ESCO Engages Blog

Weir ESCO Draws on Its Engineering Legacy and Metallurgy Innovations to Create World’s Largest Dragline Bucket

ESCO’s relentless focus on product innovation results in market-leading productivity, increased operational efficiencies and reduced waste
The ESCO ® ProFill ® bucket , the world’s largest operating dragline bucket, measures approximately 28 feet long, 21 feet tall and 24 feet wide.

6 June 2023

It’s not every day you get to brag about creating the world’s largest something, especially when that something is as remarkable for its production excellence as it is for its size.

Earlier this year, Weir ESCO delivered a brand new, customized 164-yard ESCO® ProFill® bucket to a valued North American customer. When installed in March, the equipment qualified as the largest dragline bucket currently operating anywhere in the world.

“The opportunity to create something this large doesn’t come around that often,” said Shawn McCullum, technical product manager supporting dragline buckets. And large it is! The behemoth bucket can carry the equivalent volume of two average swimming pools, approximately 33,000 gallons.

Miners use dragline buckets to scoop up and remove the layer of rock or soil, known as overburden, sitting above a deposit of ore. The more overburden the bucket can handle in a single pass, the faster miners can get to the valuable ore below. This new bucket can move about 270 tons of rock and soil in one pass, and do it more efficiently than other buckets.

With a scale model, from left to right: Shawn McCullum, Jonathan Sieber, Josh McCall, Chris Grewell, Isaac Vanderwel and Lee Zimmerman.
We make the best buckets, hands down. Weir ESCO has the ability to continue to evolve and advance the dragline bucket industry like none other. And, most importantly, we are ‘mine focused,’ meaning we are guided by delivering product that works for our customers’ sites and needs.

Jim Carter

Account Manager

“I’ve never seen a bucket dig like this,” said Account Manager, Jim Carter, who has been selling dragline buckets for 26 years. “Weir ESCO is one of the few companies that can produce a bucket this large. And in-house innovations in metallurgy are helping the company create stronger, more wear-resistant buckets that fill faster, use less drag energy and deliver exceptional productivity.

Design and manufacturing of the new dragline bucket took about a year, according to Chris Grewell, primary engineer on the project.

“We were able to refer to previously created patterns and castings as a starting point to create this custom bucket,” said Chris. “Years of past expertise go into a project like this. Previous ESCO engineers have done a great job. We were standing on the shoulders of giants to create this bucket.”

Weir ESCO has been creating huge dragline buckets for more than 90 years. The company’s continuing development and constant drive to make these buckets even better is what makes Weir ESCO the proven leader in the dragline bucket market. Today, the company continues to expand its market share by capitalizing on its engineering legacy and in-house metallurgy innovations to produce stronger, more productive and more wear-resistant products with expanded life expectancies, reduced energy usage, and less waste.

The completed bucket before leaving the shop.

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