What's the Biggest Excavator in the World?

MattPublished: February 20, 2023
What's the Biggest Excavator in the World?

Excavators are powerful pieces of machinery used for a variety of tasks, from mining operations to construction projects. From the Liebherr 9800 to the smaller Caterpillar 6090 FS, there is an excavator that can meet any need. But what about the biggest excavator in the world?

We'll get to that shortly.

With impressive features like automated navigation systems and large loading shovel buckets, these machines can help mining companies quickly extract materials from the ground or provide assistance with general construction projects.

For larger-scale jobs requiring heavy loads, dump trucks like the Caterpillar 797F and Hitachi EH5000AC-3 provide ample capacity and power.

No matter what size excavator you choose, it's important to have the right machine for your job.

Typical shovel and backhoe capacity of commercial equipment.

When you see a backhoe, trackhoe, or any other type of excavator on a construction site, chances are it is not the biggest excavator in the world. In fact, most commercial equipment has a capacity of about 8 cubic yards or less. These hydraulic excavators are great for smaller tasks such as commercial development or even residential jobs. But, if you're looking for something bigger, you can find it if you know where to look for it.

Most of these systems are used in extreme industrial sites such as mining operations or large civil engineering projects. These projects usually include highways and bridges. These massive machines can have huge shovels, buckets, draglines, and other attachments that are capable of handling up to 45 cubic yards. Some of these excavators are equipped with some pretty amazing technology too. Remote control functions and automated systems make them incredibly efficient when it comes to moving large amounts of material.

So what is the biggest excavator in the world? Since there are a few categories of excavators, it's tough to determine which is the "biggest" without looking at all of the factors. But without further ado...

Biggest mining excavator.

We've scoured the planet and took a look at all of the mining excavators we could find. And based on operating weight and backhoe capacity to move earth, we've found it.

The Bagger 288 is not only the world's heaviest excavator, but it is also one of the largest vehicles ever built. Its sheer size and power make it capable of moving mountains - literally! This bucket-wheel excavator is designed to dig deep into the earth, extracting coal, lignite, or other minerals with incredible efficiency. The Bagger 288 can move up to 240,000 tons of material daily. It also has a digging depth of over 96 meters (314 feet).

The machine's conveyor system can transport the extracted material long distances before depositing it in trucks or stockpiles. With its massive scale, it can work on large mining operations that require significant amounts of materials to be extracted quickly.

This machine's design allows it to operate in any weather conditions and on almost any terrain. Its robust construction and powerful engines ensure that it can handle even the toughest tasks with ease. Despite its enormous size, the Bagger 288 is surprisingly agile and can move around the mine site relatively easily.

Overall, the Bagger 288 is an impressive feat of engineering that has revolutionized modern-day mining. Its ability to extract vast amounts of material quickly and efficiently makes it an essential tool for mining companies worldwide.

Bagger 288 is the Biggest Mining Excavator in the World
This monster is massive! Look how big the tracks and buckets are on this excavator.

World's biggest hydraulic excavator.

There are a lot of mining excavators around the world that can be considered the biggest. The biggest hydraulic excavator ever made is the Liebherr R9800, which has an operating weight of 811 tons and a maximum digging depth of more than 33 meters.

This monster machine is so big that it can take up to two days to assemble from parts shipped from all over the world. That's what happens when you need the largest hydraulic excavator for your job.

It's an impressive feat of engineering, and its sheer size is enough to make any construction site look small. The Liebherr R9800 can dig up to 100,000 cubic meters of material in a single day, making it one of the fastest machines ever built for construction projects.

This excavator has some impressive features, such as an automated system that helps it navigate whatever terrain it is working on and a 360-degree revolving cab that allows the operator to have an unrestricted view of their surroundings.

The Liebherr R9800 is one of the world's biggest excavators and can easily outperform any other commercial equipment in terms of sheer power and performance.

Tracks on the Liebherr R9800
These are the tracks on the Liebherr R9800. See how big it is compared to the technician next to them.

Loading shovel bucket capacity

One of the things that make the Liebherr R9800 stand out is its immense loading shovel bucket capacity. It has a maximum capacity of 16 cubic meters, making it one of the biggest in the world. This is especially impressive when you consider that even some of the smaller excavators have a bucket size of only about 6 cubic meters.

The Liebherr 9800's large bucket allows it to move large amounts of material quickly, making it incredibly efficient and allowing it to finish projects faster. It has enough capacity for most construction projects, and its automated systems make it easy to operate.

Mining Excavators are some of the world's biggest excavators.

While these machines are impressive, they're not the most mobile machines. Typically they are designed to stay put, creating an open pit mine by digging down and excavating whatever minerals they find.

Whereas your typical shovel excavator like the Caterpillar 6090 FS can be transported from job site to job site, the Liebherr 9800 and the Bagger 288 stay put, excavating materials and transporting it to trucks or stockpiles. So as a construction company, you're probably not going to look to those, but instead, something like the Caterpillar or the Demag H740 OS. Those are more for what you would call general construction projects.

The Liebherr 9800 and the Bagger 288 are great examples of just how massive mining excavators can be. Their sheer size, power, and capacity make them essential pieces of equipment for serious mining operations. With their impressive features, such as automated navigation systems and large loading shovel buckets, they can help mining companies quickly and efficiently extract vast amounts of material from the ground.

What are the larger general construction excavators?

As we mentioned, for general construction projects, you’ll want to look for something like a Caterpillar 6090 FS or Demag H740 OS. These machines are still large but not as big as the Liebherr 9800 and Bagger 288.

The Caterpillar 6090 FS is one of the most popular excavators used in construction sites, with an operating weight of around 79 tons and a bucket capacity of 10.7 cubic meters. It's designed for digging and moving material, as well as being able to perform grading and leveling tasks with ease.

The Demag H740 OS may be slightly smaller than the Caterpillar, but it still has an impressive performance. The maximum operating weight is 67 tons, and the bucket capacity is 8.5 cubic meters. It's a great all-around machine that can perform a variety of tasks with ease.

Another one of the largest excavators is the Hitachi EX8000 6. This impressive machine isn't one of the world's largest excavators like some of the mining excavators we mentioned, but it's still one of the biggest in terms of size and power. It has an operating weight of 420 tons, and a bucket capacity of 25 cubic meters. This is perfect for large-scale projects that require a lot of material moved quickly.

Hitachi EX8000 6 Excavator
The Hitachi EX8000 6 Excavator is one of the biggest, but not the biggest excavators you'll find.

You're going to need a bigger truck.

The largest excavators in the world need an equally impressive dump truck to haul all of the material they move. One of the biggest dump trucks in the world is the Caterpillar 797F. It has a capacity of 363 tons and can be used to transport large amounts of materials with ease. It's the largest Caterpillar dump truck you can buy.

Of course, there are other options out there if you need something smaller, such as the Komatsu 830E or the Volvo A40, but we really like the largest Hitachi dump truck, which is the EH5000AC-3. It has a capacity of up to 360 tons, and it's designed for tough jobs that require heavy loads.

No matter what size excavator or dump truck you choose, it's important to have the right machine for the job. Larger machines like the Liebherr 9800 and Bagger 288 are perfect for serious mining operations, while the Caterpillar 6090 FS and the Demag H740 OS can handle general construction projects. And if you need to transport a large amount of material quickly and efficiently, then the Hitachi EX8000 6 is perfect for that job. With these machines in your arsenal, you can tackle any task.

Think you've seen the biggest excavator in the world?

When you're talking about the world's largest excavator, you're undoubtedly referring to the Bagger 288. However, most backhoe operations don't require a front shovel excavator of that size.

In fact, many tasks that contractors perform can be done with a backhoe bucket or shovel attachment on a smaller excavator.

They most likely have all of the digging power you need and the ability to tackle large projects with ease.

That wraps up all of the excavators we could find. We compared some of the largest in the world and these are it.



Excavation Expert

Matt is a highly experienced heavy equipment operator with over two decades of experience in the construction industry. His expertise covers a wide range of machinery and project types, and he is known for his focus on safety, efficiency, and problem-solving. Matt's commitment to delivering high-quality work within deadlines and budgets has made him highly respected at Centex Excavation and the excavation industry.

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