Amazing And Surprising Facts About Diggers
At Diggerland Theme Park, we just absolutely dig learning!
Did you know that around £5m worth of diggers are buried beneath countless swimming pools and basement conversions in the West of London?
This phenomenon occurred in the early 1990s, when property developers decided that ‘burying a digger in its own hole’ was a great way to momentarily (or permanently) put these machines to rest after a million-pound project was completed. This is just one of many anecdotes about diggers and the big role they play in British life and industry.
Read on to discover more fascinating facts about these classic machines and feel more inspired than ever to drive one all on your own at Diggerland Theme Park.
Diggers And Railways
Did you know that the origins of diggers can be traced back to the late 18th century? The original excavator was the steam shovel, created by William Otis. This visionary used chains, pulleys and gears to provide the power required to dig through the earth.
This machine was developed to deal with demands posed by the railway industry, which was thriving at this time. In 1951, the French took the lead, creating excavators made with newer hydraulic technology – which was far more efficient and easy to maintain.
Diggers Are Ultra-Powerful
If you ever wondered to what extent diggers can speed construction work up, it is estimated that they can work as fast as 20 manual labourers put together. In fact, newer, more powerful models can work even faster.
A recent project in Bedford showed that one excavator was able to complete an entire project in around two and a half hours; three manual labourers took two days to complete only a fifth of the work.
Diggers Have Caught Up With The Autonomous Craze
Drivers who are into vehicle maintenance and developments know that one of the biggest crazes to hit the industry, is that of autonomous vehicles. A plethora of companies – including Tesla, Mercedes-Benz, and Nissan, are working on making car ownership easier and safer than in the past, thanks to self-driving features.
New diggers are boasting similar technology to those found in these cars. Built Robotics has developed a kit that fits existing construction equipment with GPS, WiFi and lidar to enable diggers to autonomously map and navigate their surroundings. The new tech will enable drivers to oversee various fleets at once, thus making it possible to meet deadlines quicker.
Diggers Can Be Huge
You might be surprised to know how heavy diggers can be. One of the heaviest in the world is the Bucyrus RH400/Terex RH 400, which weighs an impressive 980 tonnes! This is followed by the Hitachi EX8000-6, weighing in at 837 tonnes, and the Liebherr R9800, whose weight stands at 810 tonnes. Mini diggers, meanwhile, can weigh a little over 615 kg.
If you want to know what it feels like to drive a digger, there could be no better place to start than at Diggerland Theme Park. The power of even the smallest diggers makes it easy to experience what working in construction could feel like. Feel their power by trying one out, whether you are a child or an adult who is fascinated by the history and technology behind the world’s most popular and useful diggers.