Mining excavators are giant machines and the largest models in the world can weigh more than 800t.
Mining-technology.com has ranked the ten biggest hydraulic mining excavators currently in service, based on their operating weight.
The Bucyrus RH400, owned by Caterpillar, is the world’s biggest hydraulic excavator. It was originally launched by Terex in Germany in 1997 but Bucyrus acquired the mining equipment division of Terex in 2010. Bucyrus was acquired by Caterpillar in 2011.
The Bucyrus RH400 is a front-shovel excavator weighing approximately 889t. The undercarriage width is 8.6m and the crawler length is 10.98m. The shovel on the excavator has the capacity to hold 45m³ of rock in a single scoop. The arm crowd force and the breakout force of the shovel are up to 3,300kN and 2,400kN, respectively.
The hydraulic excavator is powered by two 16-cylinder Cat 3516B or Cummins QSK60 diesel engines with a maximum power output of 4,400hp at 1,800rpm.
The Hitachi EX8000-6, launched by Hitachi Construction Machinery in 2012, is currently the second largest hydraulic excavator. It weighs 811t and is available with both shovel and backhoe attachments. The first Hitachi EX8000-6 ultra-large backhoe excavator was delivered to Stanwell’s Meandu coal mine in Australia in September 2013.
The hydraulic excavator has a 9.9m high cab, is 10.5m-long, with an 8.65m-wide undercarriage and a maximum digging reach of 20.5m. The excavator has a bucket capacity of 45m³ and a shovel capacity of 40m³, that can remove 75t of in a single load. The crowding and breakout force of the shovel are 2,870kN and 2,230kN, respectively.
The Hitachi EX8000-6 is equipped with two 16-cylinder Cummins QSKTA60-CE diesel engines producing 3,880hp at 1,800rpm. The electric version of the excavator, known as Hitachi EX8000E-6, comes with two Hitachi TFOA-KK electric motors with a total power output of 2,400kW.
The excavator in third place is the Liebherr R9800. It was built by Liebherr at its Colmar factory in France in 2008. The excavator is available with a shovel attachment, weighing 810t, or a backhoe attachment at 800t.
The cab height is 9.91m and the undercarriage measures 10.84m long. Both the backhoe bucket capacity and the shovel capacity of is 42m³. The maximum crowd force and a breakout force of the shovel are 3,090kN and 2,395kN respectively. The digging and breakout forces of the excavator in backhoe operation are 1,760kN and 1,980kN respectively.
The excavator is fitted with either two 16-cylinder Cummins QSK60 diesel engines producing 4,000hp power at 1,800rpm or two 12-cylinder MTU diesel engines generating 3,820hp at 1,800rpm.
Demag H740 OS
With an operating weight of 744t, the Demag H740 OS excavator is the fourth biggest mining excavator. It has been in service since 1999 and was specially designed for the abrasive oil sands works of KMC Mining in Canada.
The Demag H740 OS is a front-shovel excavator with a wider car body and trackpad than its predecessors. The shovel loading capacity is 40m³ with a breakout force of 2,320kN.
The excavator is powered by two 16-cylinder Cat 3516B diesel engines producing up to 4,000hp at 1,800rpm.
Komatsu PC8000-6 has an operating weight of up to 710t, making it the fifth largest hydraulic mining excavator. It is available with both shovel and backhoe attachments.
The ultra-class mining excavator has a track length of 7.955m on the ground, an overall track width of 9m and a bucket size of 38m³. The arm crowd force and the bucket crowd force are 1,765kN and 1,961kN respectively. The maximum ground level reach of the bucket is 19.37m and the maximum digging depth is 8.4m.
The Komatsu PC8000-6 is powered by two 16-cylinder Komatsu SDA16V160 diesel engines with a power output of 4,020hp at 1,800rpm.
Liebherr R 996 B
The Liebherr R 996 B is ranked at number six in the world. The excavator’s operating weight with shovel attachment is 676t and 672t with the backhoe attachment. The vehicle has a cab height of 9.26m and an undercarriage of 10m in length and 7.9m in width.
The shovel and backhoe capacity of the Liebherr R 996 B excavator is 36m³. The digging and the breakout forces during backhoe operation are 1,500kN and 1,670kN respectively. The maximum crowding force and the breakout force of its shovel are 2,430kN and 1,905kN respectively.
The Liebherr R 996 B is powered by two 16-cylinder Cummins K 1800 E diesel engines producing 3,000hp at 1,800rpm.
With an operating weight of up to 537t, the Hitachi EX5600-6 is the seventh biggest hydraulic mining excavator in the world. It was launched in 2012 and succeeded the EX5500-6 model. The operating weight of the EX5600-6 with shovel attachment is 533t. The overall cab height of the excavator is 8.6m and the undercarriage length and width are 9.35m and 7.4m respectively.
The loading shovel bucket capacity of the excavator is up to 29m³ and the backhoe bucket capacity is up to 34m³. The crowding and breakout forces of the shovel are 1,520kN and 1,590kN respectively. The crowd force and digging force during backhoe operation are 1,300kN and 1,480kN respectively.
The Hitachi EX5600-6 comes with two 16-cylinder Cummins QSKTA50-CE diesel engines with a total output of 3,000hp at 1,800rpm.
In position number eight is the Hitachi EX5500-6, which was launched in 2008. The standard model has an operating weight of 522t and comes in an electric version with an operating weight of 516t. The overall cab height is 8.6m and the undercarriage length and width are 9.35m and 7.4m respectively.
The loading shovel bucket capacity of the excavator is 27m³ and the backhoe bucket capacity is 29m³. The crowd force and the breakout force of the loading shovel are up to 1,570kN. The crowd force and the digging force of the backhoe are 1,240kN and 1,370kN respectively.
Two 16-cylinder Cummins QSKTA50-CE diesel engines producing 2,800hp at 1,800rpm power the excavator. The Hitachi EX5500E-6 comes with two Hitachi TFOA-KK electric motors with a total rated power output of 1,720kW.
The Komatsu PC5500-6 is the ninth biggest hydraulic mining excavator in service, with an operating weight of up to 495t with the shovel attachment. The excavator weighs up to 500t, has 8.6m high cab and an undercarriage that is 9.72m long and 7.54m wide.
The excavator’s shovel and backhoe bucket capacity is 29m³. The crowd force and the breakout forces of the shovel are 1,870kN and 1,865kN respectively. The shovel’s maximum digging reach is 16.5m and the breakout and tear out forces during backhoe operation are 1,450kN and 1,290kN respectively. The maximum digging reach of the backhoe bucket is 19.8m.
The Komatsu PC5500-6 is powered by two 12-cylinder Komatsu SDA12V159E-2 diesel engines producing 2,520hp at 1,800rpm. The electric version of the excavator comprises two squirrel-cage induction motors with a rated output of 1,800kW.
Bucyrus RH 340/RH 340-B
The tenth largest excavator operating in the world is the Bucyrus RH 340/RH 340-B. The machine weighs in at 498t and is available for both shovel loading and backhoe operations. The crawler length is 9.23m and the undercarriage width is 7m.
The Bucyrus RH 340/RH 340-B has a shovel and backhoe bucket capacity of 34m³. The crowding force and breakout forces of the shovel are 2,240kN and 1,640kN respectively. The tear out and breakout forces of the excavator during backhoe operation are 1,270kN and 1,240kN respectively.
The excavators are fitted with either two Cummins K1500E engines with 2,520hp output or two QSK45 diesel engines producing 3,000hp at 1,800rpm.