A Trip Through France, the third programme in the Earthmoving Trails series, starts in the south-west of the country.
The first quarry, extracting limestone, is not far Bordeaux and is home to the only Terex O&K RH90-C excavator in France as well as a Cat 992G wheel loader. From here we travel west through the Midi Pyrenees region to see several fascinating machines last used in the 1990s at a massive coal mine. They are now preserved in the magnificent Parc des Titans. The machinery includes a large Demag excavator, a towering Bucyrus-Erie electric rope shovel, a 400-tonne bucket-wheel excavator and a number of rare Dresser-Haulpak trucks.
Our journey continues south to the snow-capped Pyrenees Mountains and the world’s largest talc mine where we see a Liebherr R994B excavator filling Komatsu HD985 trucks in a spectacular, high-altitude environment. We also see a Komatsu D375A dozer, and film talc being prized from the seam by smaller excavators fitted with specially made booms and buckets.
From here we travel east along the Mediterranean Coast to the Camargue to see how salt is made at the country’s largest salt marsh. It is extracted by a couple of purpose-built machines, and further handled and loaded by a Caterpillar wheel loader and dozer.
Then we head to Provence where one of Europe’s few surviving Lima 2400B draglines is extracting sand and gravel. We also take a brief look at two other draglines, one of which is a Hitachi CX550.
At another nearby sand and gravel quarry two unique machines are in action. The first is a long-reach version of a Liebherr R994 excavator. The second, an 800-tonne Ruston-Bucyrus RB-480, is the largest working dragline in Europe today.
Finally we head north to two quarries near the cities of Metz and Nancy. In the first Cat 657 motor scrapers, pushed by a Cat D10T dozer, extract chalk and limestone for cement production. At the second, three 250-tonne Liebherr excavators – two R994s and an R9250 – are digging out limestone.
A Trip Through France is written and presented by Steven Vale who is a regular contributor to Earthmovers Magazine and has helped make many earthmoving machinery DVDs. The programme is directed, edited and narrated by Jonathan Theobald who has made a wide range of documentaries on agricultural and earthmoving machines working throughout the world.
All the Earthmoving Trails DVDs are multi-region and can be played in any of the world’s four DVD regions. They also use the PAL television system.
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