1939 – Walking Draglines – (English)

The earliest known actual walking dragline was from Ransomes & Rapier 1939 using the patented Cameron and Heath  walking method. Model W170, it had a 4-yard bucket.

TRACTION OR PROPULSION MECHANISM OF THE WALKING TYPE –  Cameron et al.

Colin McLeod Cameron and Alfred Thomas Heath

British Patent 320,223
Granted Feb 21, 1940.
Filed Mar 3, 1939.

See US Patent here.

US Patent number: 2259200
Filing date: Feb 21, 1940
Issue date: Oct 1941


There was an earlier patent by Vincent G. Anderson in 1918 where he proposed a walking dragline or excavator resulting in a similar walking and steering fashion.

Patent number: 1455380
Filing date: Apr 22, 1918
Issue date: May 15, 1923
See here.


Bacyrus-Erie took over Ransomes & Rapier  in 1988 and continued to use this method of propulsion for these gigantic land machines.


"Big Muskie"

Big Muskie was a coal mining Bucyrus-Erie dragline owned by the Central Ohio Coal Company (formerly a division of American Electric Power), weighing nearly 13,000 metric tons (13,000 long tons; 14,000 short tons) and standing nearly 22 stories tall. It operated in the U.S. state of Ohio from 1969 to 1991.

The Big Muskie was a model 4250-W Bucyrus-Erie dragline (the only one ever built). With a 220 cubic yards (170 m3) bucket, it was the largest single-bucket digging machine ever created and one of the world's largest mobile earth-moving machines. Its bucket could hold two Greyhound buses side by side. It took over 200,000 man hours to construct over a period of about two years.


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This entry was posted on Friday, April 6th, 2012 at 3:44 pm and is filed under Walking Machines. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

2 Responses to “1939 – Walking Draglines – (English)”

  1. Hinton J. Sheryn Says:

    AS the author of a number of books and countless journal/magazine articles on the histories of Excavators/Cranes/Earthmoving Equipment, I am interested in any site featuring them on my computer. I have actually been on the Rapier W-1800, at Maesgwyn Cap, the Marion 7400-M (same site) and the “Ace of Spades” (Stobswood)..also watched the Marion 195-M crawler dragline at work at Glynneath. Please keep in touch. Sincerely..Hinton

  2. Tony Anson Says:

    I worked for Geo Wimpey and spent time working at Maesgwyn cap in late 1960's I also witnessed and worked on W-1800. The work was maintainence tasks including greasing the sheaves at the end of the boom, while the machine was working (boom rotating!) H&S would not allow this task today ! I also worked on Lima 2400 draglines: happy days !