecking crane machine that was bit by the Fangpyre and weaponized by them.
  • The Transformers: The Constructicons are an entire team of Decepticons themed around construction equipment. While very good at building, they're equally good at demolition as Omega Supreme and the Crystal City can attest to, particularly their bulldozer, Bonecrusher.
    Bonecrusher: Hit it till it stands no taller than dirt.

    Video Games 
  • The Mexico level of 007 Racing has Bond driving his Aston Martin into a heavily-guarded military base, and ambushed by two massive bulldozers which he must destroy.
  • In the first episode "Nightmare" of Alan Wake, the office in the lumber mill gets crashed through off the cliffside with a bulldozer by a random tainted.
  • ANNO: Mutationem has futuristic versions of this trope, with gigantic construction robots on caterpillar tracks, armed with industrial-sized plasma cutters for precision slicing and shaping of futuristic construction materials. Due to their size, flexibility, and sheer weight, they can also be used for combat, and a hijacked one serves as the first major boss of the game.
  • BCV: Battle Construction Vehicles is a Fighting Game in which the combatants go at each other in construction vehicles. There's a story mode in which protagonist Hayato Kongo succeeds his late father as head of the family construction company. To this end, he must battle other construction workers to get them to join his crew and get through a rivalry with Shurabe Corp.
  • Blast Corps revolves around using a variety of construction vehicles to demolish abandoned towns to prevent a runaway truck carrying nuclear warheads from crashing and exploding.
  • The Final Boss of CT Special Forces: Bioterror assault the players while commandeering a weaponized excavator which can lob rocks all over the place while tackling the players.
  • Get Amped: One of the "accessories" lets you use miniature construction vehicles to attack enemies in various ways, from rushing through enemies with a bulldozer to smashing them with a wrecking ball crane.
  • The Gladiator, being a wuxia game set in the Song Dynasty, has the Bamboo Technology version of this trope (yes, really!) Every now and then, you might be attacked by a war chariot (piloted either by a boss or a mook) with a Giant Mook pushing it from behind, a swinging wrecking ball on it's front, and the pilot can control the ball swinging it left and right to smash you up.
  • In the Grand Theft Auto series, you can use any construction vehicle that appears, such as a bulldozer or even a combine harvester, to play this trope in free-roam.
  • Let's Go Island: The first phase of the final boss fight had the protagonists fighting the mutant sea monster with the crane of the boat they're on, getting into a grappling match against each other.
  • At the end of LISA: The Painful's Construction area is a segment in which Brad gets into a bulldozer and runs over people for experience points. The boss at the end of the segment is Horrace, a fellow bulldozer driver, though you only fight him because he loses control of his own dozer.
  • Little Wheel: The protagonist lifts a segment of the broken train with the claw of a wheeled construction crane to swing it at a hill of debris and clear a path.
  • Metal Head have the high-tech terrorist syndicate throwing assorted machines at you, one of them being a weaponized construction vehicle capable of flinging it's wrecking ball at you.
  • The first boss of Metal Slug 6, fought in the rebel's underground base, is a weaponized excavator-backhoe combo military vehicle, who uses its front to ram players while catapulting boulders from its back.
  • Metroid: Other M: In the Materials Storehouse of the Cryosphere, Samus faces the Deleter who operates the futuristic industrial heavy-lifting vehicle known as RB176 Ferrocrusher, which features giant claws for lifting, lasers for precision-cutting, and buzzsaws for ripping and tearing.
  • Riot have a level where the player gets attacked by a wrecking ball crane, where they must shoot the vehicle while avoiding the dropping ball.
  • Starsiege has several types of construction or civilian equipment repurposed for war. The Emancipator HERC was previously a bipedal cargo loader refitted with alien weapons, while the tiny Avenger AFV was once a simple agricultural tractor. A more overt example is the Dreadlock, an old construction bulldozer repurposed as a tank. It still has the earthmoving blade, and 45 tons of bulldozer moving at ramming speed hurts a lot.
  • Streets of Rage 3 has a segment in the construction yard level where you're chased by an enemy in a bulldozer. You need to punch your way through (thankfully weak) enemies and barricades while avoiding being run over. You can punch the bulldozer to drive it back a short distance, but it won't be defeated until you reach the end of that area and it runs into a steel brace, causing a barrel to fall on the driver.
  • In the Team Fortress 2 Deathrun mod map "dr_Safety_First", the last section of the map has the trap activator take control of a bulldozer to run over the remaining players. To make things more difficult, the runners have to navigate through a warehouse maze while trying to avoid the rampant bulldozer.

    Web Animation 
In Lackadaisy, The Scrounger Rocky leads his crew of booze-runners to a quarry in an attempt to gain a defensive advantage over their pursuers from the rival Marigold gang. He commandeers a steam shovel, puts a sack full of dynamite into the bucket, jams the controls, then climbs up in the bucket and starts randomly lobbing lit sticks onto the ground below while maniacally screaming an impromptu poem about a circus train and its Fighting Clown just in time to save his compatriots from Marigold's Hired Guns. Unfortunately, his rampage is cut short after one of those sticks ends up bouncing back into the dynamite-filled bucket, just as the steam shovel heads toward the quarry water tower.

  • The xkcd strip "Asshole" stars Beret Guy getting an excavator to smack a couple who was judgemental about his choice of cars. In the Alt Text, he uses it later to drive into a bakery to pick up scones.

    Western Animation 
  • Batman Beyond: Willie Watt steals a giant construction robot and goes on a rampage trying to kill those who abused and bullied him, and everyone else at a school dance.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy:
    • In the episode "Dawn of the Eds", a wrecking ball briefly appears, almost hitting the Eds while none of them even notice.
    • In "Don't Rain on My Ed", Ed and Eddy run into a steamroller, and when the former yanks him out of it, Eddy accidentally turns the steamroller on and it ends up running over them causing them to be Squashed Flat, the page picture.
  • Hey Arnold!:
    • As Ernie Potts enjoys being the demolition worker, he plans to knock down the old Circle Theater with his wrecking ball crane, which Arnold's grandmother is against, causing the conflict in the episode "The Old Building".
    • In "Save the Tree", Helga Pataki's antagonistic father Big Bob announces that Mighty Pete, the oldest tree in town, will cut down with a bulldozer and build a beeper center on its place, which Arnold and the other kids are against him because they love the tree. As a result, the bulldozer is mainly focused in the climax of the episode.note 
  • The Powerpuff Girls (1998):
    • In the episode "Abracadaver", wrecking balls are used to demolish an old magic theater, only for one of them to hit the old iron maiden that held Al Lusion and set him free, causing the whole plot of the episode.
    • In "The Mane Event", Bubbles removes the wrecking ball from a crane to use it as Epic Flail against the Evil Eye, only to have it blasted out of her hands.
  • Robot Chicken: A sketch from "More Blood, More Chocolate" features Bob the Builder's vehicles helping him kill some union thugs who want to shut him down.
  • Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated: In "Howl of the Fright Hound", Scooby uses a forklift to defeat the eponymous robot dog.
  • Wacky Races: In "Free Wheeling to Wheeling", Dick Dastardly uses abandoned construction vehicles to impede the other racers.

    Real Life 
  • Civilian Bulldozers have been given armour protection and used in various armies by combat engineers for front-line duties clearing barricades and obstacles; in New Zealand in WW2, comandeered bulldozers were given an armoured shell and a rotating MG turret and used as makeshift improvised tanks (the infamous Bob Semple tank).
  • The infamous Killdozer was an improvised tank built out of a 30-ton concrete-and-steel bunker, a hunting rifle, a bulldozer, some video equipment, an oxygen bottle, and one disgruntled man upset that he was forced to sell his muffler repair shop to the city because of shady dealings with the new concrete plant. At 3 PM, on June 4th 2004, Marvin Heemeyer rampaged all over the city of Granby, Colorado for two hours, ruining about 13 buildings and racking up seven million dollars in damages. The rampage came to an end when the Killdozer’s treads got stuck in a basement and could not get out due to damage to the radiator, and Heemeyer shot himself. Here is the video.
  • Russian revenge: Excavator crashes car.


Video Example(s):


Linda Fights A Illegal Logger

In the climax of the movie Rio 2, Linda commandeers a bulldozer and saves Eduardo with it when one of the loggers tries to run him over after he's knocked out of the sky.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / ConstructionVehicleRampage

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