Machines Needed to Mine Coal, Part 4

surface mining CAT equipment wagner equipment co

If you’ve ever visited a mining site, even a mining site from the 1800s when mining first began, you know that mining is a huge operation. Surface mining can cover hundreds of acres of land, moving millions of pounds of dirt, rock, and rubble — all before you even get to the coal. In order to do so, you need a lot of big, heavy, specialized machinery that can handle that much work capacity all day long, day-in and day-out. Every year, the United States produces more than one billion tons of coal, and two-thirds of that is from surface mining.

Caterpillar makes the best coal mining equipment, for both surface mining and underground mining operations. Wagner Equipment Co is a CAT dealer who is proud to serve Colorado, New Mexico, and west Texas with not only the best coal mining equipment, but also the best equipment for various industrial uses, from construction, forestry, agriculture, and oil and gas. Our mission is to help you bring coal to Americans who then use it in a wide variety of applications, including to heat their homes. By supplying you with technologically advanced and durable mining CAT equipment, we hope to make your job easier and more efficient, ultimately leading to more productivity. In our continuing look at some of the coal mining machinery we offer, we’ll examine a few more below. Contact us today to get started!


Underground Hard Rock

Caterpillar offers a wide range of underground mining equipment, such as loaders, trucks, and haulage systems made for underground use in order to improve your efficiencies and lower your cost per ton. One such machine is the Rock Flow – Continuous Hard Rock Haulage System. This CAT machine drastically improves the way ore is moved in block caving mines. 

Block cave mining is a mining technique that is used in underground hard rock mining. This technique digs underneath an ore body, which then allows it to collapse under its own weight, eliminating the work or digging out the coal itself. It’s a version of open pit mining. As the rock is undercut, an artificial cavern fills up with rubble, which then falls into a series of funnels and tunnels. Here, the miners extract it. This eventually causes sinkholes in the land, which then have to be repaired. However, the cost of block cave mining is significantly less than regular underground coal mining, about 1/10 less. The amount of coal that can be extracted per day is unreal, usually between 30,000 to 100,000 tons per day. Drilling and blasting use is cut, along with backfilling costs. In addition, there is significantly less surface waste, helping to minimize the impact on the land.

Rock Flow uses a new technology that uses continuous caving, removal from the drawpoint, and conveying. This CAT equipment utilizes other equipment, such as a Rock Feeder RF300 to remove ore from the drawpoint, the Rock Mover RM900 (a chain conveyor) to feed ore into the crusher, and an automation unit to control and smooth the production process. As with all Caterpillar machines, we’ve designed these to be easy to use for the operator and the workers. The Rock Feeder has a capacity of 300 tons, and the Rock Mover can hold up to 900 tons. Contact a Wagner Equipment Co representative for all of the details of this powerful rock haulage system.

Underground Longwall

CAT aims to equip your mining company with all of the heavy duty machines you will need for your mining operation. In keeping with that goal, we offer a wide range of CAT mining equipment for your underground longwall systems. For example, we offer the Face conveyor — PF3, which is one of the most powerful transport systems for underground mining operations. As you cut into the rock, you need to remove the rock in order to get to the coal to remove it. Underground conveyor systems are the fastest way to move debris away from the coalface. These conveyors are easy to maintain and quick to install and move to where you need them the most. Designed to keep materials moving, these conveyors help reduce strain on your workers in terms of load-bearing needs. 

Wagner Equipment Co offers the best conveyors, with their parts engineered to perfection so that everything works optimally together. From shearer haulage systems, drives, drive frames and sprockets to chain conveyors and line pans, each CAT part is designed for powerful, reliable, and economical operation. When everything works together perfectly, the result is a seamless work machine, which results in minimal downtime and lost production. Our shearer haulage system offers a unique design concept with optimized first/last tooth geometry rackbars. Our drive frames were designed with safety in mind, featuring thick, solid plates to handle the torque for a good safety margin. Our drive modules offer a one-piece sprocket, shaft, and bearing all-in-one. Our CAT PowerChains are the best in the mining industry, available in sizes 34, 42, and 52. The PowerChain themselves are wide, arc-shaped cross-sections of the vertical links, which allow for a low-profile line pan and a large running surface where the surface pressure and chain-joint wear is drastically reduced.

These are just a few of the many benefits of partnering with Wagner Equipment Co and Caterpillar for all of your mining needs. Browse our immense Armored Face Conveyors, CST Drive Systems, Mining Controls, Plows, Roof Support Carriers, Roof Supports, Shearers, and more.

Crushing and Screening

Crushing and screening takes us back to the beginnings of mining operations where you would see a one-man operation with a pick ax, removing coal and then crushing it and screening out the non-coal particles. This process is still integral to coal mining — just on a much larger scale. Coal crushing and screening are part of the coal processing component of coal mining. Once the coal has been extracted from the ground, it is then put through the crushing and screening process in order to put it into usable forms for those who purchase coal, such as electric companies and the like.

Coal crushing usually takes place in a two-stage process where coal is crushed using a feeder breaker as a conveyor brings the coal in. Then a sizer is used to further process the coal and divide it up for customers’ uses. Screening is where the crushed coal is then separated into different sizes and all of the rubble and dirt is filtered out. Here, coal is further separated into coarse coal and fine coal, as some are better for certain applications than others. For example, screened coal is great in horizontal kilns; whereas, coarser coal is great for grate-fired uses. One final process of coal occurs before it is sold and this is the beneficiation process where the impurities in the coal are removed, such as ash and sulphur. This is an optional process that increases the value of the coal.

Wagner Equipment Co recently became the dealer for Metso Crushing and Screening for all of Colorado, New Mexico, and far west Texas. We also carry Thor conveying equipment, Madden Steel mining equipment, J & M Conveyors, McLanahan aggregate processing machinery,and more products for your crushing and screening needs. Contact us today to get started!



For almost 100 years, Caterpillar has been supplying many industries with the heavy equipment they need, such as tractors in agriculture, dozers in construction, and underground hard rock systems in coal mining. Our mission is to add value to people’s lives by supplying the heavy duty equipment that improves the world around you, whether that’s helping to build a barn or a golf course, or we’re helping to bring coal out of the earth to a power plant near you to help with your electrical and heating needs. From our humble beginning making steam tractors, we’ve grown, and we have no plans to stop soon. As we listen to customer feedback, we are constantly innovating and using technology to bring you the best, most efficient and long-lasting machines in the business.

Wagner Equipment Co serves Colorado, New Mexico and west Texas with the best CAT equipment and CAT equipment rentals. As a CAT dealer, we offer heavy duty equipment for your commercial or residential job, from articulated trucks and asphalt pavers to feller bunchers and excavators. Our CAT Parts Store has all of the parts you’ll need to keep your CAT machine running smoothly, and our service repair service has field service technicians available 24 hours a day to help you when you need it the most. We offer CAT work tools and attachments so you can get the most out of your CAT equipment. 

In addition, we offer services to help you repair your CAT equipment. Our Wagner Training Institute offers classes to train you to diagnose, troubleshoot, and repair our CAT equipment when something goes down. We offer hands-on labs with our Caterpillar engines and equipment so you’ll get the opportunity to practice under a trained eye. Proficiency and knowledge are demonstrated through both a written and a performance assessment. Our classes are open to anyone looking to gain more knowledge and experience on CAT equipment.

We proudly offer our Wagner Parts Exchange program, where you can exchange your old, used parts for new ones, and we’ll refurbish the old ones. This program not only saves you money, but it also saves you time and helps make repairs much faster. You can now view your account online, showing your service contracts and rental information. As part of our condition monitoring program, we offer SOS Fluid Analysis, which regularly tests your CAT machine’s fluids, such as its oil, hydraulics, transmission, and cooling system. This can help to spot problems before they become major problems. Like all machinery, CAT equipment will most likely break down at some point. However, with regular maintenance and condition monitoring, your breakdowns won’t be major, resulting in minimal downtime.

Wagner Equipment Co lives out our values of teamwork, excellence, accountability, safety, integrity, and communication. Contact us today for one of our service departments in Colorado, New Mexico, and west Texas!