Model of a bucket-wheel excavator

 © Technisches Museum Wien, Photo: Peter Sedlaczek
Collection Area
Energy & Mining
1980 - 1989
At the moment this object is not published in the museum.
A sandpit dream made steely reality: in the VABE 700, there is some impressive technology hiding behind the name of ‘compact bucket-wheel excavator’.

Bucket-wheel excavators are large diggers for lifting raw materials such as peat, brown coal, gravel, phosphates, sand or rock. They are also used on large sites, such as the construction of canals. The model exhibited in the Technisches Museum Wien (Vienna Technical Museum) is a compact bucket-wheel excavator, primarily suited to small and medium-sized opencast mines. An excavator of this type was used for many years in the Styrian brown-coal coalfield in Köflach.

Opencast mining takes place in several stages: the covering rock, the so-called overburden, must be removed, transported away and deposited. Then the actual mining takes place, the transportation of the raw materials and the subsequent recultivation of the mined site. A very wide range of extraction equipment is used in combination in this complex system, and then transportation, from conveyor belts to mine railways, is required. The bucket-wheel excavators with their imposing bucket wheels stand at the centre of an opencast mine.

The VABE 700 may be called a compact bucket-wheel excavator, but is impressive from its caterpillar tracks to its bucket wheel. The machine's structure is relatively simple: it consists of a pivoted superstructure designed as a platform, a substructure equipped with caterpillar tracks and a loading facility. The wheel arm is attached to the superstructure. The bucket wheel is located at its tip. Various hydraulic cylinders control the incline and swing direction of the wheel and conveyor arm. This supports the conveyor belt, which is used for transporting the mined material. This excavator, which is suitable not only for mining brown coal but also for use in stone-breaking works or in storage yards, can convey up to 3,000 m³ of material per hour. That is equivalent to the volume of two or three houses.

Type: VABE 700
Manufacturer (original): VÖEST ALPINE Bergtechnik GmbH, Zeltweg
Year of manufacture (model): 1986

Inv.Nr. 39967

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