The $30 a share cash offer is double Terex’s pre-close share trading price on Monday.
Terex said it was reviewing the proposal and “will have no further comment until the board has completed its review”.
The bid from the Hong Kong stock exchanged listed Chinese plant giant comes as Terex is also engaged in merger talks with Finnish crane company Konecranes.
Terex directors said today that this process would continue for the time being, concurrently with the Zoomlion talks.
In the UK, Terex manufacturers aerial work platforms at its factory in Coventry, employing 500 staff locally and exporting to more than 60 countries worldwide.
Terex rigid dump trucks, which are made at a factory in Motherwell, are now part of the Volvo CE Group.
Zoomlion bought the British trenchless boring company company Powermole several years ago and an Italian concrete machinery maker in 2008.
Its equipment line-up ranges from dozers to excavators, mobile cranes and piling rigs throught to waste and sanitation trucks.