Weir ESCO delivers ‘largest operating’ dragline bucket to North America mine site

Weir ESCO has completed another major milestone in its bucket-producing legacy, delivering a brand new, customised 164 yd (150 m) ESCO® ProFill® bucket to a customer in North America – a unit that, it claims, is now the largest dragline bucket currently operating anywhere in the world.

Miners use dragline buckets to scoop up and remove overburden sitting above a deposit of ore. The more overburden the bucket can handle in a single pass, the faster miners can get to the valuable ore below. This new bucket can move about 270 tons (245 t) of rock and soil in one pass, and do it more efficiently than other buckets, according to Weir ESCO.

When installed in March, the equipment qualified as the largest dragline bucket currently operating anywhere in the world, it says.

“I’ve never seen a bucket dig like this,” said Account Manager, Jim Carter, who has been selling dragline buckets for 26 years. “Weir ESCO is one of the few companies that can produce a bucket this large. And in-house innovations in metallurgy are helping the company create stronger, more wear-resistant buckets that fill faster, use less drag energy and deliver exceptional productivity.

Design and manufacturing of the new dragline bucket took about a year, according to Chris Grewell, Primary Engineer on the project.

“We were able to refer to previously created patterns and castings as a starting point to create this custom bucket,” Grewell said. “Years of past expertise go into a project like this. Previous ESCO engineers have done a great job. We were standing on the shoulders of giants to create this bucket.”

Weir ESCO has been creating huge dragline buckets for more than 90 years. Today, the company says it continues to expand its market share by capitalising on its engineering legacy and in-house metallurgy innovations to produce stronger, more productive and more wear-resistant products with expanded life expectancies, reduced energy usage and less waste.