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Construction Vehicle Rampage

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Construction vehicles are Exactly What It Says on the Tin, vehicles 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.
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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 his/her 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 sci-fi 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.

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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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Examples:

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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.
  • This trope is the impetus for creating a Special Vehicles section of the police in Patlabor after criminals start using large construction machines called "Labors" to commit crimes across the nation.
  • 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 
  • 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 looging 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 
  • Defied 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 film 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.
  • In Cars, all vehicles are anthropomorphized, so we get a rather odd version of this trope. 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.

    Films — Live-Action 

    Literature 
  • 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 
  • 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.
  • In the fifth season finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, 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.
  • SWAT: "Pride" see's the team having to safeguard the local LGBT rights parade against an extremist hate group. Climaxing in them having to stop their big plan, namely driving four bulldozers simultaneously into the parade hoping to kill as many people as possible. Whilst they manage to stop three of them from doing any damage, it takes plowing their own armoured transport van into the forth to stop it injuring Deacon in the process.

    Music 
  • "Wrecking Ball", one of Miley Cyrus's most popular songs with the music video having over 1 billion views on YouTube.
    Miley Cyrus: I came in like a Wrecking Ball...

    Tabletop Games 
  • 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.

    Toys 
  • 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 
  • 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.
  • 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: The game revolves around using a variety of construction vehicles to demolish abandoned towns to prevent a runaway truck carrying nuclear warheads from crashing and exploding.
  • 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.
  • In the Grand Theft Auto series, you can use any construction vehicle that appears, such as a bulldozer, to play this trope in free-roam.
    • In San Andreas, you can use combine harvester to rampage on pedestrians and see their mutilated bodies coming out of the unloading auger.
  • Lets Go Island: The first phase of the final boss fight had the protaganists 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.
  • The first boss of Metal Slug, 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.
  • 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.

    Webcomics 
  • The xkcd strip "Asshole" stars Beret Guy getting an excavator to smack a couple who called him an asshole whether he drove a SUV or a hybrid car.

    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:
    • Subverted 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.
  • Defied in 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 him, 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:
    • 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 the titular antagonist Al Lusion and set him free, causing the whole plot of the episode.
    • Defied 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.


 
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