Belaz, a state-owned company from Belarus has created the largest dumptruck in the world. The Belaz 75710 is more than twenty metres long - the length of two double decker buses parked tail to tail – is almost ten metres wide and is eight metres high.
Weighing 360 tonnes when empty, the $6m truck has the capability to transport around 450 tonnes of cargo - almost the same as a fully loaded Airbus A380 airplane. To help it carry more than its predecessors, the monster truck runs on eight wheels instead of the usual six, and each tyre can support a load of up to 102 tonnes.
The vehicle has two cylinder diesel engines which drive generators which produce electricity to power four electric motors. To put this into context, four or six cylinder engines would power your average family car.
The truck uses four Siemens electric traction motors each with an output of 1,200 kilowatts, making it as powerful as six Formula 1 cars combined. This is extremely important for a vehicle which is constantly stopping, starting and pulling heavy loads uphill at a gradient of 18% gradient. To allow drivers to manoeuvre easily, both axles in the truck steer.
Fuel consumption is estimated at 1,300 litres per 100km, however, the truck can be run on one engine when not loaded to save on fuel.
UK-based senior mining engineer at Golder Associates, Bryan Pullman, said of the Belaz 75710: “It’s a great piece of engineering and if it can operate efficiently it’s impressive. Using two engines combines makes it a bit of a complex mechanical system, so I wonder about operating efficiency and fuel consumption. But even if it only knocks a few pence off per tonne, it could have a big impact on production costs in some of the world’s large coal, iron ore and copper mines.”
Two more Belaz 75710s are currently under construction.