A Little History !!!

In the Mid 1960's Central Ohio Coal's Muskingum Mine found itself in need of new equipment to keep pace with an increasing need for coal. Several choices were available to them, they could build several small machines to uncover the coal, or they could build one large machine . After considering the amount of coal that could be removed with the smaller machines and the amount remaining, just beyond their reach, it was decided that what was needed was something BIGGER. Something that could reach the deeper coal reserves that the smaller machines would leave behind.

With coal seams running at nearly 185 feet deep, and an increasing demand, they approached the Bucyrus Erie company with a basic set of requirements,to see if Bucyrus Erie could build a machine to fit the need.

Bucyrus's engineers went to work, and after about 2 years the plans for Big Muskie were complete. Officially designated the BE4250W, it would be the largest land machine ever built. With a designed weight of around 27 million pounds, a 220 cubic yard bucket, and a maximum digging depth of 185 feet, the 4250w met the requirements perfectly and production of the machine soon started.

Beginning in 1967, BUCYRUS's crews began assembling the machine. Because of it's size and the location of the mine, Muskie had to be built "on site". A Specially reinforced concrete "launching pad" was built and production of the muskie commenced.


After 2 years and more than 200,000 man hours later, Muskie was finally complete. Finally , on May 22, 1969, the 4250w was dedicated and given the name "BIG MUSKIE" .

Randy Johnson ( He's six feet tall) Standing on a lip on the side of Muskie's bucket. You can't really understand the size of this thing, until you step back a little.



More pictures of Big Muskie !

 Additional pages, Click highlighted text to view page

Muskie being built

Muskie working

Muskie parked

dismantled for scrap

Athens Magazine article on Big Muskie

More Pics Of BIG MUSKIE Working

 Big Muskie Memorial

Greg Domin's Big Muskie Pictures

Tim Twichell's Big Muskie Pictures