Last night, I was watching Modern Marvels on The History Channel (great, great show), and the topic was “The World’s Biggest Machines.” They had some plenty big stuff, but then I saw it…video of the same picture we had talked about on this site. I thought, “Hey, isn’t that the same…” Then the phone rang.
It was Noel, fellow Gadgetopia editor. “Deane, you have to turn on the History Channel…” Apparently, we both need to get out more.
It turns out that our big machine is not alone. The class of machines to which it belongs is called “bucket wheel excavators.” Having that name, I’ve been able to do a little better searching on them. It turns out that they’re commonly considered the largest, land-based moving objects on Earth.
- The Wikipedia article (sparse)
- A Web page by a school up in a Canada, with some good pictures (including our original conversation starter)
- A fantastic LEGO model of one
- This company will rent you one
- Here’s an article about one up in Bulgaria, complete with lots of stat porn
- Finally, if you need more, perhaps you can find the out-of-print textbook about them for mining engineering students