The largest machines in mining

The mine site has some of the largest machines and equipment on earth.

From trucks, excavators, draglines, through to bucket wheel excavators, the machines continually get bigger and bigger than found in other industries.

Australian Mining has trawled through the industry and brought you a list of the biggest machines and equipment in their category.

Bucket Wheel Excavator

 Bucket wheel excavators are the largest machines found on the mine site, and it’s no surprise that one of them, the Bagger 293, is the largest land vehicle built in human history. 

The Bagger 293, also know, as the Man Takraf RB293, was built in 1995 and measure 96 metres in height. Coming in at 225 meters long is weighs 14 200 tonnes and requires five people to operate it.

The Bucket wheel itself is more than 21 metres in diameter and has 20 buckets, which can hold more than 15 cubic metres each.

The machine is capable of chewing through 240 000 cubic metres of dirt in a single day.


Hydraulic Shovel

The Terex/Bucyrus RH400 is a monster digger typically found on mines around the world. The machine weighs in at 100 tonnes more, 980 tonnes, than the next largest hydraulic excavator, Hitachi’s EX8000-6.

It has a max power of 3360kW and a bucket capacity of 50 cubic metres.

It also made an appearance in the second transformers film, as the Decepticon Demolisher.

However, Cat has now pipped it at the post following its acquisition of Terex /Bucyrus. Cat’s new 6090FS hydraulic shovel is the world’s largest by capacity, just outdoing the RH400 with a bucket capacity of 52 cubic metres.


Cat's improved, larger capacity excavator.






Haul Truck

The largest mining truck in the world is without a doubt BelAZ’s 450 tonne monster.  Released late last year the 75710, or ‘The 450’, comes with a 25 per cent larger than its next model down, the 360 tonne truck. It is driven by two 16 cylinder, four cycle MTU diesel engines that provide a maximum speed of 64km per hour.

To get around site and take the weight of the payload it is fitted with eight wheels, the same size used on the 360, with two turntables axles.

To see a gallery of the truck click here.



Komatsu fields the largest dozer found in mining, producing the D-575A-3 Super Dozer (SD). As its name implies, it is currently the largest dozer in production, and has been since it began operations in 1991. It tips the scales at 152.6 tonnes, and when equipped with a standard blade can move nearly 70 cubic metres of material per pass. However this capability is dramatically increased with its optional blade that lets it move nearly 100 cubic meters of material per pass.

It measures 4.88 metres tall, 12.5 metres long, and 7.3 metres wide.



Metso’s Lokotrack LT200 takes the position of the largest mobile crusher in the world.

The mobile crusher is installed at a Kazakh mine, and weighs 368 tonnes, and has a capacity of 2268 tonnes per hour.





Wheel Loader 

The LeTourneau L-2350 is the undisputed king of wheel loaders and holds the Guinness World Record to prove it. The loader has an operational weight of 234 tonnes, and 1715 kW of power, and is able to carry a 65 tonne payload in its 40.52 cubic metre bucket. However, this machine is set to move even more material, after LeTourneau unveiled its prototype L-2350 with a 53.52 cubic metre bucket at MINExpo in Las Vegas in 2012.



The most common large machinery seen on coal mines around the world, draglines, are all fairly similar in size, although one has pushed the boundaries – Big Muskie.

The machine, the only Bucyrus 4250-W ever built, was the largest single bucket digging machine ever developed. It cost approximately $159 million in today’s terms and took nearly two years to build.

It weighed 12 000 tonnes, and had a bucket capacity of 170 cubic metres.  It measured 67.82 metres in height, had a boom of 94 metres, and a width of 46.18 metres. It was powered by 18 750kW and 10 466kW DC electric motors.

In operation for more than two decades, Big Muskie shifted more than 465 million cubic metres of overburden. Increasing electricity costs, efficiency issues, and tighter environmental regulations made Big Muskie unprofitable to operate, and it eventually shut down in 1991. It had an ignoble end, and was broken down and scrapped in 1999.



Herrenknecht takes poll position for the world’s largest tunnel borer with the EPB Shield S-300. This monster was designed to build some of the largest tunnels in the world and has a central cutting wheel that is 7 metres in diameter, which is surrounded by another outer cutting wheel that provides a total maximum excavation diameter of nearly 15 metres. Requiring only a few operators, it is a much safer alternative to underground blasting.

It weighs 4364 tonnes and has a thrust force of 316 000kN at 400bar.




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