Only two of the massive BE 3850B's were ever built,
and Peabody Coal Company was the proud owner of both of these machines.
The first 3850B was purchased by Peabody for use at
its Sinclair Mine in western Kentucky. Known as "The Big
Hog", this shovel carried a 210 foot dipper with a 115 yard
capacity and an operating radius of 460 feet. Weighing in at a hefty
18 million pounds, the Big Hog removed approximately 100,000 cubic
yards of overburden daily. The Big Hog was built in 1962, and
operated until 1985, at which time (rumor has it) it was forced to
dig it's own grave. Many parts were salvaged from the hog, and kept
as spare parts for it's sister machine "The River King".
The second 3850B was purchased for Peabody's River
King Mine in southern Illinois (hence the name). This machine carried
a shorter 200 ft dipper with a 140 yard capacity, and weighed in at
18,700,000 pounds. Built in 1964, The River King operated until 1993
before it was scrapped. By the time it was scrapped, the River king
had dug its way nearly 20 miles through the Illinois coal fields.