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Bucyrus International, Inc.
TypeSubsidiary of Caterpillar Inc.
IndustryMachinery manufacturing
  • Bucyrus Foundry and Manufacturing Company (1880–1893)
  • Bucyrus Steam Shovel and Dredge Company of Wisconsin (1893–1895)
  • The Bucyrus Company (1895–1911)
  • Bucyrus Company (1911–1927)
  • Bucyrus-Erie Company (1927–1996)
FoundedBucyrus, Ohio, United States (1880 (1880))
FounderDaniel P. Eells et al.
DefunctJuly 2011
FatePurchased by Caterpillar Inc.
United States
Area served
  • 8750 Dragline
  • RH400 Hydraulic Excavator
  • MT6300AC Mining Truck
Footnotes / references

Bucyrus-Erie was an American surface and underground mining equipment company. It was founded as Bucyrus Foundry and Manufacturing Company in Bucyrus, Ohio, in 1880. Bucyrus moved its headquarters to South Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1893. In 1927, Bucyrus merged with the Erie Steam Shovel Company to form Bucyrus-Erie.

Renamed Bucyrus International, Inc., in 1997, it was purchased by Caterpillar in a US$7.6 billion[7] ($8.6 billion including net debt) transaction that closed on July 8, 2011. At the time of its acquisition, the Bucyrus product line included a range of material removal and material handling products used in both surface and underground mining.



Bucyrus was an early producer of steam shovels in its Bucyrus, Ohio headquarters and manufacturing facility. In 1893, Bucyrus moved its operations to South Milwaukee, Wisconsin.[8]

A Bucyrus steam shovel working in the Panama Canal

In 1904 Bucyrus supplied 77 of the 102 steam shovels used to dig the Panama Canal.[9] These were 95 ton models with five-cubic-yard buckets that could move approximately eight tons of material at once. They were operated by a crew of four. Similar to a locomotive, the crew was headed by an engineer, and included two firemen who stoked the boiler with coal, and a craneman. A support crew of six on the ground laid rails on which the shovel moved. A photograph of President Theodore Roosevelt was taken in November 1906 operating a Bucyrus shovel in Panama during his inspection trip. In March 1910, a single Bucyrus shovel excavated 70,000 cubic yards in 26 days at the Culebra cut, setting a canal construction record. Each shovel averaged over 1,000,000 cubic yards of earth excavated at the cut.[10]

Theodore Roosevelt on a Bucyrus shovel in the Panama Canal in 1906


The company changed its name to Bucyrus-Erie in 1927 when it merged with the Erie Steam Shovel Company, the country's leading manufacturer of small excavators at that time.[citation needed]

In 1930 Bucyrus joined with Ruston & Hornsby Ltd Lincoln, England, forming the Ruston-Bucyrus Ltd firm in England. Ruston & Hornsby Ltd were the pre-eminent manufacturers of steam excavators at the time, having started in 1874. The merger gave the company access to previously unavailable world markets.


Ruston & Hornsby Ltd sold their share in Ruston-Bucyrus in 1985, during a period of recession and consolidation in the mining industry, as they divested non-core businesses to survive.[citation needed]

For a time in the 1980s the company was known as Becor Western following its merger with Western Gear.[citation needed]

On February 18, 1994, Bucyrus-Erie filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and remained under bankruptcy protection until December 14, 1994.[11]

The company adopted the name Bucyrus International, Inc. in 1997.[citation needed]

Bucyrus built hundreds of large mining machines, as well as construction equipment, competing with Marion Power Shovel. Bucyrus acquired Marion Power Shovel in 1997.[citation needed]

On May 4, 2007, Bucyrus completed the acquisition of the DBT Group, a Lunen, Germany-based manufacturer of underground mining equipment, from RAG Coal International AG of Herne, Germany. Bucyrus acquired DBT because DBT's underground mining equipment complemented Bucyrus' surface mining products.[citation needed]

In February 2010, Bucyrus International completed a US$1.3 billion acquisition of the mining equipment division of Terex Corporation.[12]

On November 15, 2010, Bucyrus agreed to be acquired by Caterpillar in a transaction valued at US$8.6 billion. Caterpillar said it intended to create a new mining business headquarters at the former Bucyrus headquarters location in South Milwaukee. The transaction closed in mid-2011.[13]

The Intellectual Property Rights for Bucyrus Erie marine cranes was acquired by Sparrows Group which has crane manufacturing operations based in Houston, Texas[14]


Bucyrus owned the Bucyrus, Bucyrus-Erie, Marion, and Ransomes & Rapier brands and provided OEM parts and support services for machinery which bears those brands.[15]


Bucyrus-Erie 1150RB walking dragline preserved at St Aidan's opencast coal mine, Yorkshire, England
A 200-B power shovel, and a Class 24 on display at the Reynolds-Alberta Museum
  • 4250-W walking dragline, also known as Big Muskie, was built in 1969, with a 220-cubic-yard (170 m3) bucket and weighed 13,000 metric tons. Big Muskie's 220-cubic-yard (170 m3) bucket is currently near McConnellsville, Ohio in a small park dedicated to coal mining.
  • Two 3850-B stripping shovels built in 1962 and 1964, with bucket capacities of 115 and 145 cu yd (88 and 111 m3).
  • The 2570-W or WS, one of B-E's most popular dragline models with bucket capacities between 120 and 160 cu yd (92 and 122 m3). Ursa Major at Black Thunder Coal Mine was reported to be the third largest dragline ever built.
  • The Silver Spade and its twin the GEM of Egypt, 1950B Stripping shovels, were built in 1965 and 1967 respectively, with a bucket capacity of 80 m3 (100 cu yd). The Silver Spade was dismantled in 2007.
  • The Stripping shovel Big Brutus, a 1850-B, was built in 1962, with a 90-yard bucket. It is in West Mineral, Kansas, as the centerpiece of a museum.
  • The Bucyrus-Erie 50-R, 55 feet high and housing a massive drill, was responsible for the successful rescue of two miners during the 1963 Sheppton, Pennsylvania mining disaster.[16]
  • The 1250-B/W and 1260-W walking draglines, with buckets between 33 and 45 cu yd (25 and 34 m3).
  • The 5-W walking dragline, carrying a 5-cubic-yard (3.8 m3) bucket and produced until around 1970.
  • Marion Power Shovel Company of Marion, Ohio designed the crawler transporter used to carry Saturn V rockets and Space Shuttles to their launch pads.
  • in 1946 an 1150RB walking dragline was transported to Britain as part of the Marshall Plan. It was used to remove overburden at various mines around the UK, lastly at St Aidan's opencast coal mine, Yorkshire, until the River Aire burst its banks and flooded the mine in March 1988. It has been preserved as a static monument at the site.[17]


  1. ^ Syncrude Newsletter 2006, p. 1.
  2. ^ Bucyrus 2009, p. 4.
  3. ^ Bucyrus 2009, p. 59.
  4. ^ Bucyrus 2010, p. 21.
  5. ^ Bucyrus 2005, p. 1.
  6. ^ Bucyrus 2011, pp. 1–4.
  7. ^ Montlake, Simon (March 4, 2013). "Cat Scammed: How A U.S. Company Blew Half A Billion Dollars In China". Forbes. Retrieved 29 April 2017.
  8. ^ Bogue 1985, p. 150.
  9. ^ Bucyrus & timeline.
  10. ^ McCullough, David (1977). The Path Between the Seas, The Creation of the Panama Canal: 1870-1914. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 9780671244095.
  11. ^ Bucyrus-Erie 1994.
  12. ^ "Bucyrus Completes Acquisition of Mining Business of Terex". bucyrus.com. Bucyrus International Inc. 2010-02-19. Archived from the original on 2010-02-27. Retrieved 2010-03-01. Bucyrus International, Inc. ...announced today that it has completed its acquisition of the mining equipment business of Terex Corporation.
  13. ^ Caterpillar 2010.
  14. ^ "Manufacturing - Sparrows Group". sparrowsgroup.com. Archived from the original on 2014-08-10.
  15. ^ Bucyrus 2010a.
  16. ^ Furek, M.W. Sheppton: The Myth, Miracle & Music. CreateSpace, 2015
  17. ^ "Mining history goes on show". Yorkshire Post. 25 June 2001.

External links[edit]

Media related to Bucyrus International at Wikimedia Commons