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D11, O&k


Jun 29, 2007
^ thats a big rock hes pushing, you can actually see the sparks between the blade and the rock


Senior Member
Mar 25, 2007
Not sure where these shots were taken, but looks very much like Kentucky or West Virginia surface coal mine.

There are two situations where you get big boulders like the ones these guys are dealing with and both are tough. One is when you have a bad shot, one where all the powder doesn't go off and one section of rock remains largely intact. The other is when daylighting a bench out. Many times the last shot here only loosens already fractured rock, but it doesn't break it down to a more manageable size.

You can try to move those huge rocks, but even with big machinery it's a rough go sometimes. I've seen two dozers try to push boulders, or two 992 loaders team up to get one out of the way. They can be hard on iron if not managed right. Sometimes you have to have a blast-hole drill come over and punch a couple more holes in big chunks, then load them up with powder and try to blow em to smithereens. Dangerous, as there is nothing around them to hold back the shattered rock and it can fly for miles.

Not sure why the shovel operator waited till he had the truck already well loaded before placing that big rock on top. Maybe he couldn't get to it any sooner. Still, if that thing fell off going down the haul road, it could damage that truck, and any others coming the other way maybe. Not to mention having to be moved again if it falls in the road.

Working in rock, particularly at night, is a rough row to hoe. But it's always hard on equipment even as big as today's machines are. There are not a lot of people around whom can expertly and smoothly run a hydraulic front-shovel. I've seen a lot of guys try it and I've done some myself. Just not as easy as it looks.


Senior Member
Apr 5, 2007
Production manager
Over here the mine operators have another way of solving it.

You keep a big steel ball with you when loading.
If you find a big boulder like these ones, you pick it up in the bucket and drop it on the boulder.
With a big front loader you have very presice controll of where it hits when u open the bucket.
Problem solved and no stop in production.
Only problem is if you load it onto the trucks, steel balls isn't popular in the maincrusher.....:eek:

Otherwise you have a big exc with a hydraulic hammer for the splitting of big boulders.
On a big dam i was working they loaded with a Le Tourneau, and had a Cat 350 with a hammer for splitting boulders. A rather big combination for that job. It had a quick coupler and loaded smaler trucks when not splitting rock..:D

Regarding the boulder on top of the truck, i beliewe it was on purpose.
Loaded like that u can drop it off without dropping the whole load.
But u can be unlucky and loose it on the road.:(
They might have a spot not so far away where they tipp the big ones.
U can also have them in front of the next blasting and have the moving rock from the blast destroy it. Moving rock in the blast destroy each other, and thats calculated in the blasting plan.
Cost u nothing.