Giants of technology: the 11 largest machines on earth
In the course of industrialization, machines have fundamentally changed people’s lives. In addition to well-known giants such as the ISS and the particle accelerator at the CERN nuclear research center, the largest machines, ordered by length in meters, also contain some surprises that, despite their size, have received little attention.
Machines have determined human life since industrialization. But what are the biggest giants of technology and what are they used for?
Excavator 293: Takraf’s giant bucket wheel excavator:
Excavator 293 was built by Takraf in Germany in 1995. The gigantic device is 96 meters high and 225 meters long. The bucket wheel excavator weighs 14,061 tons. It takes five people to use it.
Prelude FLNG: Oversized in use for Royal Dutch Shell:
The Prelude FLNG is the largest floating offshore facility in the world. It is used for the production, liquefaction, storage and handling of natural gas. Prelude FLNG is operated by Royal Dutch Shell. The facility is 488 meters long and 74 meters wide. When fully loaded, Prelude FLNG weighs 600,000 tons.
Further dragon: a monster on four legs:
The largest four-legged walking robot in the world comes in the form of a kite and comes from Zollner Elektronik. The dragon is radio-controlled, has a length of 15.5 meters, a width of 3.8 meters and a height of 4.5 meters. The weight is not to be scoffed at either, as the giant weighs 11 tons. The robot is used in the folk drama “Further Drachenstich”.
F60: Giant for lignite mining:
F60 stands for five overburden conveyor bridges in German lignite mining. They transport the overburden that is located above the coal seam. The complete construction is 502 meters long, up to 80 meters high and 240 meters wide.
NASA Crawler Transporter: Space Size:
NASA’s two crawler transporters are 40 meters long, more than 34 meters wide and 64 meters high. These giant machines weigh around 270 tons and are therefore traveling slowly: NASA Crawler Transporters move at a speed of 1.6 kilometers per hour when loaded with a spacecraft.
On the eleventh place of the list of the largest machines in the world is the D575A-3SD Superdozer the Japanese company Komatsu Ltd., with its weight of 152 tons and a length of 11 meters, the largest bulldozer in the world.
Also in tenth place is the P&H L-2350 from the second largest construction machine manufacturer Komatsu (Mining), a machine for large construction projects. The giant wheel bearing, known as Le Tourneau L-2350 before Komatsu’s takeover of Le Tourneau Inc, is nearly 20 meters long, 6.76 meters wide and 6.71 meters high. In order to be able to move the weight of 262 tons, the machine has a 2,300 hp diesel engine .
With the BelAZ 75710, the Belarusian company BelAZ has made it into ninth place on the largest machines. The heaviest and longest dump truck on the planet is mainly used in opencast mining, for example to transport coal there. The 20.2 meter long, 9.87 meter wide and 8.16 meter high machine has a total weight of 810 tons, which is carried by eight wheels, each weighing 5.3 tons and 4 meters high.
With the Missile Crawler Transporter Facilities, NASA took eighth place on the largest machines. At the same time, the caterpillar used to transport rockets is the largest land vehicle with its own motor drive. The vehicle has been used in the Kennedy Space Center since delivery by the manufacturers Marion Power Shovel Company and Rockwell International in 1965. The public knows the gigantic crawler transporter primarily from the film appearances in Transformers: Dark of the Moon and Apollo 11.
Surprisingly, there is an airplane in 7th place . The Antonov AN-225 (nickname Mrija), developed in the Soviet Union, has six engines and has been the largest cargo plane on the planet since its first flight in 1988. The wing span of this giant of the air measures 88 meters, the length is 85 meters and the plane is 20 meters high. Without a load, the machine already has a weight of 285 tons; a maximum of 600 tons total weight, i.e. including fuel and cargo, is possible at the start . The manufacturer OK Antonow has only made one of this aircraft. In the meantime, the company has been integrated into the Ukrainian state armaments company Ukroboronprom.
In sixth place:
Strictly speaking, the sixth place in the ranking should not appear at all, since it is the International Space Station (ISS), which of course is not on Earth but in space . The 98 meter long, 27.5 meter deep and 109 meter ready space station was developed and manufactured jointly by the Canadian space agency CAS, the Japanese space agency JAXA, the Russian space agency Roskosmos as well as the US space agency NASA and the European space agency ESA.
On the list of the largest machines in the world as well as on tenth and eleventh place is a Japanese development by Hitachi Zosen Sakai Works. The Big Bertha tunnel boring machine, which was named after Seattle Mayor Bertha Ethel Knight Landes, is 99 meters long and weighs 70 tons. With a boring head diameter of 17.4 meters, the machine can drill 10 meters of tunnels into hard rock every day, thus creating enough space for several lanes above and next to each other.
The fourth place comes from the German company ThyssenKrupp. It is the bucket wheel excavator 288, which is used for lignite mining in Germany . The vehicle, which went into operation in 1978, was once the largest agricultural machine on earth. It is 240 meters long, 96 meters high and hardly imaginable 13,000 tons. The machine’s gigantic dimensions also made it famous in Hollywood, as it could be seen in films such as The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.
The Prelude FLNG takes third place among the largest machines in the world. The floating factory can be used for the production, liquefaction and storage of natural gas . The marvel of technology is operated by the Dutch company Royal Dutch Shell. With a total weight of 260,000 tons, the man-made island weighs as much as three Golden Gate Bridges. The length of this giant is almost 500 meters.
Like fourth place in the ranking, second place in German lignite mining. The largest moving machine in the world called the F60 overburden conveyor bridge from VEB TAKRAF Lachhammer ensures the movement of overburden in opencast mining. The machine has earned the machine more than 500 meters the nickname “lying Eiffel Tower”. The weight is 11,000 tons.
Practically out of competition, the Large Hadron Collider is at the European Nuclear Research Center CERN . The scope of this non-moving machine, which is located in the border weight of Switzerland and France at a depth of around 100 meters, is 27,000 meters. The most powerful particle accelerator in the world serves basic research in the field of physics. He was best known for the detection of the Higgs boson particle.