As Mark said two of these 142 ton machines were imported into the UK and went to work for Miller Mining at the ill fated St Aiden’s opencast coal site in the 1970’s, where they were employed loading overburden onto Millers fleet of Terex rigid dump trucks.
The opencast mine at St Aiden’s was initially established in the 1940’s, although deep mining had taken place in the area since the 1800’s. The open cast mine was extended around 1981 with a projected yield of around 6 million tonnes of coal over a 10 year period.
The mine became infamous in March 1988 when mining was brought to an abrupt halt by a catastrophic failure of a 70 m deep excavation wall, which then allowed the River Aire to flow into the site from both upstream and downstream sections of the river.
During their time at the mine the big Poclains were indeed very problematic with mechanical failures being commonplace.
Mark explained that when the upgraded 1000CK models were introduced 2 of them were put to work for Shand in South Wales at the Park Slip opencast coal site. These machines were supplied in backacter configuration but after a short while they inherited the infamous nickname of the 245’s which stood for – two boom, four dippers and five buckets!
The digger blog thanks Mark for this background information