Thursday, November 23, 2006

Monster truck

It's a monster truck to put paid to all others. Meet the new BelAZ-75600 - the shape of 21st century coal mining.

The 26ft-tall machine is more than twice the height and twice as powerful as the monster trucks seen in touring shows up and down the country.

Indeed, it could lug 40 of the machines without a problem, or a comparable number of African elephants if one was so inclined.

The 75600 was unveiled in September by Belarussian firm BelAz, which stands for Belarussian Automobile Plant - one of the largest manufacturers of such vehicles in the world.

The machine boasts a 320-ton capacity with 3,600 horsepower at its disposal, the equivalent to 18 Volkswagen Golf GTIs.

It has been designed for use in large-scale civil engineering projects and open-cast mining, where the many blind spots at the rear are less of a hindrance than they would be on the M4, for instance.

To get around the problem, the truck is fitted with video cameras on the side and rear, which feed images to the driver perched high in the cab.

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