The Bagger series land vehicle is not for the faint of heart. Weighing in at 500 tons and measuring 315 feet tall and 721 feet long, the Bagger 288 can move approximately 240,000 tons of overburden (soil or material waste that covers a key economic resource) per day. It’s also every environmentalist’s worst nightmare, as this fearsome beast can dig up entire football-sized fields of earth with its monstrous 21.6 m (70.9 ft) in diameter digging wheel that’s comprised of 18 buckets that can each hold “6.6 cubic metres (8.6 yd³) of overburden.”
The Bagger 288 was built in 1978 by Krupp, a 400-year-old German company known for producing steel and manufacturing ammunition and armaments. And in dubious keeping with most metal and steel conglomerates, Krupp has a horrific history of using slave labor during World War II. When construction of the Bagger 288 was completed, it surpassed NASA’s Crawler-Transporter “as the largest land vehicle in the world.”
Used primarily for strip mining, the Bagger 288 travels along “3 rows of 4 caterpillar track assemblies” at “2 to 10 m (6.6 to 32.8 ft) per minute (0.1 to 0.6 km/h).” Given the sheer weight of the Bagger 288, a steady supply of 16.56 megawatts of externally sourced electricity is needed. As an interesting tidbit of trivia, the Bagger 288 was featured briefly in the films The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.
One of the more recent iterations of the Bagger series is the Bagger 293, featured in the following YouTube video:
Although we here would certainly love to see less of these in the world for the sake of our environment, no doubt the Bagger series land vehicle is an impressive example of human engineering. Now, how about applying that human engineering acumen to machines focused on harnessing energy in a more sustainable and less destructive manner?