Bagger 288

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File:Bagger 288.jpg
The Bagger 288 bucket-wheel excavator

The Bagger 288 (Excavator 288), built by the German company Krupp for the energy and mining firm Rheinbraun, is a bucket-wheel excavator. More specifically, it is a mobile strip mining machine. When its construction was completed in 1978, Bagger 288 superseded NASA's Crawler-Transporter, used to carry the Space Shuttle and Apollo missions, as the largest tracked vehicle in the world at 13,500 tons.

It was built for the job of removing overburden prior to coalmining in Hambach, Germany. It can excavate 240,000 tons daily—the equivalent of a football field dug to 30 meters (98 ft) deep. The excavator is approximately 240 m long and 96 m high. To run, the Bagger requires 16.56 megawatts (22,207.33 HP) of externally-supplied electricity, it can travel 2-10 m per minute (0.6 km/h). The chassis of the main section is 46 metres wide and sits on 3 rows of 4 caterpillar track assemblies, each 3.8 m wide. It has a minimum turning radius of approximately 100 metres.

The excavating head itself is 21.6 m in diameter and has 18 buckets each holding 6.6 cubic metres of overburden.

By February 2001, the excavator had completely exposed the coal source at the Hambach mine and was no longer needed there. Over three weeks it made a 22 kilometer (13.6 mile) trip to the Garzweiler mine, travelling across Autobahn 61, the Erft, a railroad line, and several roads. The move cost nearly 15 million German marks and required a team of seventy workers.

The Bagger 288 has a near-identical sister vehicle, the Bagger 289.

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