Most of us have seen those huge mining trucks that can weigh in the hundreds of tons. Unless you’ve seen one in person, it’s hard to fathom how huge these big machines are. One tire (they usually have six or eight) can be larger in both size and mass than your entire car. The Caterpillar 797B, one of the most-used big dump trucks of this type, weighs over 300 tons (not including fuel). That’s about a hundred tons more than the average locomotive engine employed by Union Pacific Railroad.
Sometimes, of course, these massive trucks break down and need to be transported for repair or they need to be moved from one jobsite to another. There are two options for accomplishing this: tear the truck down into parts and transport the ones that require repair or move the entire truck at once using another truck.
The second option means using an extreme, heavy-duty big rig. One that might be dwarfed by the large dump truck, but that pound-for-pound is stronger than the large truck is. One of the very few trucks with that kind of extreme capability is the Mercedes-Benz Actros semi-tractor in heavy-duty trim. It has a maximum cargo pulling capacity of a mere 250 tons. Compare that to the everyday big rig trucks on our highways which have a total capacity of about 40 tons and you get the idea of how extreme that is.
Mercedes-Benz tweeted this photo of an Actros hauling one of those massive mining dumpers. It’s fascinating and mind-boggling at the same time.
Hat Tip to Road & Track for this one.