Mean Machines - Friday March 2 Bulldozers

Friday Mar 2
mean machines: bulldozers (2/10) 19.30–20.00

Mean Machines is a show with a mission: to hunt down the most exciting mechanical monsters on the planet. Taking viewers right inside the biggest, baddest, strongest and fastest machines around, this new documentary series provides the lowdown on what truly makes a mean machine.

In this first episode, we track down some of the meanest earth-movers on the planet. Bulldozers so massive they can move mountains; so clever they can think for themselves and so mean they can take on volcano-like conditions and win.

The granddaddy of them all, the Caterpillar, is the machine against which all others are measured. The Cat-D9 has a 410-horsepower engine and 3.4-metre tracks, and can go up near-vertical slopes and shovel 50 tonnes of earth in one scoop. It’s the latest version of a model Cat has been designing and has been improving for nearly a century. At Cat’s HQ in Illinois, tester Brian Sims enjoys indulging his passion for big machines. “I started out in the gold mines in southern California,” he explains. “I love operating big machinery and moving dirt around”.

The next earth-mover profiled in tonight’s programme is the Snow Cat, a bulldozer modified to work at extreme altitudes on super-steep gradients and through metre-deep snow drifts. These bulldozers’ job is to pound ski runs smooth for some skiers, and make massive jumps for others, which means that they’re what makes the difference between a world-class ski resort and a big, cold mountain.

The Snow Cat might be king of the mountains, but the next bulldozer is so mean that it can work in places that would melt the Cat. The Caterpillar D10 has been adapted to deal with the extreme conditions found in this nickel mine in Ontario, Canada, from its specialised blade to its customised ripping claws, and is adapted to break and shift diamond-hard slag.

Elsewhere in tonight’s programme, meet the tiny bulldozers that may one day go to Mars; and the Komatsu D575 Super Dozer – the biggest bulldozer in the world – which can shovel out more than 180 million dollars’ worth of coal a year.

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  • robert

    can you please tell me how many komatsu 575a bulldozers were built and where they are working in the world

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