Here’s another fascinating look at Bagger 288, the largest land vehicle in the world. This $100 million machine was built by the Germany-based Krupp for the energy and mining firm Rheinbraun. It’s a bucket-wheel excavator or mobile strip mining machine. Continue reading for a video, more pictures, and additional information.
The Bagger 288 was built for the job of removing overburden before coal mining in Tagebau Hambach (Hambach stripmine), Germany. It can excavate 240,000 tons of coal or 240,000 cubic meters of overburden daily – the equivalent of a football field (soccer) dug to 30 m (98 ft) deep. The coal produced in one day fills 2400 coal wagons.
The excavator is up to 220 m (721 ft) long and approximately 96 m (315 ft) high. The Bagger’s operation requires 16.56 megawatts of externally supplied electricity. It can travel 2 to 10 m (6.6 to 33 ft) per minute (0.1 to 0.6 km/h). The chassis of the main section is 46 m (151 ft) wide and sits on 3 rows of 4 caterpillar track assemblies, each 3.8 m (12 ft) wide.
The large surface area of the tracks means the ground pressure of the Bagger 288 is very small (17.1 N/cm2 or 24.8 psi); this allows the excavator to travel over gravel, earth and even grass without leaving a significant track. It has a minimum turning radius of approximately 100 meters, and can climb a maximum gradient of 1:18.