Mining mammoths Caterpillar, Hitachi and Liebherr manufacture three of the largest excavators in the world. To put in perspective just how massive these machines are, as a start, imagine six or so cars stacked on top of one another. All three remarkable machines can be found on mine sites across the globe; however, when stacked up against each other, which excavator will come out on top?
Weighing in at a whopping 1,000 tonnes, the Cat 6090 FS holds the title of the biggest excavator in the world. Drawing inspiration from its predecessor, the Bucyrus RH400, the 6090 FS features an automatic roll-back limiter, faster lifting speeds, more durable components, an improved oil-flow system and hydraulics, reinforced undercarriage, and innovative onboard electronics, to name a few. With an astounding total engine rating of 3,360 kW, the excavator is equipped with twin Cummins QSK60 engines and a 52 m3 bucket with a payload of 93.6 tonne – permitting it to fill the largest Cat dump truck, the 797, in just four passes. Standing 10 metres tall, trust an American manufacturer to produce and perfect the big stuff.
Manufactured by Japanese OEM Hitachi, the EX8000-7 was built to perform in exceptionally challenging working conditions. With an operating weight of 837 tonnes, the excavator is powered by two engines with a combined engine rating of 2,900 kW. For reference, the EX1200-6, Hitachi’s flagship mining excavator, has a mere sixth of the size of this engine capacity. The colossus offers the versatility of being fitted with either a backhoe or shovel attachment with capacities of 45.3 m3 and 40 m3, respectively and has a lifting capacity of 150 tonnes. The machine’s high loading capacity and intense power enable it to execute large jobs fast. On top of safety and ease of use, the EX8000-7 boasts extra features like an onboard inclinometer, engine stop switches, and an auto-lubrication system.
LIEBHERR R 9800
Last but certainly not least is Liebherr’s R 9800. Introduced in 2019, the updated Generation 6 model was built with large-scale operations in mind. The German manufacturer’s machine is ever so slightly smaller than Hitachi’s, with an operating weight of 810 tonnes. This giant can be fitted with either a 42 m3 shovel or a 47.5 m3 backhoe bucket and is the perfect pairing with the Liebherr T 264 and T 284 mining trucks for maximum productivity. Rated up to 2,984kW, the R 9800 has the option of MTU or Cummins diesel engines or electric drive. With an independent cooling system, an electro-hydraulic system for efficient power transmission, and a closed loop swing circuit for safe deceleration and reduced fuel consumption, this excavator gets the job done quickly, conveniently, and safely.
Of course, everyone has their own opinion regarding which machine would take out top prize, and this question has been known to generate enthusiastic conversation around the crib room.
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