01 Belle Ayr and Beener Coal

01 Belle Ayr and Beener Coal


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This programme was filmed at Belle Ayr and Beener Coal – two huge America surface coal mines that use some of the largest machines of their kinds to be found anywhere.

At the Belle Ayr mine, Gillette, Wyoming, one of the world’s biggest electric shovels, the P&H 4100XPB, is removing overburden above the coal seams. It dwarfs the Caterpillar 797B haul trucks it loads, even though these are the largest mechanically driven trucks in the world. Among other impressive equipment is the world’s biggest motor grader available today, the Cat 24-H.

Whereas Belle Ayr, one of the greatest mines in the United States, uses a central electric supply for its shovels, the far smaller Beener Coal at Barton, Maryland, makes use of diesel technology. Their Bucyrus-Erie 295B series II is one of the world’s biggest diesel-powered rope shovel. Working alongside it is another monster: the Komatsu D575A bulldozer – again, the world’s largest.

The programme focuses on extreme machines but also shows how these mines operate, from extraction and haulage to processing, transport and reclamation.

This 70-minute programme is number one in the Massive Machines series of DVDs.

The script is by Keith Haddock, retired mining engineer and author of many books on earthmoving equipment. As an extra in the DVD Keith takes us to the Cam-Plex mining museum, near Gillette. Filmed by Roger Wiltshire, and directed and edited by Jonathan Theobald, this DVD was produced by Old Pond Publishing in 2008.


Additional information:

MASSIVE MACHINES series – These DVDs are made for DVD Regions 2 and 4. They also use the PAL television system. High Definition televisions are standard throughout the world, and do not rely on PAL, NTSC or SECAM systems. But, all DVDs are Standard Definition therefore DVD players can be limited to one of the three systems. Most modern DVD players and computers are able to play all three (PAL, NTSC and SECAM) television systems, and some are also able to play DVDs created for any of the four regions. However, some older players may not be as flexible and may be limited to one of the television systems, and one of the four DVD regions.

DVD Regions (1, 2, 3 or 4) Region 1: Canada, United States, United States Territories. Region 2: Europe, Japan, South Africa, Middle East (including Egypt). Region 3: Southeast Asia, East Asia (including Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong). Region 4: Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands, Central America, Mexico, South America, Caribbean Region.

Television Systems (PAL, NTSC or SECAM) PAL is used in much of Europe, parts of Africa, most of Asia, Australia, New Zealand and parts of South America. NTSC is used in Canada, USA, Japan, parts of South America and a few Asian countries. SECAM is used in France, parts of Africa, Russia and some neighbouring countries.

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