Revealed: the most extreme construction tech on Earth

Previously on the Integrity Software blog, we looked at some record breaking projects that are true masterpieces of engineering and architecture. To complete these incredible builds, ground-breaking technology is required. These are the vehicles and mechanisms that enable humanity to construct the biggest and most ambitious projects and create ever more incredible structures.

The biggest terrestrial vehicle

It may not come as much of a surprise that the largest vehicle on the planet is for construction - or rather excavation - purposes. The Bagger 293 is a monstrous excavation machine that requires five people to operate and weighs nearly 15,000 tons. It was constructed in Germany in 1995 for use in the coal industry, and can move nearly 250,000 cubic metres (8.5 million cubic feet) of earth every day using 20 buckets with diameters of 21.3 metres. It’s not exactly the speediest vehicle however, with a top speed of less than 1 km/h.

Strongest crane

The heaviest load ever lifted by a crane is 20,133 metric tons, and it was lifted by Taisun, a crane situated in Yantai, Shandong Province, China. This stationary crane was built to assemble vessels used in the oil and gas industry, including semi-submersible vessels. The crane has a height of 133 metres and a span of 120 metres, with a total of 50 kilometres of wire rope used to hold the lifted object in place.

Largest diameter tunnel boring machine

Tunnel boring machines are perhaps some of the most impressive pieces of technology on the planet. In recent decades they’ve become ever larger and more innovative. At the time of writing, the tunnel boring machine with the largest diameter was built by Herrenknecht, destined for use in the construction of the Orlovski tunnel in St. Petersburg. However, the project has stalled, and the impressive 19.25 metre diameter boring machine lies dormant.

Tallest mobile crane

The crane at Yantai is seriously impressive, but what’s the tallest and strongest crane you’ll find on a more typical site? Both titles go to the snappily-named Liebherr LTM 11200-9.1. It can lift up to 1,200 tons and reach up to 50 stories high with the assistance of a lattice jib. The crane has over 200 metric tons of counterweight.

Largest earthmover

Texas firm LeTourneau created the vehicle that holds the world record for the biggest earth mover, with its gargantuan L-2350. The machine stands 13.5 metres (44 feet) high and the operator sits at the controls two stories from ground level. When in operation, the L-2350 weighs 258 tons and has a hydraulic lifting payload of close to 75 tons.

While these construction technologies are highly impressive – indeed, the scale of them is astounding – the cancellation of the Orlovski tunnel project shows that the right equipment isn’t all you need for a construction project to be successful. Project management is equally important, particularly managing finances. For jobs of all shapes and sizes, Integrity’s Evolution M construction accounting software can help you keep tabs on your finances and drill down to individual costs to identify areas of over and underspending - the premier need in job costing software. Contact us today to learn more.

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