It’s common knowledge that tractors – otherwise known as hydraulic excavators – are one of the most powerful machines that roam our land. 


These machines are now incredibly important in both the farming industry and the construction industry due to their ability to lift and shift immense amounts of weight. These excavators are essential for the deconstruction of colossal structures and the removal of waste. Without the help of these machines, it would have been fairly difficult, and taken considerably longer, to both build and tackle some of the biggest structures on Earth. 

What makes these machines so fascinating is their sheer size, power and strength. It’s rare for many people to ever see such huge machines all in one place! So, we’ve piled together our top 5 biggest and most powerful excavators in the world for your viewing pleasure!

5. Komatsu PC8000-6

This is a machine that we have featured in our previous article on the Most Powerful Machines. 

The Komatsu is commonly used in both Australia and South Africa. Komatsu specialise in heavy machinery and focus on four main sectors: 

  • Construction 
  • Mining 
  • Industrial Machinery 
  • Military 

The PC8000-6 played a pivotal role at the K2 mine in Kearl Lake Alberta, helping demolish and re-purpose much of the mine. The machine’s skeleton is constructed from a 710 tonne working weight, a 4,082-horsepower engine and a 42 cubic metre bucket capacity. Surprisingly, this is the weakest excavator on the list! Don’t let this fool you, however, as this is still one of the most powerful machines on Earth.

4. Demag H740 OS

German engineering at its finest. 

The DEMAG H740 is a combination of perfect engineering and brute force. This is Germany’s largest hydraulic excavator and the largest one DEMAG makes. 

The DEMAG H740 comprises of a 740 tonne working weight, a 40 cubic metre bucket capacity and a 4,463-horsepower engine. With almost 500 more horsepower than the PC8000-6 and a slightly more powerful working weight at 740, the H740 just beats the PC8000-6 to the number 4 spot.

3. Hitachi EX8000-6

Hitachi EX8000-6 is one of Japan’s finest excavators and while it may not appear as big or powerful as the predecessors, it’s worthy of this list. 

Made in Japan, the EX8000-6 has an 811 tonne working weight (the biggest yet), a 3,944-horsepower engine and maximum bucket capacity of 40 cubic metres. This is Hitachi’s largest and most powerful machine currently on the market. There are two EX8000-6s working Vale’s Moatize’s coal mine in Mozambique. This machine is particularly popular throughout Africa.

2. Liebherr R9800

Another popular excavator that made our Most Powerful Machines list! 

Liebherr is a mainstay when it comes to listing some of the most profound and well-known manufacturers of powerful machines. The R9800 was designed to outperform the rest of the excavator competition in the Ultra class mining market. Its specs certainly boast power and quality.  Weighing in at a massive 1,785, 700 pounds, with an 840 tonne working weight, 4,060 horsepower engine and a bucket capacity of 62 cubic yards, this is Liebherr’s most prized excavator. Similar to the PC8000-6, this excavator is very popular in Australia and also across Europe.

1. Bucyrus RH400

Our number one spot goes to a machine that is not only incredibly powerful but works in one of the most unforgiving areas in the world.  

The Bucyrus RH400 is found within the Canadian oil sands, an area that is extremely crude and difficult to manoeuvre due to the high petroleum deposits. This excavator has a working weight of 980 tonnes (the most powerful on our list), a 4,570-horsepower engine and a 50 cubic metre bucket capacity. This machine trumps all the others in almost every aspect and can operate on the worst terrains. 

Another fun reason the RH400 makes the list is because it was used in the film Transformers under the name ‘Demolisher!’ 

What did you make of our list? Are there any others that you have heard of that should be here? Let us know in the comments below! If you’re interested in learning more about what we write about here at Mteevanhire, why not take a look at our blog? We’ve filled it with all kinds of weird and wonderful information on everything construction-based!

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