What Are the Different Types of Heavy Mining Equipment?

Esther Ejim

The type of heavy mining equipment that is used for a specific task during any mining operation depends on a number of factors. One determining factor is where the mining operations occur: at the surface, deep under the ground, or at the subsurface level. All of these various stages require specific types of heavy equipment in order to facilitate the mining process. As such, the description of heavy mining equipment depends on the type of mining as well as the stage in the mining process. Some of the common equipment used in mining include earthmovers, dragline excavators, longwall mining machines, roofbolters, shuttle cars, graders and haul trucks.

Large tunnels in a coal mine.
Large tunnels in a coal mine.

Heavy mining equipment used for surface mining may be used in the furtherance of any number of mining processes. For instance, it may be used during oil mining, coal mining or the mining of precious stones and metals. Basically, surface mining requires a lot of moving the earth material and rocks from one location to the other in order to allow the miners get to the point of interest. To accomplish this, a group of equipment generally referred to as earthmovers are used for this particular purpose. Earthmovers usually have some sort of digging, bucket-like structures in front of them that are used to dig up the soil, carry them and transfer them to another location, granting the miners access to the desired location.

Whether the mining is being done at the surface or underground will determine the kind of equipment used.
Whether the mining is being done at the surface or underground will determine the kind of equipment used.

Dragline excavators are another category of heavy mining equipment that are also most commonly associated with coal mining. Longwall mining machines are also applied toward the mining of coal and are usually used underground, as opposed to the dragline excavators that are used above ground. Other sets of mining equipment that are commonly used underground are roofbolters and shuttle cars. The shuttle cars are necessary in order to transport the mined substance, such as coal, to the next point in the mining operation. Blasthole drills is another set of heavy mining equipment that consist of an upright boom on a movable base that may be used both onshore and offshore for the purpose of drilling hole within where explosives can be placed.

Graders are heavy mining equipment on huge trucks that are used during the mining process. Another type of heavy mining equipment, the haul truck, allows the miners to move large quantities of debris or soil from one point to another. The application of the various heavy mining equipment is dependent on the requirement of those involved in the mining operation, the type of mining operation, and the stage of the mining operation.

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