Mining excavators, or should we say “run of the mill” excavators on steroids, are impressive machines and tend to weigh in excess of 800 tonnes. We’ll skip right to the point and present for your pleasure the ten biggest hydraulic mining excavators currently in service. This classification is based purely on operating weight. Feel free to offer your suggestions in the comments.
So in alphanumerical order, we present:
10 Biggest Mining Excavators
Bucyrus RH 340/RH 340-B
The first entry on our list of biggest mining excavators is this monster that is claimed to be the tenth largest excavator currently in operations. The mighty Bucyrus RH 340 weighs in at 550 tonnes. This model is available in both shovel loading and backhoe configurations. The crawler alone has a length of 9.23 meters and its undercarriage has a width of 7 meters.
This impressive piece of kit has a shovel and backhoe bucket capacity of 34 cubic meters. It has shovel crowding force and breakout force of 2,240 kN and 1,640 kN respectively. Want more? Ok, the breakout and tear out forces of this excavator during backhoe operations are 1,270 kN and 1,240 kN.
These beasts are fitted with two Cummins K1500E engines, that’s 2,520 hp output. Not enough? Why not install two QSK45 diesel engines to give you 3,000 hp at 1,800 rpm?
[Image Source: Unatrac]
Bucyrus have two entries on our list of biggest mining excavators for a good reason. The Bucyrus RH400, now owned by Caterpillar, is said to hold the title of the world’s biggest hydraulic excavator. This monster is a front shovel excavator and weighs in at around 980 tonnes. This mine chewer has an undercarriage width of 8.6 meters and crawler length of 10.98 meters.
Just one scoop of the shovel can remove 45 cubic meters of material. With a crowd force of 3,300 kN and a breakout force of 2,400 kN we defy any unfortunate rock face to resist this machine. The Bucyrus RH400 is powered by two 16 cylinder Cat 3516B or Cummins QSK60 diesel engines.
Demag H740 OS
Apparently the fourth biggest excavator in the world, this impressive piece of kit has an operating weight of 744 tonnes. This beast has been operational since 1999 and was designed for the abrasive oil sands for KMC Mining, Canada.
This machine has an impressive shovel capacity of 40 cubic meters and a breakout force of 2,320 kN. It is powered by two 16 cylinder CAT 3516B diesel engines spewing out 4,000 hp at 1,800 rpm.
Said to be the eighth biggest excavator in the world the Hitachi EX5550-6 began its impressive service in 2008. With a standard operating weight of 522 tonnes, it also comes in an electrical version weighing in at 516 tonnes. This machine has an undercarriage length of 9.35 meters and width of 7.4 meters.
It’s loading shovel bucket capacity is 27 cubic metres and backhoe bucket can scoop 29 cubic meters. Crowd and breakout forces can exceed 1,570 kN. The backhoe you ask? Well, that can provide digging and crowd forces of 1,370 kN and 1,240 kN respectively.
Considered to be the seventh biggest excavator in the world this beast weighs in at over 500 tonnes. It was the successor to the impressive EX5500 series. This monster has an operating weight, with shovel attachment, of 533 tonnes. The undercarriage you ask? Its length is 9.35 meters and width is 7.4 meters.
With a loading shovel bucket capacity of 29 cubic meters and backhoe of 34 cubic meters, this machine certainly comes in handy. Crowding and breakout forces are 1,520 kN and 1,590 kN respectively. These machines are powered by twin 16 cylinder Cummins QSKTA50-CE diesel engines with 3,000 hp at 1,800 rpm.
Supposedly the second biggest hydraulic excavator in the world, the Hitachi EX8000-6 is the bigger brother of the Hitachi EX5600-6. Weighing in at 811 tonnes, it comes with both shovel and backhoe attachments. The first of these beasts was delivered to Stanwell’s Meandu coal mine in Australia in 2013.
The Hitachi EX8000-6 is 10.5 meters long and has an undercarriage width of 8.65 meters. Its bucket has a capacity of 45 cubic meters. Crowding and breakout shovel forces are 2,870 kN and 2,230 kN respectively. Two 16 cylinder Cummins QSKTA60-CE diesel engines power the monster wth 3,800 hp at 1,800 rpm. It also comes in an electric version.
With and operating weight of 495 tonnes the Komatsu PC5500-6 is the apparently the ninth biggest hydraulic excavator in service. The PC5500-6 has an undercarriage of 9.72 meters and is 7.54 meters wide.
The PC5500-6’s shovel and backhoe have a capacity of 29 cubic meters. Crowd and breakout forces of its shovel are 1,870 kN and 1,865 kN. The whole rig is powered by two 12 cylinder Komatsu SDA12V159E-2 diesel engines producing 2,520 hp at 1,800 rpm.
Supposedly the fifth largest hydraulic excavator, the Komatsu PC8000-6 has an operating weight of around 710 tonnes. It comes with both shovel and backhoe attachments.
This beast has a track length of 7.955 meters and an overall track width of 9 meters, its bucket size is 38 cubic meters. Arm crowd force and bucket crowd forces are 1,765 kN and 1,961 kN. Its maximum ground level reach of the bucket is 19.37 meters. This machine is powered by two 16 cylinder Komatsu SDA16B 160 diesel engines pumping out 4,020 hp at 1,800 rpm.
Liebherr R 996 B
Our penultimate entry is the biggest mining excavators is the world’s sixth biggest hydraulic excavator. This machine’s operating weight, with shovel attachment, is 676 tonnes, 672 tonnes if you add the backhoe attachment. Undercarriage length is 10 meters and 7.9 meters wide.
Shovel and backhoe capacities for this monster totals 26 cubic meters. It has digging and breakout forces of 1,550 kN and 1,670 kN for the backhoe and crowding/breakout forces of 2,430 kN and 1,905 kN for the shovel. The whole rig is powered by two 16 cylinder Cummins K 1800 E diesel engines spewing out 3,000 hp at 1,800 rpm.
And finally, last but not least, the Liebherr R9800. Built by Liebherr in 2008 at their Colmar factory, France, this machine is ranked the world’s third biggest hydraulic excavator. With a shovel attachment, it weighs in at 810 tonnes, 800 tonnes with just the backhoe.
Its undercarriage measures 10.84 meters long and it shovel and backhoe capacities are 42 cubic meters. Maximum crowd and breakout forces for its shovel at 3,900 kN and 2,395 kN respectively. The backhoe has digging and breakout forces of 1,760 kN and 1,980 kN. The machine is powered by two 16 cylinder Cummins QSK60 diesel engines producing 4,000 hp and 1,800 rpm. It can also be powered by two 12 cylinder MTU diesel engines generating 3,820 hp at 1,800 rpm.