The Captain was the Largest Single Mining Shovel Ever Made.
By: The Working Man
Weighing in at close to a whopping 28 million pounds of
raw steel and iron, the Marion 6360, appropriately known
as "The Captain" was the single largest mining shovel
ever made in the world. And, it was the only Marion 6360
Built by the Marion Steam Shovel Company in 1965, the
Captain was purchased by the Southwestern Illinois Coal
Corporation for the purpose of removing over burden at
it's Captain Mine located near Percy, Illinois. They
paid $15 million for the mining shovel.
The Captain's bucket held 180 cubic yards and weighed
empty, 165 tons! It was the largest bucket ever built
for a mining shovel. The bucket was 18 1/2 feet wide,
16 feet high and 24 1/2 feet deep and could hold 270
tons of dirt at a time.
The Captain worked from 1965 until 1991 when a hydraulic
line blew apart squirting hot hydraulic fluid onto an
electric panel which caught on fire which destroyed the
mining shovel, it was then sold for scrap metal.
Standing 22 stories high (see the comparison to Big
which stood 16 stories high),
The Captain in all it's Majestic Glory removing over burden.
The Marion 6360 had 36 electric motors onboard each of
which generated between 200 and 400 horsepower. 8 electric
motors which generated 24,000 horsepower were used for
hoisting the buck alone.
It's boom was 215 feet long and the dipper handle was 133
feet long which enabled The Captain to have a cutting
radius of 236 feet.
The main house was 88 feet long and 74 feet wide and had
a ground clearance of 16 feet.
There were 8 main crawlers which moved the machine at
a snail's pace. Each track weighed about 300,000 pounds
and each pad on each track weighed about 7,000 pounds,
there were 42 pads per crawler track. Each of the crawlers
were 45 feet long, 16 feet high, and 10 feet wide.
This very large mining shovel loading a Cat 240 ton rock truck would
pale small sitting next to The Captain. In fact it's operator's cab
would be just about as high as one of the crawlers on The Captain.
See also: Big Muskie, the World's Largest Dragline
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