The use of draglines usually focuses only on mining operations. Due to its ability to make excavation more efficient, mining has significantly benefited from these machines and technologies. The mining industry can reuse or replace the surfaces obtained from opencast mining to fill surfaces after the operation. There are two categories of dragline excavators:

1. Standard Lift Crane

The dragline excavator equipment, which acts as a standard lifting crane, is manufactured off-site and fed to the mine. They can dismantle and reassemble. Standard lift cranes are one of two categories of dragline excavators with winch drum cranes that can efficiently build bridges, ports, and roads in construction.

2. Built Onsite

The mining industry often requires heavy equipment for more extensive mining operations, such as coal and oil sand strip mining. Using a Dragline excavator for these operations always requires that it be built on site. They remained in the mining area for decades because they were expensive to transport.

An operator drags the dragline bucket to remove material during an excavation cycle. The drag rope will help keep the bucket and remove surface debris. A lifting rope then lifts the bucket. The swing rope will then move the bucket to break the material. On smaller draglines, the operator can make a bucket land about one-half of a jib length. However, on more giant draglines, it’s only a few meters.

two categories of dragline excavators
Photo credits to SENNEBOGEN

Dragline Limitations

The main limitations of dragline excavators are boom length and boom height, limiting where the dragline can effectively dispose of waste material. The equipment is also not good at digging depths, limited by the length of the rope attached to the machines. The primary function of a dragline excavator focuses on the construction and excavating of material below the base level. The shovel rope is usually more efficient at loading the collected material.

Despite the limitations of dragline excavators and their high operating costs, a dragline is still an ideal tool for most mining operations due to its reliability and significantly lower waste disposal costs. 

Source: americanmineservices