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 Post subject: Bucketwheel excavator, crosspit spreader
PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 4:10 pm 
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Just got back from what will probably be the last bucketwheel excavator coal mine in the US. The BWE at the Big Brown Mine burned awhile back and is being parted out/scrapped/buried (conveyor caught fire). These pictures are of the last working BWE on a coal mine in the US; it's at the Monticello Winfield Mine near Mt. Pleasant, TX. (Home of Priefert panels, gates, and chutes for you ranchers and rodeoers. Yes, you can buy seconds at their factory.)

Discovery Channel was here last summer for about a week filming. I haven't seen the show though.

I took the first picture about two years ago; I didn't get a good overview this week. Shows an overview of the BWE and crosspit spreader and two draglines working the pit. The dragline boom is about 330 feet long. The other photos are from the past couple of days.

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The crosspit spreader is about 800 feet long.

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The Bucketwheel is about 40 feet in diameter. It can move 80-85 feet vertically. That is a D9 feeding.

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Standing under the crosspit spreader looking at the BWE. The pads on the spreader are about 13 feet each.

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Looking down on the BWE from the top of the spreader. The feed belt from the BWE stretches to the left. The belt dump to the spreader grizzly is on the far left.

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Hitachi(?) hoe working to drain a mud pit in advance of the BWE.

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Just a view down pit. That is another dragline boom over the spoils. As you can tell, they recover two seams.

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I like big stuff.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 6:30 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 2:34 pm
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Location: Within 60 Miles of the Northern Anthracite Field
holy f-n wow, thats awesome! and i thought mike a's dragline was huge! sweet pics!

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2009 8:42 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2005 3:43 pm
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Location: Western PA
yeah, wow, that is some big stuff!

whats the purpose of the crosspit spreader? is it just a giant conveyor boom?

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2009 2:18 pm 
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John wrote:
whats the purpose of the crosspit spreader? is it just a giant conveyor boom?


Yes, it's just another way of getting spoil from the highwall side across the pit. Serves the same function as a dragline or a fleet of trucks and shovels. The operator did say that the draglines are a bit cheaper per yard.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2009 5:53 pm 
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Location: SW Indiana
But, Draglines have a rather short highwall to spoil distance.
Thou a little bit farther than the large stripping shovels

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2009 6:27 pm 
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That's right, Doug. That's why the draglines were working the bottom seam. They would get somewhat spoil bound absent that spreader...or would have to have a dragline rehandle spoil (shudder)...or get a whole mess of haul trucks, some more Hitachis, and have ramps a whole lot closer than a mile or so.

I think they are pretty neat. But, given the uncertainty of how strong coal will be in the long run, I would be amazed if anyone made a capital investment like this again in the US. The operator seemed to feel the same thing.


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