Germany-based Breuer & Wasel used three of its Liebherr all terrain cranes to replace a 140 tonne bucket on a brown coal excavator at the Hambach open-cast mine, Germany.
The Bergheim-based heavy logistics company already has seven cranes permanently at the site for ongoing work. The replacement of the bucket wheel was the biggest challenge of the overhaul of the machine, which took three months off after 33 years of service.
Weighing in at 13,000 tonnes, the 96 metre high, 200 m long Excavator 290 is among the biggest machines of its kind in the world, and boasts 18 buckets with a traction force of 100 tonnes.
Working in tandem the LTM 1500-8.1, LTM 1400-7.1 and LTM 1350-6.1 all terrains turned the new 18 m diameter bucket wheel from its assembly position and loaded it onto the heavy load crawler excavator.
Next, all three cranes lifted and pivoted the wheel into a vertical position. The two bigger cranes then held the wheel, while the 350 tonne capacity LTM 1350-6.1 moved to the other side and was reattached. Once the load was again lying horizontal, the special crawler unit was positioned beneath it, ready to take on the 140 tonnes of steel.
The crawler had to cover 200 m, with the bucket wheel on its shoulders, to reach the excavator. There the process of getting the wheel upright was repeated. Once again, the two bigger Liebherr machines took hold of the wheel and hoisted it into position for installation.
It took two days for Breuer & Wasel to transport and install the bucket wheel on the site.