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Old Dragline

The mining industry has integrated new technology and machinery to process larger scale operations. Excavation is one of the most costly and time consuming aspects of mining operations, a primary reason many mine job sites are equipped with heavy duty equipment like draglines. This type of equipment is designed to easily and effectively dismantle and transport materials in an open-pit mine. Given that draglines are such a critical and labor intensive machine used to keep mines efficient and productive, their maintenance is key. Old dragline equipment can slow down an entire operation, costing contractors millions of dollars. 

Cutting Edge Onsite Machining offers some of the industry’s most experienced and technically-advanced machinists to help repair old dragline equipment to keep mines running effectively. We fulfill orders large and small from maintenance to challenging new design and technical advancements. Contact us more for information on our services. 

old dragline equipment

What Are Draglines Excavators?

A dragline excavator is among the world’s largest pieces of machinery, responsible for carrying our heavy jobs for the mining industry. They provide mining construction operations the ability to be highly productive by offering a way to streamline hauling and excavation of large open-pit areas. 

There are two primary types of dragline excavators: standard lift crane and built onsite. Differences between the two are determined by where the equipment is manufactured and put together. For standard lift cranes that focus on bridges, ports, and roads, they tend to be smaller. On the other hand, built onsite draglines are too heavy and expensive to haul, so most of these machines are built onsite. 

Most dragline excavators have an operational life span of 40 years, and (pound for pound), they are among the most productive and versatile machines in the mining industry.

How Draglines Operate

Dragline is named for its ability to drag a bucket against material being excavated. Unlike the shovel, the dragline has a long light crane boom and through the cables, where the bucket is loosely attached to the boom.

A dragline can dig and dump over larger distances, making it an essential productivity tool for civil mining projects. Draglines can dig below the track level and they can handle softer material, as well.

The capacity of the dragline is indicated by the size of the bucket. The measurement of dragline works is measured in cubic meters.

Issues With Dragline Operations

Although an old dragline can be an essential part of mining operations, the equipment is not without fault or maintenance needs. Bottom line is, draglines don’t last forever. They are among mining-class machines with booms that reach hundreds of feet into the sky. The cost of dragline machines is somewhere between $50M and $100M. Some even exceed $100 million, and in some extraordinary cases weigh as much as 28 million pounds, but built to last. 

Optimal performing machines can complete digging cycles every minute and move upward of 25,000 yd3 of material per shift. 

Although draglines are as close to permanent fixtures as any mobile machine could be in mining, maintenance is required—parts break, systems wear out or become obsolete and inefficient, or the area being mined simply becomes depleted and the machine is needed elsewhere. 

Repairs, upgrades, overhauls and relocations are common, with machine age, size, upkeep, location, site characteristics and production demands combining to generate unique challenges that require machining innovation and solutions. Innovative solutions to typical dragline problems involving booms, motors and gears continue to be developed.

old dragline

Old Dragline Concerns

Because old dragline equipment is aged and next to impossible to move, it’s important that machining specialists are able to help with repairs onsite. This requires specialization in understanding the different components of heavy machinery like an old dragline. 

Moving one dragline any significant distance is generally a daunting undertaking. Dragline booms consist of tubular chords with interconnecting lacings welded to the chords at cluster joints. Stresses are concentrated at the cluster joint weldments and over time, fatigue cracking occurs.

An operator of draglines and even an old dragline are still capable of increasing production capacity, reducing machine stress, fatigue and structural cracking, increasing uptime, and extending the life of major components of an old dragline. However, maintenance to ensure an old dragline continues to be capable of handling the daily tasks and oversight of mining operations is critical for ongoing productivity with less downtime. 

Repairing & Maintaining An Old Dragline

A complete solution for dragline maintenance requires machining expertise to assess quality parts manufacturing while still attending to engineering and design. The trick here is onsite capabilities. Innovative onsite repairs and installs require thoughtful plan and preparation. On site field operations require experienced technicians who deploy safety measures while providing extensive knowledge of mechanical operations.

CEO Machining provides a team of onsite field machining service technicians who work on massive equipment like old dragline operations. We can help provide field welding and machining or oversee and execute major repairs or installs on old dragline equipment. 

repairing old dragline


Mining operations in need of maintenance on an old dragline or machining equipment, can depend on a company with a wide variety of on-site repair and replacement capabilities. You need a company with knowledgeable, experienced specialists who can quickly assess the problem and devise a fast, accurate solution.

Competition is tight. Mining operations cannot afford to have machines and employees idle. CEO can guarantee to be onsite anywhere in the world quickly. Thanks to technology and our competent onsite machining and repair specialists, we can analyze the problem and help restore an old dragline to production.

Our machinists are capable of diagnosing problems, executing a plan of action for maintenance and repairs, and providing a detailed overview of items and equipment that requires addressing. 

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