8 massive mining machines that will blow your mind

The monster of the mines

If you wanted to find one place on earth with some of the largest machines on the planet, you’d visit a mine.

Thousands of cubic metres of material needs to be shifted to get to the coal and ore miners are after so in the race to dig, crush and move more and more material, machines get larger and larger.

The biggest machine of them all is the Bucket Wheel Excavator (BWE). The Tarkaf Bagger 293 BWE holds the Guinness World Record as the largest mobile land vehicle ever built.

Bucket Wheel Excavators are used to move thousands of tonnes of overburden in coal mines. The Bagger 293 has 18 buckets on its wheel, each with a capacity of 6.8 tonnes. They work day and night and can shift 240,000 cubic metres of dirt in a day. That’s more progress than 40,000 people with shovels could make!

It’s hard to get your head around how big these machines really are. The Bagger 293 is 93 metres tall. That’s half as tall again as the Wheel of Brisbane, 4 metres taller than the Brisbane City Hall clock and 22 metres taller than the Story Bridge.

And at 225 metres long, half the length of the Queen Street Mall, it won’t fit into the Gabba or Suncorp Stadium.

Hydraulic Excavator can shovel 65 cubic metres of material

Hydrualic shovels are used to dig material and load trucks. Caterpillar currently has the largest excavator available. The Cat 6120B H FS has a 65 m3 bucket capacity - one bucket holds enough to enable you to put 16cm of top soil over a standard 405m2 Brisbane house block!

The machine is 11.924m high, with the tracks alone at 3.2m high.

360 tonne dump truck

Weighing 360 tonnes empty and capable of carrying 450 tonnes of material, the BelAZ 450 is the heaviest and largest dump truck in the world.

Powered by two 65 litre, 16 cylinder, four cycle MTU diesel engines generating 2300 horsepower each, this mighty mover has eight wheels with two turntable axles and four wheel hydraulic steering.

In terms of cubic metres, the BelAZ 450 can carry 269.5m3 of material - enough to cover 4 standard houseblocks with 16 cm of top soil in one load.

Super Dozer

The Komatsu D-575A-3 Super Dozer (SD) is the biggest dozer made, weighing 152.6 tonnes and capable of moving 70 – 100 cubic metres of material depending on the blade you select.

It’s almost as long as two Kenworth k200’s end to end, and slightly wider than one is long.

 Tunnel boring machine

Also known as a mole a tunnel boring machine is used to cut through rock and reinforce the tunnel as it goes. The Herrenknecht EPB Shield S-300 is the largest tunnel boring machine ever built.

The two cutting wheels together create a maximum cutting diameter of 15.2m and it blasts through rock with a thrust force of 316,000kN at 400bar.

In theory, the Herrenknecht EPB Shield S-300 has enough installed torque to lift a fully loaded Boeing 747 with a 30m long lever arm.


Cone Crushers are often used to reduce carbon emissions and cost associated with on-site ore trucking.

Metso’s Lokotrack LT200 is the largest fully mobile, track mounted cone crusher in the world with the capacity to crush 2,268 tonnes per hour and handle ore feed lumps up to 1.2m in size.

The 360 tonne crusher was purchased to work in a copper mine in Khazakstan.


Another Guiness Record holder in a mine site is the LeTourneau L-2350 – the largest earthmover in the world.

This whopping piece of equipment can lift a 65 tonne payload in its 40.52 m3 bucket up to 7.3m high and reach to 3.5m.

The L-2350 is powered by either a 16 Cylinder 65.0 Liters Detroit Diesel 4-cycle Turbocharged Aftercooler Engine or 16 cylinder 60.0 Liter Cummins Diesel 4-cycle Turbocharged Aftercooler Engine, both producing 2,300 horsepower.


Draglines have been used for in surface mining for years to remove overburden above coal. Most of them are around the same size, except for Big Muskie, built for the Ohio Coal Company in 1969.

Muskie was the only Bucyrus 4250-W ever built and is still the largest dragline ever. Big Muskie is said to have moved more than 465 million cubic metres of material in its roughly two decades of operation.
With a 170 m3 bucket capacity, Muskie was 67.82m high, 46.18m wide and had a 94 m boom.

National Heavy Haulage specialises in moving heavy and oversize mining parts and equipment anywhere in Australia. With a modern fleet of Prime Movers and a wide range of specialty heavy haulage trailers, we can ensure your heavy equipment arrives safe and sound, on time, where you need it.

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