Bucyrus Erie 1450 SLIDE-IN

Photo's and details by: Fred Monger

It was early afternoon I believe, and it had rained a bunch in a very short time. They had been loading coal in the pit, and had to stop because of the rain, since the haul trucks could not get up and down the ramp to the pit. The pit boss had just taken the loader operator and oiler out not 10 minutes earlier.

At the same time, they were deadheading the 1450 down the bench, from east to west. The bench is on the north side of the pit, the spoils on the south. The bench had already been leveled and was ready. I had sent two electricians to the 1450 to take care of some problem they had, and I had another electrician with me in my truck. I stopped in to see how the two on the 1450 were doing. After finding out they were finished there, I sent them on to another job, and me and the third electrician were just getting off the machine to go to my truck, which was on the bench behind the 1450, to the west. We knew the machine would be walking, so would not have to worry about the boom swinging around. It seemed like the mud was at least a foot deep as we walked away from the machine, and were about halfway out of the boom radius when we heard the machine stop walking and start to swing around. We had no idea why the operator would be swinging, so we started to run through the mud to get clear of the boom. I looked back to see the bucket swing around and knock the Caterpillar D-9 ground tractor up on it’s side, and also saw the groundman jumping off the machine’s shoe to safety. I don’t remember where the oiler was, but I knew he was not on board. We ran to where we knew we would be clear of the boom, then stopped to see what was happening.