Excavator, the Cream of Structural Design

December 6, 2007 at 2:32 am 10 comments


One way to learn design is to observe existing products. By critically observing a design and paying attention to its details, we can trace back the reason for decision making behind the design. My favorite product of structural design is: excavator. It is the cream of structural design. Most of today excavators still carry the legacy of old-school designers who have strong engineering intuition. Their structural details are simple and straightforward yet elegant. Their shapes are balance between strength, functionality, ergonomics, and ease of fabrication.

Komatsu PC 2000

Let’s see one example shown in Figure 1 below: Komatsu PC 2000. This picture was snapped on October 2007 in Kemayoran, Jakarta. It shows the PC 2000 in action. Since I am only interested in its superstructure, I only took some pictures beneath the upper machine (Figure 2, 3, and 4).

Fig. 1. Komatsu PC 2000.

Figure 2 is an upward view from beneath the upper machine. It shows various bolted and weld joints with clean and effective shapes. Figure 3 shows the rear section of PC 2000 undercarriage. It shows how various tubing lines are neatly integrated into the structural design. Figure 4 shows the front section of undercarriage. It shows bolted joint between center frame of undercarriage with crawler frame.

Fig. 2. Upward view from beneath PC 2000 upper machine.

Fig. 3. Hydraulic and grease tubings integrated into undercarriage structure.

Fig. 4. Details of crawler frame.

Terex RH 30-F

Excavator I am most familiar with is Terex RH 30-F, which is shown in Figure 5 below. I designed and supervised the construction of its slewing ring and pedestal support. Figure 6 shows the slewing ring during installation. I also witnessed the real power of a mining excavator in this project. RH 30-F has breaking force of 40 tons at the tip of its bucket.

Fig. 5. Terex RH 30-F installed on a movable gantry.

We installed the machine on a movable gantry running along a 300-ft coal barge. When it pulls the coal, the whole structure on which it sits on shakes like earthquake. This is something you won’t experience in ordinary excavator working on the ground. It is extremely powerful. Be careful when you design structure for a mining excavator. In brief: mining excavators are not just a pretty machine, they are very, very powerful mechanical beasts.

Fig. 6. Installing slewing ring and pedestal support for Terex RH 30-F.

** End of Article **


Entry filed under: Design & Analysis, Mechanical Equipments.

Isambard Kingdom Brunel Happy New Year 2009!

10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. rendra  |  February 4, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    It’s great that you had designed and supervised the construction of The Terex 30-F ‘s slewing ring and pedestal support. It seems you have alot of experience in actual design, specially in heavy equipment. I’m very jelaous on it.

    Btw, watching your photograph (with black glasses), you are lookslike Hongkong Mafia :))

  • 2. laurel  |  May 25, 2008 at 6:03 pm

    my husband and i both run equipment, i would love if you had other pictures of the pc2000 if you would send me some. also, if you have recent pictures of any cat dozers.

  • 3. ahmed limane  |  March 26, 2009 at 12:52 am

    cherche du travaie

  • 4. Jairo  |  May 30, 2009 at 11:51 pm

    Quero comprar uma escavadeira, solicito orçamento

  • 5. used skid steer  |  July 22, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    wow, that is one mean looking machine. I would love to play with that!

  • 6. Shruthi S  |  March 2, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    I have a lot of interest in knowing the design of these equipments. I also work for Wipro which produces hydraulic cylinders for Terex,JCB etc…. If u have any info regarding the design or assembly of these machines can u please share it. Info in the formof ppt or Pictures with explanation

  • 7. Nagaraja Narayana  |  August 11, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    good information for those who wants to know about structures of excavators. Keep writing to help people like us

  • 8. Excavator  |  January 8, 2018 at 5:49 pm

    Nice Blog, We all like your blog information,Great work!

  • 9. Bulldozer India  |  February 6, 2018 at 12:58 pm

    Your post really informative as well as helpful.
    Bulldozer – Very Flexible and Powerful Equipment

  • 10. HBXG  |  May 11, 2018 at 4:18 pm

    i used a website service for heavy construction equipment work.


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This blog is intended to accommodate sharing of thoughts, ideas, and experience in heavy equipment design and construction. You are free to copy, print, and distribute material in this blog provided that you refer back to its source and you do not use it for commercial purpose. Feel free to drop comment. Have a nice day, mate. //




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