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Modern Marvels: Earth Movers

Modern Marvels: Earth Movers



60 min




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Nature is the ultimate earth-mover - Hurricane Katrina and the 1930s Dust Bowl are examples of its power. After Katrina 24 million cubic feet of debris had to be removed.
The 320-ton mining truck by Komatsu has a 1,200 gallon fuel tank, tires cost $33,000 each. Their plant in Peoria formerly was owned by LeTourneau. The truck is diesel-electric powered, and generates power going downhill. The diesel is 2,700 h.p. Expected run life is 100,000 hours over 15 years - operated constantly, except for repairs.
Dredges clear the bottom of shipping channels. Buckets are used for soft dirt, backhoes for rock, hydraulic dredges suck material to the surface - usually aided by a rotating cutting head and 12,000 horsepower.
Tunnel Borers dig sewers, roadways. Provide a uniform dimension (less concrete needed) and use no explosives (disrupt neighborhoods). The largest cutting head is 47' in diameter. Engineers anticipate future models will be remotely operated.
"More Earthmovers" then gets a bit fanciful, reporting engineers dreams of creating warming gases on Mars that would lead to a habitable environment in 100 years, and the need for earth-movers there. Then there's the thought of an H-bomb used to push away asteroids that otherwise would hit Earth in 10-20 years, or accomplishing the same via attaching a space craft to the asteroid and pushing it back.

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