Majestic in its size, awe-inspiring in its construction. This is one of the latest achievements?
Majestic in its size, awe-inspiring in its construction. This is one of the latest achievements of the famous West German works of Herr Von Krupp, one of Europes leading steel magnates,
Rolling steadily forward on its huge tracks, this huge open cast dredge is currently working in a surface mine close to Neuss in Germany - moving over 100,000 tons of earth every 24 hours.
Dwarfing everything around it, the dredge scoops up the earth with the aid of a series of rotating buckets - passing the soil back along a long line of endless belts and spilling it out into a mineral train which moves slowly under the end of an extending gantry arm.
But, despite its tremendous size, operation of the dredge has been reduced to the minimum of complication and only three men are needed to work the machine as it continues to dig up hundreds of tons of earth every hour.
Some vital statistics. The gantry carrying the bucket wheel can be extended over 12 metres in order follow the excavating face without moving the caterpillar tracks on which the machine is mounted.
Each of the buckets carries several hundred litres of soil and the complete control of all operations is carried out from the drivers cab of the excavator.
The cabin and control desk in a giant bucket wheel excavator is equipped with special automatic synchronization. This equipment automatically controls the movement of the whole plant leaving the driver free to give his full attention to the actual work of excavation.