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Caterpillar 979B: Celebrity monster truck

The 979B mining truck appears to be the closest thing to a celebrity in Caterpillar’s equipment lineup (not counting the armor-plated dozers used to implement Israeli justice on their tormentors). This video I found online amounts to a free ad for the behemoth, though the $5.5 million price tag makes the universe of potential purchasers rather small.

There’s some confusion over whether this is the world’s largest truck. One commenter at the thread linked to the YouTube video above says the biggest is the Liebherr 282B, which has 50 tons more capacity, he says.

There’s a project under way to automate these beasts and run them robotically. It seems to me there couldn’t be enough of them the world to justify the millions it would cost to develop the technology — wouldn’t it be cheaper to just pay drivers? — but I read somewhere that large mines in remote locales that actually use giant off-highway trucks have a hard time finding anybody willing to drive them. Theoretically, it could make work sites safer as well.

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Tom Mangan posted at 9:15 am December 30th, 2008 |

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