During my visit to Bauma in April, I was lucky enough to see one of the 290 tonne Bucyrus RH120E face shovels on the Bucyrus mining stand, the machine looked superb in its new purple, white and grey livery. Of course these machines have been well proven over the years, previously as O&K models and Terex before the takeover by Bucyrus.
This clearly has to be the way forward for Caterpillar, who have always had an ambition to compete in the heavy mining sector. The companies first entered this market in 1992 with the launch of the 5000 series of excavator/shovels, but this range was eventually phased out. Many of those models are still putting in a good days work around the world, but in fairness they did have some reliability issues and that was one of the reasons they were discontinued.
Now with the purchase of Bucyrus, Caterpillar could have an entire range of big hydraulic mining shovels/backhoes in their portfolio, from the 105 tonne RH40E, up to the mighty 980 tonne RH400 which with its 90 tonne bucket payload can load large 400 ton capacity mining trucks in just 4 passes!
I am very excited by the thought of seeing these mining monsters sporting the famous Caterpillar colours and look forward to covering the developments on these machines and the whole range of Bucyrus products that Caterpillar will inherit, here on the Digger blog over the coming years.
Here is a video of the RH120E being briefly demonstrated at the Bauma trade fair.