Saturday, August 18, 2012

World's Largest Vehicle: Bagger 288

Bagger 288

Bagger 288 (Excavator 288) is the world's largest vehicle, built by the German company Krupp for the energy and mining firm Rheinbraun, is a bucket-wheel excavator or mobile strip mining machine. When its construction was completed in 1978, Bagger 288 superseded NASA's Crawler-Transporter, used to carry the Space Shuttle and Apollo Saturn V launch vehicle, as the largest land vehicle in the world.
It is 311 feet tall and 705 feet long. It weighs 45,500 tons, which makes it heavier than RMS Titanic.

Why It Is Used?

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 metres 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.

By February 2001, the excavator had completely exposed the coal source at the Tagebau Hambach mine and was no longer needed there. In three weeks it made a 22-kilometer (14 mi) trip to the Tagebau Garzweiler, traveling across Autobahn 61, the river Erft, a railroad line, and several roads. The move cost nearly 15 million German marks and required a team of seventy workers.

Rivers were crossed by placing large steel pipes for the water to flow through and providing a smooth surface over the pipes with rocks and gravel. Special grass was seeded to smooth its passage over valuable terrain. Moving Bagger 288 in one piece was more economical than disassembling the excavator and moving it piece by piece.

Bagger 288 is one of a group of similar sized and built vehicles, such as Bagger 281 (built in 1958), Bagger 285 (1975), Bagger 287 (1976), Bagger 293 (1995), etc.


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