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The most complicated machine

Discussion in 'General Industry Questions' started by mitch504, Jun 29, 2013.

  1. bigshow

    bigshow Senior Member

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    Graders, in my opinion are a fairly simple tool when you look at the overall concept. The principle has remained the same for over 100 years, a couple sets of wheels, with a blade somewhere in between that "planes" out the area being worked. A graders only true limitation is the operators imagination. I have recently been "blessed" with the opportunity to run our companies pavement mills, as of late, a Wirtgen W2100. Between the 2 conveyor belts, the drum with 168 carbide tipped teeth, the 4 tracks, the big yellow C18, and all the different slope and grade sensors, as far as iron is concerned, these things get my vote. Slip form concrete pavers get pretty crazy too, Cranes have always improved technologically speaking, but the concept has always remained the same, a lever, a fulcrum point, and some rope hanging around.
     
  2. briscoetab

    briscoetab Well-Known Member

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    Occupation:
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    West Texas
    bigshow, I think I do agree with what you said and withdraw the motor grader from being a complicated piece of equipment. I think what I was thinking is more along the line of the most complicated to run. Now I don't know what piece of equipment I would pick.
     
  3. bigshow

    bigshow Senior Member

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    There really not that bad, I find them to be quite relaxing. The 'Ol boy that broke me in told me that less is more, you should be only making minor adjustments if you're going to make any adjustments at all. You just got to let the grader do its thing, if you're in there yanking and cranking them levers, you're doing it wrong. Sometimes just leaning the wheels a bit, circle-shifting or adjusting the moldboard tilt will be enough to raise or lower the G.E.T. enough to accomplish what is needed. About the only time I grab a fist full of levers and yank 'em till they stop is to turn around at the end of a pass, and then it's only the articulation, wheel lean, circle turn, and maybe a lil side shift levers.
     
  4. briscoetab

    briscoetab Well-Known Member

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    No there not that bad but compared to everything else that I run it was by far the hardest to accomplish what I wanted to. After I learned how to run it, it has become one of my favorite pieces of equipment to run. Now I can do what I want on it and make it look good without getting frustrated from continually gouging the blade.

    Everything else I have learned to run I was able to accomplish what I wanted, it may not have looked as good as I can make it look now and it may have taken longer but I was able to do it none the less. The grader on the other hand I would gouge in the dirt every 50 yards or look down and the blade was completely off the ground. Usually what happened was I would run it for a bit then someone would have to clean up and finish after me. Luckily those days are over and I'm the one cleaning up after other people.
     
  5. rare ss

    rare ss Senior Member

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    I've worked on a heap of earthmoving gear but recently been exposed to some Rail gear.. particularly one of these things, a ballast Tamper

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0I-dygdwNzU

    The amount of electronics and hydraulics are up there as well as the calabration required as it will accually hold and position the tracks to the correct plain.. one of these runs in around the 10mil mark

    If you got around 40mil you can get yourself a ballast cleaner which removes, sorts, cleans, resizes and replaces the ballast..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-xs_XiCoQE
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2013
  6. watglen

    watglen Senior Member

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    Occupation:
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    Location:
    Dunnville, Ontario, Canada
    Those links led to a variety of rail reconstruction technologies and machines.

    Pretty impressive
     
  7. DeanM

    DeanM Active Member

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    Vancouver Island BC
    Every machine I've thought of can be reduced to a few simple functions. Maybe we should change the question to what simple machine can we make the most complicated?
     
  8. woorarra

    woorarra Active Member

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    Proper use and operation of a walking excavator.

    Graders are a walk in the park in comparison IMHO
     
  9. icestationzebra

    icestationzebra Senior Member

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    My vote is the large electric rope shovels. A 7000vac trail cable into an onboard transformer, eight 1200-1800hp electric motors each with a large variable speed drive, treads up to 13 ft wide, numerous lube systems, compressed air system, blowers with filtration for the house, four 4-5" wire ropes, winch to help change ropes, dipper door latch system, a control system with several computers and hundreds of inputs/outputs, operator/maintenance displays, on-board weight system, anti-collision system, anti-stall system, etc. Some even have incinerating toilets. Draglines are very similar, everything is just large or more of them.

    ISZ
     
  10. DirtHauler

    DirtHauler Senior Member

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    Seattle WA
    Tunnel boring machine.
     
  11. Colorado Digger

    Colorado Digger Senior Member

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    Biggest P.I.T.A machine for me is a Wacker RT82. Very complicated because it is always broke down.
     
  12. td25c

    td25c Senior Member

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    As for mobile agricultural equipment I would say any type of harvester/combine. It's small factory on wheels doing many different operations at the same time. This tomato harvester is interesting www.tomatoharvester.com/johnson.htm

    As for mobile industrial equipment..... I just dont know?I was going to say paver or concrete screed as they are doing multible operations with a product that has a short time line to work with.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2013
  13. glenlunberg

    glenlunberg Senior Member

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    Those links are pretty good. It's very interesting.
     
  14. Plant Fitter

    Plant Fitter Senior Member

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    Australia
    I have spent a fair bit of time over under and inside a John Deere 7720 combine harvester (or "header" as we call them here) so I know what you are talking about Mitch, but I would have to agree with rare ss, and say that rail maintenance machines take the cake as far as complex mobile machinery goes.
     
  15. stondad

    stondad Well-Known Member

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    Occupation:
    Truck Driver
    Location:
    Queensland Australia
    What a great thread !..............But I gotta dissagree here.

    The shovel is a bit like my Grandfather's axe.
    It's had 6 new handles and 2 new heads, but by Jingos, its been a good axe !

    My vote goes to the hydraulic excavator.
    The overall efficiency of modern ones compared to the original ones with multi-section gear pumps and open-centre systems is amazing.
    Just the technology of piston and rod seals to handle the high speed movement of the cylinders is incredible. (That's why seal kits are so expensive!)

    Cheers. M.