Machines Needed to Mine Coal, Part 1

coal mining CAT equipment wagner equipment co

Coal has been used for fuel for thousands of years. Funeral pyres have been found with coal remnants as far back as the Bronze Age 3,000 years ago. Aristotle mentions coal in his writings. Coal was used by the ancient Romans to heat their homes, and Marco Polo mentions that the Chinese used coal. The Hopi Indians used coal in the 1300s for baking and heating as well. The English who came to America soon discovered coal. However, coal as the primary means of fuel did not begin until the 1740s, but it really took off in the early 1800s, fueling the Industrial Revolution that really has never stopped (although we call it by different names). Coal today is still the most abundant fossil fuel on this planet, and its extraction is highly dependent on heavy machinery, such as CAT equipment.

Wagner Equipment Co offers the best CAT equipment rentals in Colorado, New Mexico, and west Texas. We offer great financing deals on both our new and used CAT equipment, which we hope allows more small business owners and individuals the opportunity to own one of these amazing pieces of machinery. The best part about financing is you can use your CAT equipment  to help pay for itself by using it on your jobs, including your coal mining endeavors. Below, we’ll go over the machines you will need to coal mine. Contact us today to get started!



Perhaps the very first piece of equipment you will need to mine coal is an excavator. An excavator is the quintessential heavy duty digging machine, equipped with a boom and a bucket that sits on a cab that can rotate all around. Excavators can sit on tracks or wheels, allowing them to easily move over obstacles and maneuver them to where you need them to be in order to effectively dig. Excavators do have work tool attachments, such as an auger for drilling, graders, and other attachments to help clear away dirt and debris. However, when mining for coal, you need a powerful machine that can quickly dig large amounts of dirt to find the coal and then dig the coal out.

Here at Wagner Equipment Co, we offer all sizes of excavators, from mini to the large size excavators. For example, our 390F Hydraulic Excavator is made as an earth-moving and digging machine. Equipped with a C18 ACERT engine that meets all EPA Tier 4 emission standards, the power behind this motor is efficient and reliable, letting you dig all day long with speed and precision. The operator environment is designed to be quiet and comfortable, keeping you in the proper posture while you work. Coupled with our hydraulic system and the new Adaptive Control System (ACS), this CAT equipment is chock full of goodies that will help you dig coal more effectively. Visit our site today to learn more.

Electric Rope Shovel

Electric rope shovels are very common at coal mining sites, having been used for almost 100 years to help move earth and rock from coal mining sites so extraction can take place. This machine uses a rope that pulls a bucket up to shovel up coal and other earth materials, just like you shovel snow. It’s only good at the surface, meaning it can’t dig down into the earth. However, you’ll often see these machines used in conjunction with excavators, as they are primarily used to shovel and move overburden (the material that sits on top of the earth before digging began) and sometimes coal from the site. These powerful machines are truly the workhorses of the above ground mining operation as they offer the lowest cost-per-ton loading for all mining tool systems. They can move a huge amount of material efficiently and quickly, thereby decreasing the cost in manpower and overall tasks, which saves the mining company money.

Wagner Rental Co offers the best CAT equipment rentals, including our electric rope shovels. Our 7495 HF Electric Rope Shovel — Rope Crowd is one of the best, making your shoveling requirements efficient and safe. Focusing on the user experience, this CAT machine features some of the most advanced electrics in the industry. It has a best-in-class operator’s cab rating, a robust front-end, and dippers for most applications. This particular model features a high-flotation undercarriage designed specifically for oil sands mining applications where low ground-bearing pressure is needed. We also have an exceptional parts store and field service technicians who can help you anytime you need maintenance or an issue occurs. Browse our electric rope shovel selection today!


Simply put, a dragline is a large piece of excavation equipment that uses a bucket pulled by a wire cable. The bucket hangs from a boom with wire ropes attached. Ropes and chains move the bucket, which is supposed by the hoist rope. Invented in 1904 for use in digging, draglines are a very useful and very highly productive and time-saving heavy duty CAT equipment machine. This machine is designed to excavate material below the level of their base. A dragline can dig, but is highly inefficient at doing so and should not be used as such. Basically, the operator of the dragline lowers the bucket, which then is dragged along the ground, collecting materials as it goes. When the bucket is sufficiently full, the material is lifted and then dumped into place. These machines are reliable, and many can last up to 40 years or longer with proper maintenance.

Wagner Equipment Co, offers CAT equipment draglines that use AC IGBT drive systems for optimal performance. For example, our 8750 Dragline is one of our biggest dragline CAT machines, able to move approximately 100 to 152 cubic yards of material in one hoist. Draglines have remained relatively unchanged in design and control; however, the entire mining industry is moving towards automation, and research is underway in order to determine the most efficient and productive way to operate a dragline. Operators are trained a bit differently, and studies have shown that there can be variances between 10 and 15 percent in productivity, which when we’re talking millions of dollars, that’s a lot of money. Visit our site today to see how Wagner Equipment Co is keeping up with technology.



Wagner Equipment Co offers the best heavy duty mining equipment for your coal operations. We have locations all across Colorado, New Mexico, and west Texas. As we’ve just seen, coal has been and will continue to play a major part in meeting the fuel needs of not only the United States, but also the world. It is true that oil, natural gas, solar, and wind continue to take a chunk of the energy demand; however, having a diversity of fuel supplies is actually a good thing so that we do have backups when a crisis occurs, such as the oil crisis in the 1970s. The coal industry still employs over 75,000 workers who all need huge coal mining equipment in order to do their jobs efficiently.

Wagner Equipment Co is here to offer not only the best coal mining equipment, but also the best support for this heavy duty equipment. When you partner with a CAT dealer such as us, we offer CAT parts for when something breaks on your machine. We offer factory-certified CAT field service technicians who can come to your location and get your CAT equipment up and running again, eliminating costly downtime. We offer a very popular parts exchange program, where you can get hydraulic pumps, torque converters, wheel stations, and other parts quickly and easily, which makes for faster turnaround times for major repairs. 

In our mission to help you do your job more efficiently, we offer our Wagner Training Institute, which allows you to learn from our experts on how to diagnose, troubleshoot, and then repair your CAT equipment rentals. This not only saves time, but also provides training opportunities for your employees who are looking to grow their skills. In addition, we offer staff and management development training as well.

Wagner Equipment Co recently added a new Fluids Analysis component to our business as part of our condition monitoring process. Here, we are able to regularly monitor your fluids, which can give you an insight into the condition of your CAT equipment rentals and can keep small problems from growing bigger. In addition, we offer construction management software in partnership with Sitech. We also offer inspections of your CAT equipment, electronic equipment information, equipment history, and site conditions.

Here at Wagner Equipment Co, we abide by our values of teamwork, excellence, accountability, safety, integrity, and communication in all that we do. We are constantly looking for ways to improve our CAT equipment so you can improve this world by supplying us with the coal to fuel our homes and so many other applications. Visit us online, or give us a call for your coal mining CAT equipment needs!

CAT Equipment Needed for Coal Mining Infographic 2