In 1966, an exciting project started at the factories of the Bucyrus Erie Co. – the engineering and building of the components of what would be one of the world’s largest earthmoving machines ever built, “Big Muskie.” Central Ohio Coal Co. had chosen this immense machine because the mine property extended over 110,000 acres of hilly terrain and made the use of a dragline versus a shovel to be more profitable at the levels of earth the coal was located in. It also allowed the coal company to better carryout their reclamation plans.
The machine was so large it was necessary to ship the components to the coal mining customer in Ohio and erect the machine on site. It took 340 rail cars and 260 trucks to ship all of the components and 200,000 man hours to construct, but the machine finally went into production in 1969.
Weighing in at over 27,000,000 pounds, it stood nearly 22 stories high and had a 330-foot twin boom and a 220-cubic yard bucket the size of a 12-car garage.
In 1976, “Big Muskie” removed 8,000 yards of overburden for the coal company per operating hour. In its 22 years of service, it removed twice the amount of earth moved during the original construction of the Panama Canal.
Shut down in 1991, “Big Muskie” was finally dismantled for scrap in 1999. The only component saved was the bucket, which was later incorporated into a display about the machine and surface mining and reclamation in Miners Memorial Park in McConnelsville, Ohio.
It was electrically powered with 13,800 volts. [tractors]
The electricity cost tens of thousands of dollar an hour, and explains why the crew of five usually worked at night when power costs were cheaper.
[The video below says it stopped only for 30-min lunch breaks, maintenance, and Christmas Day.]
Giant draglines have long since been made obsolete, but dragline excavators are still very much in use. The largest available dragline on the market today is Joy Global’s P&H 9020XPC. The bucket has a capacity of (110yd³ to 160yd³.) Unlike the hydraulic engines and motors of years past, current draglines use digital AC controls.
Bastard rails roads air & water postedmoving [the tub of] BIG MUSKIE using 9 earth scrappers in the front
Weight: 27,000,000 pounds
Height: 222 feet 6 inches
Machine length (boom down):487 feet 6 inches
Mobility: Hydraulically driven walker feet
|Michael Davis commented on a post|
Michael Davis Muskie brand new
Matt Booe Looks like at least 6 swingers
Bastard rails roads air & water posted
moving the parts of BIG MUSKIE took a violent amount of brutal pulling and pushing power
David Lane In dragline terms, that is the 'tub', the base that the dragline sat and rotated on. The Muskie was the largest dragline ever built(if I remember correctly) Saw these pics many years ago on the old STRIPMINE.ORG. I grew up just northeast of her.
Scott Simcok shared
James Peeler Them 41-B Allis Chalmers were a brute of a machine!!
Eric S Manners I read when they rebuilt the tub, they used 30,000 lbs of welding rods!
Joseph Bonola 2 weeks work just greasing the roller path.
|Chris Knoxhill commented on a post|
M U S K I E
|Jim Seese posted|
Visited this last spring in Ohio. Bucket from Big Musky.
Jim Seese McConnelsville , Ohio
James Butch Rainey Hard to imagine 220 cubic yards! Amazing every time I see it.
Mike Mccarley James Butch Rainey. I look back at my pictures of the Marion 8200's that I worked on in the 80's. And i thought an 85 yard bucket was big. Damn!
|Ray Little commented on Jim's post|
Here’s our car next to the bucket on Christmas Day of ‘98.
|Paul Martin posted|
Here is a photo of the 4250-W Big Muskie during erection.
|Paul Martin commented on his post|
front view 4250W
|William Oldani commented on Paul's post|
|Paul Martin commented on his post|
great bucket pic
My Dad standing at Big Muskie bucket, it was idle at this time before it was scrapped, at least the bucket was saved. Note the size of the chain link and pin. Best I can remember the wire rope was 5” diameter, ThanksNelson Kletzli Jr. My uncle made the chains for the Big Muskie, and many other large draglines.
Thunder Manufacturing in McKees Rocks Pa.I got to help with the last chain built, they were forged, not cast.
Paul E Singer Nelson Kletzli Jr. Some of the chains were built in Glassport PA also
Mike Brady Nelson Kletzli Jr. they have to be the largest chains ever made. I never have seen another chain this size on anything including ship anchor chains. Wonder what just one link weighs ?
Nelson Kletzli Jr. Mike Brady if I remember correctly just over a ton each.
Dave Geis I hauled three of the chain links to the HCEA in Bowling Green Ohio. each link weighed 1000 pounds.
Matt Weyand You are correct. (4) 5” diameter hoist ropes and (4) 5” diameter drag ropes!!
Paul E Singer Matt Weyand 6 inch drag I thought I have a bunch of pictures of me being inside and outside of big musky I was evaluating 260 ton rock trucks and the operator let me walk through it with him pretty cool.
Jay Wilson Paul E Singer No, the drag rope was 5 inch. Some machines today use 5.5 inch rope.
Gene Shepherd Matt Weyand Exactly 5” cables i have a 2’ chunk of the 5” drag cable.
Scooter Redrow Mike your dad looks to be a big man. How big was he for size reference ?
Mike Brady Scooter Redrow 5-10”
|Claude Janes commented on Mike's post|
Dug a lot of the electric cable up that ran the Muskie putting a well pad in near the bucket
This Facebook info is near the end of the notes so that hopefully the sidebar is empty and the "Original Size" images are readable.
Daniel Foged posted eight images with the comment: "Here some facts about big muskie."
[B-E's South Milwaukee Plant]
|Daniel Foged posted|
6x D9 is pulling the bucket for big muskie.
Dennis Bertoncelj The bottom of that bucket gets hot.Matty Carey Dennis Bertoncelj try dragging it through rock with 12,000 horsepower 3 or 4 hundred thousand times.
They get a lot hotter. [The video below says it had up to 52,500hp.]Dennis Bertoncelj Matty Carey yeah ive burnsd my hand on a tooth or two.Dennis Bertoncelj Matty Carey the tub gets pretty hot on a long deadhead too
(new window) Big Muskie (and the captain): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcmGKsHZXZ8
Troy Bratcher posted: in action video 5:00, three photos (photo of pulling out the tub with six earth movers in a comment), video of inside the house (William Law If I remember right ten swing motors, ten drag motors and eight hoist motors, 1,200 hp each., Jay Wilson Six inch floor under the drag drum, was wrinkled from the power. Stout machine.)
A "Big Muskie - 4250-W Bucyru-Erie" Album with 22 photos and the comment:
The Big Muskie was a model 4250-W Bucyrus-Erie dragline (the only one ever built). With a 220 cubic yards (170 m3) bucket, it was the largest single-bucket digging machine ever created and one of the world's largest mobile earth-moving machines alongside the Illinois-based Marion 6360 stripping shovel called The Captain and the German bucket wheel excavators of the Bagger 288 and Bagger 293 family. It cost $25 million in 1969, the equivalent of $157 million today adjusted for inflation. Its bucket could hold two Greyhound buses side by side. It took over 200,000 man hours to construct over a period of about two yearsA share of the Muskie album has some interesting comments including:
Robert Bann Machine was too big, too much down time, to much maintenance. COCC realized that 2 machines designed in the 120 yard range would have out preformed the Big Muskie.
David Kam Hudder Amazing engineering
Robert Bann David Kam Hudder 6 years planning.