Administrators from PwC are now running McArdle from its main headquarters in Berkshire after being called-in on Monday afternoon.
PwC is trading the business as normal in a bid to sell the firm as a going concern.
One industry source told the Enquirer: “It’s a major shock that such a famous name has been hit like this.”
McArdle is a familiar face on major sites across the country and has been in business for more than 40 years after expanding from its original haulage roots.
Recent major jobs include the Olympics, M25 widening work for Balfour Beatty/Skanska and Berkeley Homes developments across London.
Latest accounts for 2011 show a turnover of £63m with an operating profit of £2m and the firm employs 300 people.
No redundancies have been made to date.
Former owner Jim McArdle sold the business in 2008 to Mercier Holdings.
Mercier Holdings Limited, J. McArdle Contracts Limited, McArdle Waste Services Limited, McArdle Plant Hire Limited, McKenna Plant Hire (Oxford) Limited are all in administration.
Stuart Maddison, joint administrator and partner at PwC said: “As is well known, the construction sector has been significantly impacted by the general economic climate- coupled with an extremely competitive market.
“The group has not been immune from these issues and as a consequence has been suffering from cash flow pressures.
“Although management have worked extremely hard to try and resolve these issues, they were unfortunately unable to do so.
“However, despite the sector challenges, we believe that the group’s core business is strong and as a result we are hopeful that a going concern sale of the business can be achieved.”