Are you Transformer material?Image courtesy of Phombo
What if you woke up one morning 4.7 light-years from Earth circling Alpha Centauri on a planet called Cybertron with no money, no job, no place to live and no prospects except for a full-ride scholarship to transform yourself into a giant piece of heavy equipment? Would you know what to do?
Don’t laugh⎯this could happen. Of course, your first task would be getting yourself a name suitable for a sentient soil compactor or crawler crane from an alien world, something like Dirtsquish or Skyscratcher or whatever.
Then it’s time to pick the machine for your alternate mode. But, hey, where do you start? Cat alone has 28 different machine lines from motor graders to wheel loaders to hydraulic excavators to feller bunchers. (Don’t even ask what that last thing does.)
Bagger 288 Bucket-Wheel ExcavatorPhoto courtesy of Martin Röll
Okay, this bubba is definitely big. Built by Krupp, the German industrial mom and pop, the Bagger 288 is a 13,500-ton bucket-wheel excavator designed to extract overburden blocking coal at neighborhood strip mines. As a Bagger, you can scoop up 240,000 cubic meters of rock and rubble a day. If you got bored with that, you could switch to diamonds or Big Macs or beer kegs or even kittens. You are 700 feet long and 300 feet tall and suck up 17 million watts of electricity a second. Who’s going to stop you?
Komatsu 960E Super-Haul TruckPhoto courtesy of Komatsu Press Release Images
Let’s say you need to haul something besides your rear end from point A to points unknown. The Komatsu 960E Super-Haul Truck is not only for you⎯it is you. Crushing the scales at 1.3 million pounds, you can tool around powered by an 18-cylinder, 3,500 HP diesel engine. Your dump body (yes, that is what it’s called) can hold 360 short tons of $100 bills or CARE packages, depending on your factional alignment. You’ll also come equipped with something called automatic retard speed control, and that has to be good.
Caterpillar D11 Heavy BulldozerPhoto courtesy of Shaun Greiner
Don’t kid yourself. Every now and then, you get the urge to push something around. As a Cat D11 heavy bulldozer, you can ram, plow, shove and actually bulldoze nearly 60 cubic yards of just about anything with your high-capacity universal blade. For those times when you need to express your gentler nature, you can deploy your hydraulic-powered multi-shank impact ripper to lift and shatter boulders, bedrock and other bric-a-brac. With a top ground speed of 7.3 mph, you’ll have plenty of time to stop and smell the roses. Nothing says love like a bulldozer.Image courtesy of Phombo
The Next Step
You’re an Autobot named Ruckus in your Bobcat skid-steer loader alt mode. You are racing to bring deep-dish pizzas to orphans stranded at a nearby mall. Suddenly, your hydrostatic pump goes on the fritz. What now? Well, if you were a graduate of the Heavy Construction Equipment Technology program at Dakota County Technical College, you would know exactly what to do. No self-respecting Transformer leaves home without at least one A.A.S. degree from a DCTC Transportation Careers program.
For more info on the HCET program, contact:
Or visit Heavy Construction Equipment Technology