Bagger 288 is one of the largest land vehicles ever built, and is primarily used for mining operations. Developed in the 1970s by the German company Krupp, Bagger 288 stands at 96 meters tall and 215 meters long, and weighs over 13,500 metric tons. It has a massive bucket-wheel excavator that can dig through the earth at a rate of 240,000 tons per daily,comparable to a soccer field dug to a depth of 30 meters (98 feet).It took five years to design and manufacture Bagger 288, and another five years to assemble it. The total cost to produce this massive machine is said to be over $100 million, and its electric cables are 5,600 feet long. In any given moment, Bagger 288 can use as much electricity as a city of 20,000 people. Its main bucket wheel is 71 feet tall, equivalent to the height of a seven-story building. Each of its 18 buckets weighs 7,700 pounds (empty!) and can scoop 230 cubic feet of soil, enough to fill a pickup truck. This massive machine requires a crew of five people to operate, and is powered by an array of generators that provide over 16,000 horsepower. Although originally designed for coal mining in Germany, Bagger 288 has been used in various mining operations around the world and is recognized as a marvel of modern engineering.
The main bucket weel with its 18 buckets.
In February 2001, the Bagger 288 was no longer needed at its original quarry site. It was then planned to transport the machine to another mining site 22 km away, but this was no easy task as it had to overcome various obstacles along the way. Eventually, it took 70 people, 10 million US dollars, and 3 weeks to transport the machine over the 22 km distance to its new location. It’s worth noting that there is only one machine of this model in the world.
Despite being originally designed for coal mining in Germany, Bagger 288 has been utilized in mining operations all around the world, and its efficiency and power have made it an invaluable tool for the industry. Its remarkable engineering and impressive capabilities have earned it a place in the history of modern technology as a true masterpiece of industrial design.