The world of hydraulics is full of some very interesting equipment, including some of the biggest and most powerful equipment in the world. This is possible because the fluid power transfer that occurs in hydraulic equipment allows for impressive feats of strength without having to use up too much fuel. Here is a little bit of information about 3 pieces of hydraulic equipment that are the best of their kind.
The strongest hydraulic crane in the world belongs to China’s Yantai Raffles Shipyard. Known as Taisun, the fixed dual-beam gantry crane has hoisted a record-setting 20,133 metric tons. That’s more than 98 Statues of Liberty put together. The 30-story-tall Taisun was designed to improve the efficiency of huge construction projects like offshore oil rigs by enabling the structures to be made in fewer, larger pieces on the ground and then lifted into place. Another hydraulic supercrane called the Honghai Crane is under construction in China and is expected to steal the record from the Taisun when complete.
The highest hydraulic lift lock is located in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada and can raise boats traveling on The Trent-Severn Waterway 65 feet. This hydraulic contraption isn’t something you could buy parts for at your local hydraulic parts supplier. Instead it is a custom made piece of equipment whose impressive functionality is all the more notable considering it was built in 1904, when the average lift height of most locks was just 7 feet. The hydraulic power used by this lift is generated entirely by gravity and counterweights.
The world’s largest hydraulic excavator, the Bucyrus RH400, stands 3 stories tall and can excavate 9,000 tons of earth per hour. Each scoop of its massive clamshell shovel holds 94 tons of dirt, and it requires 3,400 gallons of hydraulic fluid to operate. The Bucyrus is so big that there is plenty of room behind the driver’s cab for a fridge and microwave to help reduce downtime when the operator takes a break. This massive excavator is a common sight in the Canadian oil sands, where it bites out huge chunks of tarry soil which are then heated to separate out the oil. You may also have seen the Bucyrus RH400 in the movie theater. In Transformers 2, the character Decepticon’s vehicle form was inspired by the Bucyrus RH400.