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Monsters of Mining

Explore the biggest beasts in the industry

Big Muskie Bucyrus-Erie 4250-W Walking Dragline


The Bucyrus Erie 4250-W, better known as 'Big Muskie' had a 220 cubic yard bucket (168.20  cubic meters), 310 foot boom (94.49 meters) and weighed over 13,000 tons (11,793 metric tons)!  This beast was as wide as an 8 lane highway, two full size buses could fit in it's bucket and it used as much electricity as a town of 27,000 people.  Near the end of its career, Big Muskie was only run at night, as the electric rates were cheaper.  

Due to the massive size, Big Muskie had to be constructed on site.  Beginning in 1967, more than 300 railcars and 250 trucks hauled pieces into Muskingum Mine where it took a team of engineers over two years to erect this beast.  Big Muskie dug its first bucket in 1969 and worked until 1991 for the Central Ohio Coal Company.  It pushed the limits of mining equipment engineering in its time.  The 8 cables that manipulated the bucket, 4 hoist cables and 4 drag cables, were each 5 inches in diameter!  The five smallest moving parts... the men who ran this Monster of Mining and kept her digging.

Big Muskie was scrapped in 1998.  The only remaining piece of this beautiful beast is the massive bucket which is on display at the Miner's Memorial Park in McConnelsville, Ohio.


The Marion 6360, better known as 'The Captain' had a 180 cubic yard bucket (137 cubic meters), 215 foot boom (65.5 meters), weighed 14,000 tons (12,700 metric tons) and sat on 8 crawler tracks!  The 8 crawler tracks were each 16 feet tall (4.88 meters) and 45 feet long (13.72 meters).  This Monster of Mining stood as tall as a 21 story building.  It dug its first bucket for the Southwestern Illinois Coal Company in 1965 and worked until September, 1991, when tragedy struck and it was destroyed by a fire.  

The burnt flag from the gantry is on display at Arch Coals City Place One Corporate Office.  No other pieces of The Captain remain today, gone... but not forgotten.

The Captain Marion 6360 Stripping Shovel
Bagger 293 Bucket Wheel


The Bagger 293 is a staggering 315 feet tall (96 meters), 740 feet long (225.55 meters) and weighs nearly 15,000 tons (13,607.76 metric tons).  It was built in Germany in 1995 and requires a crew of 5 to operate.  This Monster bucket wheel excavator can move over 8.5 million cubic feet of earth per day - the equivalent of digging a hole the length of a football field and 80 feet deep everyday! 

The Bagger was built by MAN/TAKRAF.  It took over three weeks for it to make the 80-mile (128.75 kilometer) journey from the factory to the Garzweiler Mine it first called home, traveling at just 0.6 mph (.97 kmh).

This Monster uses a large 70 foot rotating wheel (21.34 meters) with a series of 18 buckets attached, almost 20 cubic yards (15.29 cubic meters) each, to pick up and them dump its load onto a conveyor belt.



The P&H 4800XPC boasts a 92 cubic yard bucket (70.34 cubic meters) and is one of the newer Monsters in our list, introduced in 2018.  Alongside its 135 ton payload (122.47 metric tons), it features a cut height of 62 feet (18.90), a cut radius of ​nearly 79 feet (24.08 meters) and a maximum dump reach of over 63 feet (19.2 meters).  This beast can load a 400 ton truck (362.87 metric tons) in just 3 passes and is 20% larger than its little brother, the 4100.

P&H 4800XPC Loading Shovel
Caterpiller 6120 Front Shovel


The  Caterpillar 6120 was constructed at the Caterpillar manufacturing facility in Milwaukee, Wisconsin but never went into production.  

This Monster was aimed at delivering three or four pass loading of ultra-class mining trucks.  With an operating weight of 1,400 tons (1270.06 metric tons) and bucket capacity up to 85 cubic yards (64.99 cubic meters) coupled with an innovative hybrid technology to cut fuel use (by ton) by an estimated 20%, this beast would have been quite a monster.


The Caterpillar 6090, formerly know as the O&K RH400, was introduced in 2018 and weighs in at 1,102 tons (999.72 metric tons) and has a bucket capacity of up to nearly 72 cubic yards (55.05 cubic meters).  This Monster is no longer in production, but there are a few still working today.  The operating seat is elevated 28 feet (8.5 meters), nearly 3 stores high, and it moves 103 tons of material (93.44 metric tons) in one bucket!

Caterpillar 6090 Front Shovel
Liebherr 9800 Excavator


The Liebherr R 9800 ​measures over 78 feet long (23.77 meters), 34 feet wide (10.36 meters) and stands nearly 39 feet tall (11.89 meters). It is powered by two 4,000 horsepower engines with V16 cylinders that allow it to reach a top speed of 1.6mph (2.57 kph) This Monster has a bucket capacity of 68.1 cubic yards (52.07 cubic meters) and a digging depth of almost 30 feet (9.14 meters)!  The R 9800 debuted in 2014 and remains in production today.


The Marion 305-M was the only of its kind built.  It boasted a 24 cubic yard bucket (18.35 cubic meters) with a boom of 195 feet (59.44 meters)!  It has a diesel/electric set-up with a genset, which refers to a generator and engine combination - an engine drives the generator, which provides the power used to run other equipment.   This Monster is still in existence and while not working (at the time of this writing) it is currently located in Australia.  

Marion 305 M Crawler Dragline
Belaz 75710 Dump Truck


The Belaz 75710 was launched by the Belarusian Company Belaz in October 2013 under an order from a Russian mining company.  This Monster is over 67 feet long (20.42 meters), 26 feet high (7.92 meters), 32 feet wide (9.75 meters) and has a payload capacity of 450 tons (408.23 metric tons)!  Its unique feature is that it features 8 large size Michelin tubeless pneumatic tires with both front & back being steering axels.  It is powered by a 16-cylinder diesel engine that produces over 4,600 horsepower.


The Komatsu P&H L-2350 was designed to center-load haul trucks with capacities of up to 400 tons and can have up to a 70 cubic yard bucket (53.52 cubic meters).  This Monster currently holds the Guinness World Record for Largest Wheel Loader!  It provides an operating payload of 80 tons (72.57 metric tons).  Previously known as Le Tourneau, the P&H L-2350 is now part of the Komatsu Mining product range.  It was part of a partnership with First Quantum Minerals to supply a wheel loader for their operation at Sentinel Copper Mine in Zambia.

Komatsu L-2350 Wheel Loader
ACCO Super Dozer


The ACCO Dozer was built by Umberto Acco, an Italian company to be exported to Libya in the early 1980's to assist in land development.  Due to a trade embargo imposed upon the country of Libya in 1986, it was never shipped to the intended location and has never been put into any operational use.  It is currently stored at a gardening company in the same town as its construction, moved under its own power, to be preserved and is intended to eventually put on display.

This Monster is 40 feet long (12.19 meters), 23 feet wide (7.01 meters), stands 10 feet tall (3.05 meters) and has a blade that is 23 feet wide (7.01 meters) and 9 feet high (2.74 meters)!  It is comprised of mainly Caterpillar parts, however due to the size, many other components were specially adapted.


The Komatsu D575 is a tractor crawler produced in a SR (Super Ripper) configuration or a SD (Super Dozer) dedicated bulldozer.  It was designed to be used in massive open mines and has been in production since 1991.  The SD can push up to 90 cubic yards (68.81 cubic meters) of material per pass.  This Monster is over 24 feet wide (7.32 meters), 16 feet high (4.88 meters), 38 feet long (11.58 meters) and weights over 168 tons (152.41 metric tons)!   Fun Fact... because of its tracks, the D575 is only pressing on the ground with about 23 lbs of pressure (10.43 kg) per square inch.

Komatsu D575 Bulldozer
ACCO Grader


The ACCO Grader's story mirrors that of the ACCO Dozer, being built by Umberto Acco, an Italian company to be exported to Libya in the early 1980's to assist in land development.  Due to a trade embargo imposed upon the country of Libya in 1986, it was never shipped to the intended location and was never put into operational use.  Unlike its counterpart, it did not survive time in storage and has been dismantled and sold for scrap.

This Monster measured more than 24 feet (7.32 meter), weighed 200 tons (181.44 metric tons) and had a 33 foot blade (10.06 meters)! It had a total of 12 tires, two per hub, and duel engines - a 1,000HP in the rear and a 700HP engine in the front.


The Champion 100-T was first introduced in 1975 as the largest production grader and it retains that title today due to the demise of the ACCO grader.  This Monster was powered by a 700HP motor, either a Cummins VT-1710-C700 or a Detroit Diesel GM 16v-71T and weighed in at over 101 tons (91.63 metric tons)!  It was equipped with a 24 foot blade (7.32 meters) and was designed primarily for maintaining hauling roads in giant surface mines.

Champion 100T Grader
Pit Viper PV351 Blast Holl Drill


The Pit Viper PV351 was introduced at MINExpo in 2000 and uses either vertical or angle single pass drilling.  This Monster can drill a hole as big as 16 inches  in diameter (25.4 mm) and down to depths of 65 feet (19.81 meters) in a single pass!   With tower up, it stands nearly 104 feet high (31.70 meters) and is over 53 feet long (16.15 meters) and 26 feet wide (7.92 meters).  There are currently more than 200 operating in more than 10 countries.


The K-TEC 1263 was designed for push loading while being pulled with a 40-ton (36.29 metric tons), 450+ horsepower rock truck power unit.  It was created for long haul massive earthmoving projects .  This Monster has a 63 cubic yard (48.17 cubic meters) heaped capacity scraper with a max load rating of over 75 tons (68.04 metric tons)!  It weighs in at 30.5 tons (27.67 metric tons), measures over 10 feet high (3.05 meters), 14 feet wide (4.27 meters) and 44 feet long (13.41 meters).

K-TEC 1263 Scraper


Mentionable Monsters

Silver Spade Bucyrus-Erie 1950-B Stripping Shovel


The Bucyrus-Erie 1950-B, better known as The Silver Spade, was one of two of this model built, the other being the GEM of Egypt.  It went into  production in Southeastern Ohio in late 1965, boasting a 105 cubic yard bucket (80.28 cubic meters) and 200 foot boom (60.96 meters).  This Monster digs over 157 tons of earth (142.43 metric tons) in a single bite, swings 180 degrees and deposits the load up to 390 feet (118.87 meters) away at heights up to 140 feet (42.67!

Its final production day was April 3, 2006, after an astonishing 40 year run.  Attempts to purchase and preserve this beast from Consol, making it a centerpiece of a mining museum exhibit, fell short and it was sadly dismantled in February, 2007.  The Silver Spade holds the title of the longest working career of any stripping shovel and parts of her are still on display today at the Harrison Coal & Reclamation Historical Park in New Athens, Ohio.


The Bucyrus-Erie 1850-B was constructed in 1962 for the Pittsburg & Midway Coal Mining Company.  It is the largest stripping shovel still in existence.  Big Brutus ran 24 hours a day for 11 years and ceased operations in April, 1974.  It weighs in at 5,500 tons (4,989.51 metric tons), has a 150 foot boom (45.72 meters) and 90 cubic yard bucket (68.81 cubic meters).  This Monster stands 16 stories tall and has an 88 foot long dipper handle allowing for a maximum digging depth of 69 feet (21.03 meters) and dumping height of 101 feet (30.78 meters)!

Big Brutus was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2018 and is proudly on display in West Mineral, Kansas.

Big Brutus Bucyrus-Erie 1850-B Stripping Shovel
Ursa Major Bucyrus-Erie 2570-WS Dragline


The Bucyrus-Erie 2570-WS, better known as Ursa Major, is the largest dragline currently operating in the world.  This Monster has a 160 cubic yard bucket, 360 foot boom (109.73 meters) and weights in at nearly 7,000 tons (6,350.29 metric tons).  It went into operation in early 2001 at the Black Thunder Coal Mine in Wyoming where itremains in production to this day.

Her sister machine is (at the time of this writing) currently in Australia but is parked and not in operation.


The Nasa Crawler Transporter was designed by Bucyrus Erie with Marion winning the bid and completing the project.  The transporter is responsible for transporting the space shuttle from the Vehicle Assembly Building to the launchpad traveling at a speed of 1mph (1.6 kph).  It can travel up to 2mph (3.22 kph) unloaded, has a diesel tank that holds 5,000 gallons (18,927.05 liters) and uses 1 gallon (3.79 liters) per 32 feet (9.75 meters) that it travels.

This monster weighs 3,325 tons (3,016.39 metric tons) - as much as 15 statues of liberty or 1,000 pick up trucks - and has a max load capacity of 9,000 tons (8,164.66 metric tons)!  The transporter is 131 feet long (39.93 meters), 114 feet wide (34.75 meters) and has a max height of 26 feet (7.92 meters).

NASA Crawler Transporter
GOSHO Grab Dredger


The GOSHO, worlds largest grab dredger, differs from conventional dredgers  bucket hoisting up/down and opening/closing operation is driven by hydraulic cylinders.  Its 261 cubic yard bucket (200 cubic meters) contains an electric hydraulic system within bucket frame itself.  This Monster was built in 2000 and is 328 feet long (100 meters), over 118 feet wide (36 meters) with a hull height of nearly 20 feet (6 meters) and weighs in just over at 7,773 tons (7052 metric tons)!

With a total height of approximately 164 feet (50 meters), this beast can dredge up to depths of 157 feet (48 meters) with a max dredger hoist of 760 tons (690 metric tons) and working radius of over 101 feet (31 meters).

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