Heavy equipment refers to heavy-duty vehicles, specially designed for executing construction tasks, most frequently ones involving earthwork operations.
They are also known as heavy machines, heavy trucks, construction equipment, engineering equipment, heavy vehicles, or heavy hydraulics. They usually comprise five equipment systems: implement, traction, structure, power train, control, and information.
Heavy equipment functions through the mechanical advantage of a simple machine, the ratio between input force applied and the force exerted is multiplied. Some equipment uses hydraulic drives as a primary source of motion.
There is not doubt that the construction industry possesses the honor of having some of the largest machinery and tools. They are powerful. They are gigantic. And they are awesome.
The use of heavy equipment has a long history; the ancient Roman engineer Vitruvius (1st century BCE) gave descriptions of heavy equipment and cranes in ancient Rome in his treatise De architectura. The pile driver was invented around 1500. The first tunneling shield was patented by Marc Isambard Brunel in 1818.
Heavy equipment requires specialized tires for various construction applications. While many types of equipment have continuous tracks applicable to more severe service requirements, tires are used where greater speed or mobility is required.
An understanding of what equipment will be used for during the life of the tires is required for proper selection. Tire selection can have a significant impact on production and unit cost. There are three types of off-the-road tires, transport for earthmoving machines, work for slow moving earth moving machines, and load and carry for transporting as well as digging.
Off-highway tires have six categories of service C compactor, E earthmover, G grader, L loader, LS log-skidder and ML mining and logging. Within this service, categories are various tread types designed for use on the hard-packed surface, soft surface and rock. Tires are a large expense on any construction project, careful consideration should be given to prevent excessive wear or damage.
There is no doubt that the construction industry possesses the honor of having some of the largest machinery and tools. They are powerful. So, we are here with the list of top 10 largest construction machines from all around the world. Have a look at these fantastic beasts.
Komatsu D575A Dozer
The Komatsu D575A is a 1,150 horsepower (860 kW) tractor crawler available as a bulldozer/ripper, the D575A-3, or as a dedicated bulldozer, the D575A-3 SD Super Dozer. Equipped with a standard blade, both versions are capable of moving 90 cubic yards (69 m3) of material per pass although the D575A-3 SD Super Dozer is capable of moving 125 cubic yards (96 m3) of material per pass if equipped with an optional blade. The D575A-3 can dig to a maximum depth of 6 feet 9 inches (2.06 m) using its single shank ripper.
Currently the largest bulldozer in production, the D575A has been produced by Komatsu Ltd. in Osaka, Japan since 1991. Surface mine operators in the United States, Canada and Australia are the primary users of the D575A, although it is sometimes used in heavy construction applications.
One of the Largest Construction Machines D575A is primarily used in surface mines in West Virginia, mostly operating on Alpha Natural Resources sites in Appalachia. To date, 17 D575A’s are in service in the West Virginia Coal Fields. There is one super ripper that operates in Las Vegas, and another 2 operating on New Zealand’s South Island in the Stockton mine.
P&H L-2350 Loader
The L-2350 loader (now the P&H L-2350), from American earth-moving machinery manufacturer LeTourneau Inc., holds the Guinness World Record for Biggest Earth Mover.
Designed to center-load haul trucks with capacities of up to 400 tons, the L-2350 provides an operating payload of 160,000 pounds, a 24-foot lift height, and an 11.5-foot reach. Joy Global acquired the company in 2011 adding P&H to the equipment designation.
The specifications of one of Largest Construction Machines include Operational weight 260 tons, 2300 Horsepower, 16 Cylinder 65.0 Litre Detroit Diesel 4-cycle Turbocharged Aftercooler Engine (2300 hp) or 16 cylinders 60.0 Litre Cummins Diesel 4-cycle Turbocharged Aftercooler Engine (2300 hp).
It also has specification including Hydraulic lifting payload 72 tons, Standard Bucket 40,52 m³, FuelTank 3974.68 Litre, Hydraulic Oil 1230 Litre, Tyres 70/70-57 SRG DT (diameter 4 m and width 1.78 m) and Costing $1.5M (2012)
Liebherr 9800 Mining Excavator
The always impressive Liebherr, a manufacturer of some very impressive cranes, also boats one of the largest bucket excavators with their R 9800. Another machine typically used for mining, the 9800 weighs in at 1,785,700 pounds and have a bucket capacity of 62 cubic yards. That could save a lot of time digging out the pool for the back yard.
The R 9800 combines flexibility and productivity to meet customer expectations as this Liebherr mining excavator comes with a choice of either Cummins or MTU as their preferred diesel engine partner, while an electric drive version is also available. The pairing of the T 264 or T 284 mining truck, with the R 9800, provides a cost-effective, highly productive mining solution for large-scale mining operations.
The Liebherr R 9800, one of the Largest Construction Machines is capable of handling the most challenging mining tasks. This mining excavator has two 16-cylinder V-engines, each one with 1492 kW. The combined output is 2,984 kW (4,000 hp), and the unit has a maximum operating weight of 810,000 kg.
To keep the two engines running and for efficient operation, the Liebherr R 9800 requires 20,000 liters of diesel. This mining excavator has been developed with only one thing in mind – powerful performance. Below are some less known facts about this monster excavator.
The Belaz 75710 actually recently supplanted the CAT 797F dump truck as the world’s largest. Standing 26 feet tall, the 450-ton haul truck is powered by two separate 65-litre engines, each with 2300 horsepower. It is one of the Largest Construction Machines in the world.
The 75710 can carry a 450 metric ton (496 short ton) load. With an empty weight of 360 tons, it is much more heavily built than the previous model, which weighed 240 tons when empty. It is 20.6 meters long, 8.16 meters high, and 9.87 meters wide. The bed is relatively shallow, limiting the volume of material that can be carried.
Instead of a single engine, the Siemens MMT 500 drive system is powered by two MTU 65-litre 16-cylinder four-stroke diesel engines, each with 2,300 horsepower. These are coupled to two AC alternators and four AC traction motors (two in each axle).
Fuel consumption (according to company data) is 198 g/kWh per engine, with option to run on only one if carrying less than capacity loads. Maximum speed is 64 km/h, and economy maximum speed (when fully loaded and on a 10% gradient) is 40 km/h. The complex propulsion system, in addition to the shallow bed, doubled tires, and very heavy empty weight, has led to concerns about operating efficiency
CAT 6120b Hydrualic Shovel
Caterpillar has designed, fabricated and constructed the largest hydraulic mining shovel ever built. The new Cat® 6120B H FS significantly exceeds the size of the Cat 6090 FS to deliver highly productive three- or four-pass loading of ultra-class mining trucks. Innovative hybrid technologies cut fuel use per ton by an estimated 25 percent—through the use of hydra-electric regenerative technologies and a unique energy storage system.
Caterpillar designed the 6120B H FS to be the most productive and efficient ultra-class hydraulic shovel available. An operating weight of approximately 1,400 tons (1270 tons) and engine output of about 4,500 hp (3360 kW) enable the shovel to efficiently handle dipper sizes of 60 to 85 cubic yards (46 to 65 cubic meters), depending on material density.
The energy management system makes use of large capacitors to store energy created by the shovel during swing deceleration and boom-down movements. That stored energy then helps power the hydraulic system when the machine requires peak power, such as during the digging portion of the cycle.
The hybrid technology features long-life components and design for ease of service, as do other systems within the shovel. Isolated, modular systems within the 6120B H FS offer easy access and enhanced serviceability.
The new hydraulic shovel will fill the need for a safe, cost-efficient and highly mobile ultra-class shovel for short-term mining operations, non-electrified sites and areas where the power grid has limitations, and greenfield developments.
The hydraulic shovel also has selective digging capabilities that rope shovels do not, as hydraulics enable applying strong bucket forces through a wide range of heights. The proven Tri-Power linkage technology enhances digging capabilities of the 6120B H FS. Similarly, the new shovel makes best use of proven Cat shovel features, such as the ergonomically designed, state-of-the-art shovel cab.
P&H 4100XPC Electric Rope Shovel
Electric rope shovels are built to be able to remove large amounts of overburden and ore more efficiently that other loaders. The 109 ton 4100XPC sits 48 feet tall and can haul up to 82 cubic yards.
The 4100XPC electric rope shovel, the preferred ultra-class shovel choice for high-production low-cost mines around the world, is ideal for loading in-pit crusher-conveyor systems and ultra-class haul trucks.
The 4100XPC features the latest design and technological upgrades to maximize machine availability and equipment production. This shovel is available in both AC and DC versions. The Centurion electrical control system provides superior performance, monitoring, and data integration capabilities.
The supervisory controller, with direct integrated communication with the motor drives, allows precise motor control and fast cycle times. Real-time multi-tasking capability means optimal machine logic sequencing, monitoring, and control.
The I/O system uses the Profibus communication protocol for seamless integration of all shovel subsystems. Low-voltage 23V DC I/O drop points feature open- and short-circuit detection for improved diagnostics and troubleshooting.
Bucyrus 2570W Walking Dragline
Weighing in at a whopping 10.4 million pounds, the 2570W can dig to a depth of 140 feet and has a boom length of 310 feet. It’s certainly not a speedster though, with top walking speeds clocking in at 0.15 mph. It certainly won’t be stealing any bases soon.
Armstrong Coal was formed in 2006 to acquire and develop coal reserves in Western Kentucky. Having acquired over 39,000 acres and 450 million tons of coal, Armstrong’s mission is to supply custom blend coals to a variety of electricity-generating utility companies.
Utilizing current technology and an experienced management staff, Armstrong produces clean coal from surface and underground mining operations. Armstrong not only has a goal to be one of the most reliable coal producers in the region, it strives to be fully committed to the health and safety of its workforce and to become an industry leader in achieving award winning compliance with reclamation and environmental standards.
The 50 year old crawler transporter are actually being modified in 2015 to assist in the launching of the space shuttle that will take us to Mars. These massive 131 feet long and 114 feet wide weigh in at greater than 6 million pounds and carry NASA rockets from site to site…at 1 mph. One of the two crawlers in existence has traveled 2,207 miles in its lifetime, which, if my math is correct, took 2,207 hours.
The crawler-transporters, formally known as the Missile Crawler Transporter Facilities, are a pair of tracked vehicles used to transport spacecraft from NASA’s Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) along the Crawlerway to Launch Complex 39. They were originally used to transport the Saturn IB and Saturn V rockets during the Apollo, Skylab, and Apollo–Soyuz programs.
They were then used to transport Space Shuttles from 1981 to 2011. The crawler-transporters carry vehicles on the Mobile Launcher Platform, and after each launch return to the pad to take the platform back to the VAB.
The two crawler-transporters were designed and built by Marion Power Shovel Company using components designed and built by Rockwell International at a cost of US$14 million each.
Upon its construction, the crawler-transporter became the largest self-powered land vehicle in the world. While other vehicles such as bucket-wheel excavators like Bagger 293, dragline excavators like Big Muskie and power shovels like The Captain are significantly larger, they are powered by external sources.
TBM (Tunnel Boring Machine)
The title of world’s largest tunnel boring machine is actually held by “Big Bertha,” which is 57 feet in diameter. It was specifically built to dig underneath the city of Seattle, Washington for a 2-mile roadway, but broke down in the middle of the project. It’s estimated that it will take another 2-3 years to make the necessary repairs.
A tunnel boring machine (TBM), also known as a “mole”, is a machine used to excavate tunnels with a circular cross section through a variety of soil and rock strata. They may also be used for micro tunneling.
Being one of the Largest Construction Machines, it can bore through anything from hard rock to sand. Tunnel diameters can range from a meter (done with micro-TBMs) to 19.25 meters to date. Tunnels of less than a meter or so in diameter are typically done using trenchless construction methods or horizontal directional drilling rather than TBMs.
Tunnel boring machines are used as an alternative to drilling and blasting (D&B) methods in rock and conventional “hand mining” in the soil. TBMs have the advantages of limiting the disturbance to the surrounding ground and producing a smooth tunnel wall.
This significantly reduces the cost of lining the tunnel, and makes them suitable to use in heavily urbanized areas. The major disadvantage is the upfront cost. TBMs are expensive to construct, and can be difficult to transport.
The longer the tunnel, the less the relative cost of tunnel boring machines versus drill and blast methods. This is because tunneling with TBMs is much more efficient and results in shortened completion times, assuming they operate successfully.
Bagger 293 Bucket Wheel Excavator
The Bagger 293 is not only the largest excavator but also holds the record for the largest land vehicle in the history of the world. At 310 feet tall and 721 feet long, the 4-year-old German machine can move 100,000 cubic yards of dirt per day with the use of its 20 rotating buckets.
Bagger 293, previously known as the MAN TAKRAF RB293, is a giant bucket-wheel excavator made by the German industrial company TAKRAF, formerly an East German Kombinat.
It owns or shares some records for terrestrial vehicle size in the Guinness Book of Records. Bagger 293 was built in 1995, one of a group of similar sized ‘sibling’ vehicles such as the Bagger 281 (built in 1958), Bagger 285 (1975), Bagger 287 (1976), Bagger 288 (1978), Bagger 291 (1993), etc.
It is used in a brown coal mine near Hambach in Germany. It is called Bagger 293 by its current owner, RWE Power AG (the second-largest energy producer of Germany).
It was called RB293 by its former owner, the brown coal company Rheinbraun, which since 1932 was already a daughter company of RWE (but during an internal reshuffle in 2003 merged with another daughter company to form RWE Power AG).