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Big Muskie was one of the world’s largest dragline mining machines.  It was built by Bucyrus for the sole purpose of pulling coal from the Earth.  The build tally was $25 million in 1969 so you know the “Big M” wasn’t messin’ around. 

It was 151.5 feet wide, 222 feet high, and 487 feet long.  The bucket on that bad boy could carry two freakin’ buses side by side.  It took over 200,000 man hours to construct over a period of about two years.  The bucket could haul in 319 tons of Earth in one drag and deposit it 600 feet away.  To give you an idea of scale, check out the 1/2-ton pickup trucks in the middle right of the photo (just past the spools and right next to Waldo). 

That’s not bad for a pre-computer-age, old-fashioned, iron workhorse.  Of course, this work horse is as big as a mini-mall and weighs slightly more than one.

Big Muskie was dismantled in ’99 so you can’t see its old school hotness prowling the pits anymore; only the bucket remains on display in the buckeye state, but it will always capture the imagination of the dirt digging public.  I went to Ohio a while back and got to stand in the bucket – that thing is freaking huge!

Big Muskie search [Google]


3 Responses to It’s Just Cool: Big Muskie

  1. Me says:

    Grew up near the Big Muskie and knew several people who worked with it. Very impressive to see it in action, especially at night. Went back before it was dismantled for one more look and to snap a few photos for the kids.

  2. Sean O'Hara says:

    Me: Thats awesome, if you have them laying around send in some pics of it. We’d dig seeing them and would like to post them to let everyone enjoy as well!

  3. Me says:

    I will see what I can find, I have moved several times since then. They are not digital, but I might be able to scan them. The Silver Spade is another piece of massive mining equipment that is about to be scrapped. There was an effoft to save it, but it failed. The contract was awarded last month for the demolition.

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