How To Haul A Really, Really Big Load Down Under
745-Ton Excavator Moved in Western Australia
What do you consider a heavy load? 7000 pounds? 10,000? Maybe 30,000? To paraphrase Paul Hogan from "Crocodile Dundee," That's not a heavy load, THAT'S a heavy load! Specifically, a Liebherr R 996 B mining excavator weighing 745 tons. That's 1,490,300 pounds, or about what 49 Ram 3500 dualies with a maxed-out towing capacity could handle.
To move the 6000-hp, twin V-16 diesel engine beast, a total of six trucks were needed for the load, four leading/pulling, and two trailing/pushing. The massive excavator sat on a 24-axle flatbed, and drove between a blazing 2.5 to 3.7 mph for six days to cover 143 miles. All told, the journey took six days. The backhoe has the capacity of 47 cubic yards per scoop, or 1269 cubic feet, with a weight capacity of 3000 pounds per yard, for a total weight capacity of 141,000 pounds per scoop.
As massive as the R 996 B may seem, it's not even Liebherr's biggest excavator. That distinction belongs to the even larger R 9800. That beast gives buyers the option of Cummins or MTU diesel power. The price for this size of machine? We couldn't find a precise cost, but somewhere in the eight-figure ballpark (that's $10 million+) seems to be the starting point.