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Beyond monster trucks
November 18, 2006 3:02 PM   Subscribe

Bagger 288 eats bulldozers. The largest land vehicle in the world (yes, bigger than the NASA crawler-transporter, with its storied history) looks like it escaped from a post apocalyptic thriller, featuring an excavating blade 22 meters in diameter. The world's biggest vehicle overall, meanwhile, is delivering Christmas presents, which seems less macho than strip mining 76,000 cubic meters of coal a day.
posted by blahblahblah (49 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Awesome.
posted by stinkycheese at 3:20 PM on November 18, 2006


I like this one...

="http://static.flickr.com/117/298566491_1fa701b3cb_o.jpg">

Very Star Wars...
posted by Artw at 3:32 PM on November 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


Nuts, it worked in preview...
posted by Artw at 3:33 PM on November 18, 2006


I want one. You know, for weekends.
posted by Paragon at 3:34 PM on November 18, 2006


That's HUUUUUUGE!
</tinyelvis>
posted by sharpener at 3:35 PM on November 18, 2006


Smaller than I thought it would be.
posted by knapah at 4:34 PM on November 18, 2006


Nice, but I bet it's hard to double-park in town.
posted by ORthey at 4:50 PM on November 18, 2006


When can we expect the hybrid model?
posted by moonbird at 4:54 PM on November 18, 2006


I at a bulldozer once. It wasn't bad, but, on the whole, I prefer knishes.
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:03 PM on November 18, 2006


I've seen films of this beastie in action, the Bagger driver has to keep a special watch on what is being snarfed up by the machine and is ideally placed to do so. I can't see how he missed seeing the dozer. Also the rest of the mine equipment operatives were surely informed of Bagger's daily schedule, and, you would imagine, stay out of it's way. I'm sure a few people got he sack because of this incident.
posted by Joeforking at 5:24 PM on November 18, 2006


That's the largest container vessel, but I bet there are supertankers larger.
posted by thirteenkiller at 5:29 PM on November 18, 2006


Each year, humans move more earth and soil than glaciers, wind erosion, mountain building (plate tectonic uplift), and volcanoes combined.
posted by stbalbach at 5:30 PM on November 18, 2006


Source for the above stat: Something New Under the Sun
posted by stbalbach at 5:31 PM on November 18, 2006


Each year, humans move more earth and soil than glaciers, wind erosion, mountain building (plate tectonic uplift), and volcanoes combined.

I guess that would explain the term "glacial pace."
posted by JekPorkins at 5:38 PM on November 18, 2006


Thanks for the post. I saw an unattributed picture of the Bagger six months ago and wondered if it was some strange Photshop project.
From the link I now understand that the picture was taken while the Bagger was en route to the mine - and very odd it looked travelling through the countryside.
posted by speug at 5:47 PM on November 18, 2006


That's the largest container vessel, but I bet there are supertankers larger.

For what it's worth... the only ship on that list before the Emma Mærsk that hasn't ben scrapped yet, the Knock Nevis, is a now a permanently moored floating container. The Hellespont Fairfax is about 50 feet shorter than the Emma Mærsk, but has almost three times the deadweight, a deeper draft, a wider beam, a greater height, and a greater overall volume and capacity (but, you know, it's all about the length of things).
posted by peeedro at 5:54 PM on November 18, 2006


That's the largest container vessel, but I bet there are supertankers larger.

There were, but they've all been scrapped except for the Knock Nevis - which is permanently moored off Qatar, pretty much disqualifying it as a vehicle.
posted by cillit bang at 5:56 PM on November 18, 2006


And, if you're into big ships, The Tankship Tromedy is an interesting read, as seen here.
posted by peeedro at 6:00 PM on November 18, 2006


Here's the Bagger 288 and its handiwork on Gmaps (zoom in to see the thing itself). Zoom out and you can see a couple other strip mines.
posted by dhartung at 6:01 PM on November 18, 2006


I know I've done this before...

The Wiki list of longest ships says it's incomplete. But, anyway, I meant by weight and capacity. There are lots of ships larger in weight and capacity. Length is so overrated!

Incidentally, I may have messed up my definitions of gross tonnage and deadweight tonnage on that old post, but no matter.
posted by thirteenkiller at 6:10 PM on November 18, 2006


So that disclaimer on the Wiki article was added because I complained about it last time too, apparently.
posted by thirteenkiller at 6:14 PM on November 18, 2006


I've been on retired dredging machines in Alaska and they're pretty awesome in an entirely environmentally unsound way. They were designed to eat a mountain on one side and shit out gold from the other (dumping lots of mercury into the environment at the same time). There was even one that had all the belts still attached. If you used your hands you could start the belts spinning which wouldn't visibly move the bucket brigade on the front.

The linked digger makes the Alaskan dredger look like Green Peace in comparison, though I suppose they probably don't use mercury to float the debris away from gold.
posted by substrate at 6:19 PM on November 18, 2006


Oo dhartung, that's so cool!
posted by thirteenkiller at 6:24 PM on November 18, 2006


Draglines are somewhat similar, except instead of caterpillar tracks, these babies “walk”.
posted by mattoxic at 6:51 PM on November 18, 2006


Well, at least when the apocalypse comes I'll know what kind of vehicle to stick out side of the doors to my castle to make sure the wasteland mutants know to stay the fuck away.

As an added bonus, I bet this will make one hell of a siege engine, should one of those mutants decide to build their castle near mine.
posted by quin at 7:30 PM on November 18, 2006


Yeah, just don't count on the element of surprise.
posted by JekPorkins at 7:34 PM on November 18, 2006


I want to honk the horn.
posted by sidereal at 7:49 PM on November 18, 2006


Draglines are somewhat similar, except instead of caterpillar tracks, these babies “walk”.

When I was a kid my grandfather was a coal mine worker in Southern Indiana. On weekends he would take us along to visit some of the huge draglines and shovels and we'd get to clambor around on them while they continued to work.
posted by Pollomacho at 8:00 PM on November 18, 2006


I want to honk the horn.

I want to crush my enemies with it, and make all humanity tremble in fear at the awesome power I command.

Different priorities, I guess.
posted by Drunken_munky at 8:21 PM on November 18, 2006


And yet, all of the King's horses and all of the King's men can't put together one of these:
"It may be doubted whether there are any other animals which have played so important a part in the history of the world, as have these lowly creatures."

Charles Darwin, The Formation of Vegetable Mould Through the Action of Worms With Observations of Their Habits
No operator required, 100% organic emissions, and — collectively eating and casting over 14 tons of earth per acre per year — they move a lotta dirt, too. Give them a little time [see NOTES - Earthworms], and they could probably bury Bagger 288.
posted by cenoxo at 8:22 PM on November 18, 2006


Ah, but imagine if every human had their very own Bagger 288. You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.
posted by JekPorkins at 8:25 PM on November 18, 2006


I was hoping there was a story behind the name "Bagger", but it just means "excavator" in German. You'd think a monster machine like that would get a name with a little personality, but no.
how 'bout a "Rename the Bagger 288" contest?
posted by Quietgal at 8:59 PM on November 18, 2006


And yet, all of the King's horses and all of the King's men can't put together one of these:

Give us a few dozen years, we'll have a super efficient version that shits precious metals.
posted by IronLizard at 9:04 PM on November 18, 2006


JekPorkins : Yeah, just don't count on the element of surprise.

That's the beauty of using this as a siege weapon. You don't want the element of surprise. You want them to see you coming. You want them to hear the engines from miles off and feel the ground start vibrating as you draw closer. Just for fun, I would leave a few ruined bulldozers in the saw so that when I got within site of their walls, I would spin it up and send the ruined vehicles skittering away like crumbs from the mouth of a clumsy child. In the pantheon of tactical moves, invoking abject fear is right up there with surprise.

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure earthworms are a formidable force as well (thanks cenoxo) but really, the problem is getting a couple of tons of them to all go the same direction is just way to much of a pain in the ass. Give me a giant wall crushing, trench digging, bulldozer eating, mutant terrorizing saw any day of the week.
posted by quin at 9:05 PM on November 18, 2006


Makes me think of Half-Life 2. Of course, what doesn't?
posted by autodidact at 9:05 PM on November 18, 2006


Wow, peedro, small world. I went to school with a Hellespont Fairfax.
Oh wait, never mind — that was Bosporus Brunelleschi.
posted by rob511 at 9:07 PM on November 18, 2006


The claim is that this thing weighs 45,500 tons and is 300 meters long.

USS Nimitz weighs twice that, and its flight deck is 333 meters long. Nimitz can also move a hell of a lot faster; she can do 30 knots pretty much indefinitely.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 9:07 PM on November 18, 2006


Does the "saw" actually spin fast? I imagine this thing moving so slow that you can hardly tell it's moving, and the "saw" moving pretty darned slow, too.
posted by JekPorkins at 9:08 PM on November 18, 2006


The claim is that this thing weighs 45,500 tons and is 300 meters long.

No, it says it's carrying 45,500 tons. And the length is 397 meters.

Anyways, why did they stop using really long supertankers?
posted by smackfu at 9:28 PM on November 18, 2006


USS Nimitz weighs twice that, and its flight deck is 333 meters long.

Actually the Emma Maersk displaces twice as much as the Nimitz and has a crew of 13, as opposed to 3,200 sailors and an air wing of 2,480 on the Nimitz.

And peeedro above gave good reasons for the decline of the really long supertanker, pointing to this thread.
posted by blahblahblah at 9:35 PM on November 18, 2006


So does this mean the trucks that move the tar sands aren't "the biggest earthbound machines ever built"?

Man, Alberta's gonna be pissed.
posted by poweredbybeard at 10:17 PM on November 18, 2006


People, people... come on. Yes this is not the biggest machine ever made. Ships will always trump land bound vehicles in this regard. But come on. The seas are really big. And therefore require equally big vehicles to be relevant.

At the very least, consider this; it's a land based vehicle that compares to an aircraft carrier. Aircraft carriers have huge crews; they are basically cities on the water. This is something almost that big that sits on the land, with a crew of, what? a couple of dozen?

By as snarky and dismissive as you want. But realize that this is a. really. big. thing.

And hate all you want, but really. big. things are cool.

Had I the cash, I'd buy one just to irritate my neighbors.
posted by quin at 12:01 AM on November 19, 2006


Thanks! I've had a picture of that beastie of my hard drive for months and couldn't find what it was. The picture is called "pimpride.jpg" which was not very helpful.
posted by elgilito at 12:46 AM on November 19, 2006


Filthy. I was actually planning on doing this post a few days ago but yours is better than mine would have been. Good on you!
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 2:04 AM on November 19, 2006


At the very least, consider this; it's a land based vehicle that compares to an aircraft carrier. Aircraft carriers have huge crews; they are basically cities on the water. This is something almost that big that sits on the land, with a crew of, what? a couple of dozen?

By as snarky and dismissive as you want. But realize that this is a. really. big. thing.


Hey buddy, the debate is about the ship in the "delivering Christmas presents" link, not the excavator. Everyone is properly awed by the excavator.
posted by thirteenkiller at 6:51 AM on November 19, 2006


Mea culpa, one who kills thirteens, I skimmed and thought I saw dismissiveness of something cool, and my angry retort was on a hair trigger last night. I beg the threads pardon.

Ignore me and carry on.
posted by quin at 9:08 AM on November 19, 2006


Anyways, why did they stop using really long supertankers?

Because they're only useful for open ocean. They can't go through either of the major canals (Suez & Panama). Some ports have problems with them. Their major advantage is that they save fuel on the same run as a smaller ship, but if the size of the vessel means that you have to go around the Horn of Africa, or Tierra del Fuego, that's much more expensive and much slower than two smaller ships that are panamax (the maximum Panama canal size).
posted by bonehead at 2:16 PM on November 19, 2006


As cool as this thing is, I can't help but think of this John Prine lyric:

Then the coal company came with the world's largest shovel
And they tortured the timber and stripped all the land
Well, they dug for their coal till the land was forsaken
Then they wrote it all down as the progress of man.

posted by TedW at 6:32 PM on November 19, 2006


The Nimitz can attain a maximum top speed of 0 knots on land. It loses. At least the bagger will reach a speed of something greater than 0 knots as it sinks beneath the waves.
posted by substrate at 1:12 PM on November 21, 2006


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