Humans go to extreme lengths in order to acquire supremacy over nature even though the earth still happens to be such a formidable challenge, that it is difficult to imagine what humans are going to do next. Hauling and moving massive loads across land, sea and air has shown amazingly large and powerful vehicles and equipment being engineered and built by humans. There are some truly great works of engineering in building giant equipment to carry out a variety of tasks including those connected to war. The most massive land vehicles ever built are largely made for mining and the occasional war.
The biggest ever crawler transporter and dumper truck
One of the largest ever piece of haulage equipment ever built is the crawler-transporter meant to move space shuttles at Cape Canaveral. The giant hauler is 131 feet long, 114 wide, over 20 feet tall and weighs around six million pounds with a top speed of two miles an hour and it travels at half that speed when the hauling space shuttles. The Caterpillar 797 is the largest truck ever built but to see it in operation one needs to be in a mine. The massive dump truck stands 23 feet 9 inches tall when the dump bodies are down and becomes 49 feet 3 inches when they are tilted up. It weighs 560,000 pounds when empty and can carry over 360 tons of load. That is truly a massive truck.
A massive road train and a gigantic tunnel borer
The US Army engaged R.G. LeTourneau in the 1950s to build the TC-497 Overland Train Mark II for use in different terrains and conditions such as arctic, desert, sand as well as rough terrain. The TC-497, at 572 feet long, had 54 wheels, four 1,170 hp solar gas turbine engines totalling 4,680 hp. The Herrenknecht EPB Shield S-300 mega tunnel boring machine was built to excavate a road tunnel in Madrid in 2005. Its central cutting wheel is 21 feet in diameter and is surrounded by an additional outer cutting wheel with a maximum excavation diameter of around 45 feet at a time. That’s the biggest tunnel boring machine ever built.