Shop Talk Blog

The Official Blog for Texas Final Drive

World's Biggest Hydraulic Shovel?

The world's biggest hydraulic shovel has been the Bucyrus RH400 for many years -- read on to learn more about this monstrous hydraulic machine!

Worlds Biggest Hydraulic Shovel

Here are a few other Shop Top Blog Posts you might enjoy:

The Bucyrus RH400  was the largest hydraulic shovel for many years, although it may have recently been displaced by the massive CAT 6090 FS. The RH400 is used primarily in mining applications, and is now owned by Caterpillar. Before we talk about what makes this machine special, we should explain how a hydraulic shovel differs from a hydraulic excavator.

Difference Between a Hydraulic Shovel and an Excavator

Most excavators have a bucket that is directed inwards toward the machine and is well adapted for digging beneath below ground level. The bucket on a hydraulic shovel, on the other hand, is designed for digging or loading above ground level. Because of this, the bucket on a shovel is directed outwards, away from the machine.

Bucyrus RH400

The world's largest hydraulic shovel is the Bucyrus RH400. The total height of this machine is 32' 9"and the overall width is 28' 3". This monster of a hydraulic machine weighs in at about 2,160,510 lb and it has a 4,500 hp (for comparison, a Bobcat T180 has a 66 hp engine). And the shovel on this hydraulic machine can hold 65.4 cubic yards.


This power is provided by 2 x QSK60-Cummins 2-stage turbocharged diesel engines or, in some cases, 2 x 16 cylinder Cat 3516B diesel engines. The fuel tank capacity if 4,000 gallons and the engines have US EPA Tier 2 emission certifications.

Tracks and Travel

The standard track pads are 6' 7" wide (48 on each side) and the height of the track system is 9' 8" tall. The maximum tractive force is 930,380 lb and the maximum speed is 1.37 mph (this machine is just not meant for speed). It can handle a maximum grade of 36%, which seems pretty impressive for a machine this size.

Travel Drives

Now for our favorite topic: the hydraulic motors. There is a 2-stage axial piston hydraulic motor on each side, serving as the travel drives for this machine. The Bucyrus RH400 also has a planetary transmission.

Swing Drive

The swing drives include 6 compact planetary transmissions with axial piston motors with a swing ring comprised of a triple race roller bearing with sealed internal gearing.

Automatic Lubrication System

The RH400 has an automatic lubrication system that holds about 264 gallons of grease. The swing roller bearing with internal gearing as well as all the pivot points for attachments, bucket and cylinders are connected to the lubrication system.

Retractable Service Station

The Bucyrus RH400 also has a retractable service station that has been installed beneath engine module and designed to be accessible from the ground. It includes quick couplings for everything from diesel fuel and engine coolant to the hydraulic tank and the grease container.


Not only is the Bucyrus RH400 the largest hydraulic shovel in the world, but it is also a masterpiece of engineering. And while we may not carry the huge travel motors for this machine, we probably do carry the travel motors and final drives that you need. Contact us today at Texas Final Drive.

New Call-to-action

CTA for Excavator Track Drives

Topics: Hydraulic Motors, Monster Machines, Track Drives, Hydraulic Shovel

Add a comment...

"Shop Talk Blog" Email Updates

Posts by Topic

see all