Heavy equipment companies have manufactured and are also in the process of manufacturing bigger heavy equipment. The bigger the machines they are able to build, the more they get the recognition in the world of construction and mining. In order to get the work done faster, you either need more number of heavy equipment to do the work for you or you need one big giant machine that can take into account the work of all the machines put together. This one big machine may even take less than a day to dig up a place that is equal to the size of a football field. So big machines not only mean getting the work done sooner and employ lesser machines for the job. It also means doing the work with accuracy and maintaining the level of quality at any given point of time.
We will first be talking about a German made bucket-wheel excavator that perhaps does not look or sound anything close to an excavator. It is been christened as Bagger 288. The weight of this machine is around 13,500 tons and was built to excavate coal from a German coal mine. Right from day one, it seems that Bagger 288 is able to excavate around 240,000 tons of coal on a daily basis. This is simply phenomenal because if we compare it to something that we can comprehend, it means that it can dig up to 30 meter of a football field. As a matter of fact, the coal that is excavates on a single day can fill up around 2400 coal wagons. Speaking a bit about the excavator, it is up to 220 meter long and 96 meter high. The amount of electricity it requires externally is 16.56 megawatts and has a travel speed of 2-10 meter per minute. The minimum turning radius of the excavator is 100 meters and has an inclination of 1:18.
The Bagger 288 has 18 buckets installed in it which gives it the potential to hold around 6.6 cubic meters or overburden. However, the most difficult part is when the machine needs to be moved to some other place. It seems that it takes more time and money to dismantle the machine and take it piece by piece. On the other hand, they prefer porting the machine in one single piece. It has been agreed that utmost care needs to be taken to move the machine from one location to another. This also requires good number of skilled men who can ensure that while the machine is being ported, it does not damage the eco-system around it.
This seems to be an engineering marvel as it is even difficult to imagine something as huge as Bagger 288. Today, we also have an updated version of Bagger 288 which is Bagger 293 which weighs around 14,200 tons. Machines of this stature are one in million and the cost of producing such a piece is overtly expensive and also consumes a lot of time. So as long as heavy equipment companies do not get an order to produce something like this, they prefer to keep producing the conventional machines.