Mining excavators, or should we say mining excavators on steroids, are among the most impressive pieces of engineering on the market. And they may grow to be very, very large!
Here we look at 10 of the biggest excavators ever created; enjoy!
What exactly is an excavator?
As the name implies, an excavator is construction equipment (typically diesel-powered) that is mainly intended for digging up the ground with a range of equipment. They usually have a front bucket to dig trenches, pits, and foundations.
But they are capable of so much more. Excavators can drill holes, remove brush, load and unload material, and do other heavy-duty construction site tasks by simply replacing the bucket with additional attachments.
They are usually tracked, though some include wheels as well. Historically, cable or wire ropes were used to convey digging power, but hydraulics are now utilized entirely.
These equipments are quite widespread on various construction sites all around the world.
What are the largest mining excavators in the world?
So, here are some of the world’s largest and most dangerous mining excavators without further ado. Please keep in mind that this list is far from complete and is presented in no particular order.
Please keep in mind that we categorized “largest” based on operational weight.
The Demag H740 OS is a powerful machine
This remarkable piece of machinery, which is reportedly the fourth largest excavator in the world, has an operational weight of 744 tonnes. This beast has been in service since 1999 and was created for usage in abrasive oil sands by KMC Mining in Canada.
The shovel capacity of this equipment is 40 cubic meters (1413 cubic feet), and the breakout force is 2,320 kN. It is propelled by two 16-cylinder CAT 3516B diesel engines that produce 4,000 horsepower at 1,800 rpm.
Have you seen the Komatsu PC5500-6 in person?
The Komatsu PC5500-6, with an operational weight of 495 tonnes, appears to be the seventh-largest hydraulic excavator in operation. The PC5500-6 has an undercarriage length of 9.72 meters (32 feet) and a width of 7.54 meters (25 feet).
The shovel and backhoe on the PC5500-6 have a capacity of 29 cubic meters (1,024 cubic feet). The shovel’s crowd and breakout forces are 1,870 kN and 1,865 kN, respectively. Two 12 cylinder Komatsu SDA12V159E-2 diesel engines delivering 2,520 horsepower at 1,800 rpm power the whole rig.
The Liebherr R9800 is a true beast
This equipment, built-in 2008 at Liebherr’s Colmar facility in France, is the world’s third-largest hydraulic excavator. It weighs 810 tonnes with a shovel attachment and 800 tonnes with only the backhoe.
It has a 10.84 meter (36 foot) undercarriage and a shovel and backhoe capacity of 42 cubic meters (1,483 cubic feet). The shovel’s maximum crowd and breakout forces are 3,900 kN and 2,395 kN, respectively. The digging and breakout forces of the backhoe are 1,760 kN and 1,980 kN, respectively. Two 16-cylinder Cummins QSK60 diesel engines with 4,000 horsepower and 1,800 rpm power the machine. It may alternatively be powered by two MTU 12 cylinder diesel engines producing 3,820 horsepower at 1,800 rpm.
The Bucyrus RH 340/RH 340-B is a tremendous machine!
This is an enormous mining excavator that is said to be the tenth-largest excavator in use today.
The massive Bucyrus RH340 weighs 550 tonnes. This type is available in both shovel and backhoe loading variants.
The crawler alone is 9.23 meters (30 feet) long, with a 7-meter-wide undercarriage (23 feet). This remarkable piece of equipment includes a shovel and a backhoe bucket with a 34 cubic meter capacity (1200 cubic feet). It has a shovel crowding force of 2,240 kN and a breakout force of 1,640 kN.
It also possesses a breakout and tear-out force of 1,270 kN and 1,240 kN during backhoe operations. Two Cummins K1500E engines power these beasts with a combined output of 2,520 horsepower. Furthermore, it may be outfitted with two QSK45 diesel engines capable of producing 3,000 horsepower at 1,800 rpm.
Another enormous excavator is the Hitachi EX5600-6
This beast weighs more than 500 tonnes and is regarded as the world’s seventh-largest excavator. It was the follow-up to the acclaimed EX5500 series. The working weight of this monster with shovel attachment is 533 tonnes. What about the undercarriage, you may wonder. It measures 9.35 meters (31 feet) in length and 7.4 meters in breadth (24 feet).
This equipment is quite useful, with a loading shovel bucket capacity of 29 cubic meters (1,024 cubic feet) and a backhoe capacity of 34 cubic meters (1,200 cubic feet). Crowding and breakout forces are respectively 1,520 kN and 1,590 kN—twin 16-cylinder Cummins QSKTA50-CE diesel engines with 3,000 horsepower at 1,800 rpm power these machines.
The Komatsu PC8000-6 is massive
The Komatsu PC8000-6 is said to be the fifth-largest hydraulic excavator in the world, with a working weight of roughly 710 tonnes. It has shovel and backhoe attachments.
This beast’s track length is 7.955 meters (26 feet), and total track width is 9 meters (30 feet), and its bucket capacity is 38 cubic meters (1,342 cubic feet). The arm crowd force and bucket crowd force are 1,765 kN and 1,961 kN, respectively. The bucket’s greatest ground level reach is 19.37 meters (64 feet). Two 16-cylinder Komatsu SDA16B 160 diesel engines producing 4,020 horsepower at 1,800 rpm power this machine.
The Caterpillar 6090 FS is a massive chunk of metal as well
This is usually regarded as one of the world’s largest excavators, with an operational weight of 1,000 or more tonnes.
It has a total engine rating of 4500 HP and is powered by two QSK60 engines. Its design is inspired by the Bucyrus RH400, which Caterpillar purchased in 2011.
With its massive 52 cubic meter bucket and 103-tonne payload, this gigantic machine can fill a Caterpillar dumper truck in little more than four journeys.
The Bucyrus RH400 is the larger sibling of the RH340
Bucyrus has two entries on our list of the largest mining excavators for a reason. The Bucyrus RH400, which Caterpillar currently owns, is reported to be the world’s largest hydraulic excavator. This colossus is a front shovel excavator that weighs roughly 980 tonnes. It also has a crawler length of 10.98 meters and an undercarriage width of 8.6 meters (28 feet) (36 feet).
A single shovel scoop can remove 45 cubic meters (1,589 cubic feet) of debris. We dare any unfortunate rock face to overcome this machine’s arm crowd force of 3,300 kN and breakout force of 2,400 kN. Two 16-cylinder Cat 3516B or Cummins QSK60 diesel engines power the Bucyrus RH400.
The Hitachi EX8000-6 expedites excavation
The Hitachi EX8000-6 is the larger sibling of the Hitachi EX5600-6 and is said to be the world’s second-largest hydraulic excavator. It weighs 811 tonnes and comes with shovel and backhoe attachments. In 2013, the first of these monsters was delivered to Stanwell’s Meandu coal mine in Australia.
The Hitachi EX8000-6 has a length of 10.5 meters (34 feet) and an undercarriage width of 8.65 meters (28 feet). Its bucket has a 45-cubic-meter capacity (1,589 cubic feet). Crowding and breakout shovel forces are both 2,870 kN and 2,230 kN. The monster is powered by two 16-cylinder Cummins QSKTA60-CE diesel engines producing 3,800 horsepower at 1,800 rpm. It is also available in an electric variant.
The Liebherr R996 B is the world’s sixth-largest
The world’s sixth-largest hydraulic excavator is the last item in our list of the world’s largest mining excavators. The operational weight of this equipment with the shovel attachment is 676 tonnes and 672 tonnes with the backhoe attachment. The undercarriage is 10 meters (33 feet) long and 7.9 meters (26 feet) broad.
This monster’s shovel and backhoe capacity total 26 cubic meters (918 cubic feet). The backhoe has digging and breakout forces of 1,550 kN and 1,670 kN, respectively, while the shovel has crowding/breakout forces of 2,430 kN and 1,905 kN. Two 16-cylinder Cummins K 1800 E diesel engines producing 3,000 horsepower at 1,800 rpm power the whole rig.
That’s All …