Top 20 World’s Biggest Excavators - 2022 Edition


Excavators are versatile, heavy machines deployed to move large objects, such as soil and other earth materials. Used extensively in mining, road construction, building construction and demolition, they are an essential part of a fleet on any major project. Excavators are the most prolific earthmoving machines in Australia, and at iseekplant we have over 25,000 of them listed on our construction equipment and services marketplace.

In addition to varying greatly in size, there are also a number of different types of excavators , including track-mounted excavators, wheel-mounted excavators, chameleon clamshell excavators, spider excavators, long-reach excavators, high-reach excavators, mini-excavators as well as excavators you can hire in an excavator combo with a truck. Each has its own strength that can be applied to different circumstances and specialised for certain jobs, which is only helped by an enormous array of useful attachments. Here we take a look at the world’s top ten largest excavators, based on their operating weight.

The Top 20 World’s Largest Excavators - 2022 Edition

*Updated 9th November 2022

  Excavator Manufacturing Location Operating Weight L x W x H Bucket Capacity
1 Caterpillar 6090 - FS USA 1,000 tonnes 24m (L) x 9m (W) x 10m (H) 55m3
2 Bucyrus RH 400 (Caterpillar) Germany 980 tonnes 22m (L) x 9m (W) x 8.8m (H) 45m3
3 Hitachi X8000 Japan 837 tonnes 22m (L) x 10m (W) x 9.9m (H) 43m3
4 Liebherr R9800 Germany 800 tonnes 23.9m (L) x 10.5m (W) x 11.7m (H) 45.3m3
5 Komatsu PC8000-11 Japan 770 tonnes 14m (L) x 10m (W) x 9.6m (H) 42m3
6 Demag H740- OS Canada 744 tonnes   40m3
7 Liebherr R 996 B Germany 676 tonnes 10m(L) x 9m (W) x 98m (H) 36m3
8 XE7000 - XMCG China 672 tonnes 23m(L) x 9m (W) x 9.4m (H) 34m3
9 Caterpillar 6060 -FS USA 570 tonnes 12m(L) x 8.7m (W) x 8.8m (H) 34m3
10 Hitachi X5600-6 Japan 537 tonnes 12m(L) x 8.7m (W) x 8.8m (H) 29m3
11 Hitachi X5500-6 Japan 522 tonnes 10m(L) x 9m (W) x 8.6m (H) 27m3
12 Bucyrus RH 340 Germany 498 tonnes 9.6m(L) x 7.9m (W) x 7m (H) 34m3
13 Komatsu PC5500-6 Japan 495 tonnes 12.3m(L) x 7.9m (W) x 7.6m (H) 29m3
14 Hyundai R1200-9 South Korea 118 tonnes 14m(L) x 5.5m (W) x 6.2m (H) 6.7m3
15 Caterpillar 395 USA 94 tonnes 13.9m(L) x 3.7m (W) x 3.6 (H) 6.2m3
16 Volvo EC950 F Sweden 92 tonnes 14m(L) x 4.7m (W) x 4.2m (H) 6m3
17 Komatsu PC390LCi-11 Japan 90 tonnes 11.7m(L) x 3.6m (W) x 4.2m (H) 2.6m3
18 John Deere 870-G USA 85 tonnes 14m(L) x 4.4m (W) x 5.7m (H) 5.8m3
19 Komatsu HB365LC-3 Japan 81 tonnes 11m(L) x 3.2m (W) x 3.1m (H) 2.6m3
19 Kobelco SK850-LC Netherlands 80 tonnes 14m(L) x 3.4m (W) x 4.4m (H) 5.4m3

World's Biggest Excavator's Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the biggest excavator in the world?

The massive Caterpillar 6090-FS. This mammoth beauty weighs  1,000 tonnes, and replaced the previously massive Bucyrus RH 400 as the biggest excavator on earth. Trust the best excavator brand to bring us the biggest excavator in the world.

What is the second biggest excavator in the world?

The second biggest excavator in the world is the 980-tonne Bucyrus RH 400. Bucyrus, a German Manufacturer, was purchased by Caterpillar, so theoretically Caterpillar owns the world's largest and second-largest excavator. They discontinued this after purchasing this brand, but there are still several in service working in mines across the world.

What is the biggest mining excavator?

The Caterpillar 6090-FS - which is the biggest excavator in the world, is also the biggest excavator in mining. Another prolific mega-mining mammoth would be the Hitachi X8000, at 837 tonnes of operating weight, or the Liebherr R9800, at 800 tonnes. All three machines are seen on mines all over the world.

What is the largest shovel excavator?

Well, in our opinion a shovel excavator is just an excavator - but let's talk the world's largest bucket capacity!  So despite being only the 3rd largest excavator in the world by operational weight, the Liebherr R9800 has the largest shovel or bucket capacity at 45.3 cubic meters.

How heavy is the world's biggest excavator?

The world's largest excavator by operational weight is 1,000 tonnes - the Caterpillar 6090-FS.  This equates to 2.3m pounds! Operational weight is the measure we use to size an excavator and accounts for the weight of the body, tracks, cabin, arm, boom & bucket.

What is the most powerful hydraulic excavator in the world?

The Caterpillar 6060 - FS, which is the smaller cousin of the Caterpillar 6090 (the largest excavator in the world), is the 8th largest excavator in the world, but has the highest breakout force, at 2400 kilo-knots (2,400 KN). Power in excavators is measured as 'breakout force' - it's a measurement of power at the bucket's or implement's tip. The higher the break-out force, the greater lifting and digging ability.  So even though there are 7 excavators that have higher operating weight in the world, the Caterpillar 6060-FS packs the biggest punch.

What is the fastest excavator in the world?

So big excavators aren't known for their speed - and most of the world's biggest excavators move at a snail's pace (and let's face it, who wants 1,000 tonnes of metal hurtling at you at pace?).  Most tracked excavators move at between 4km and 6km per hour. A wheeled excavator, however, can move at speeds of around 22km per hour. The fastest tracked excavator in the world, the MCR Tracked Excavator made by Mecalac in France, moves at a princely 10km per hour. Not likely to blow your fringe back when crawling past.

What is the most popular excavator in the world?

Caterpillar excavators are the most prolific and popular excavators in the world in all major first-world markets. However, what brand comes next is a very contentious issue! For example - Kubota has the lion's marketshare of the mini excavator space. Liebherr - has the most number of mining excavators in the market. Volvo - is massive in Europe. John Deere - is really popular in the USA, but not so much in Australia. I would say, if you had to guess, then Komatsu would be the number two or three excavator brand in most of the developed world after Caterpillar.

What is the oldest excavator in the world?

There is an excavator that was built in Lincoln (USA) in 1909 that is still working today.  It's called the 'Navvy' and is a rail-mounted excavator used in a quarry. In 1882 - the first excavator was designed by Sir W. G. Armstrong & Company in England and was called a steam shovel. In 1897, Kilgore Machine Company introduced the first 'all hydraulic' excavator. It wasn't until the 1950s that people manufactured and sold them to others - most were engineered by construction companies for their own purposes.

What is Caterpillar's biggest excavator?

The biggest excavator manufactured by Caterpillar is the Caterpillar 6090-FS - at 1,000 tonnes which is the biggest excavator on earth. However, Caterpillar purchased their competitor Bucyrus in 2010. So it effectively takes the top two spots on the world's largest excavator list.

What is Komatsu's biggest excavator?

Komatsu PC8000-11 comes in at 770 tonnes with 42m3 bucket capacity - making it the fourth largest excavator in the world.  The next largest size is the PC7000 - which is a massive 676 tonnes of operating weight. Both are HUGE excavators that are mostly found in mining or quarrying operations.

What is John Deere's biggest excavator?

John Deere 870-G has an operating weight of 69 tonnes. John Deere don't really play in the massive mining excavator space in the way that Caterpillar, Komatsu, Demag and Liebherr do - but top honours for still pumping out a solid 70 tonner. Nothing to be sneezed at.


Let's profile some of the world's biggest excavators!

Caterpillar 6090 FS Excavator - The biggest excavator in the world.


The newer models of these puppies have an operating weight of an astounding 1,000 tonnes. With twin Cummins QSK60 engines, it boasts and total engine rating of 3360 kW / 4500 HP. When Caterpillar expanded their mining capabilities with their purchase of Bucyrus in 2011, they based the 6090 FS on the Bucyrus RH400, which was originally launched in 1997. It can fill the largest Caterpillar dump truck (the 797) in only four passes based on its 52 m3 bucket with 93.6 tonne payload.

Bucyrus RH 400 Excavator - The second biggest excavator in the world.


Originally launched as the Terex RH 400 and rebranded when Bucyrus purchased the Terex mining division in 2010, this model has an operating weight of 980 tonnes. With identical engine capacity to the Caterpillar 6090 RS, it requires six car batteries to simply start the engines. It has previously set the hydraulic mining excavator world record for the ability to move up to 9,900 tonnes of material in a single hour. It previously held the title of world’s largest excavator, prior to the release of the Cat 6090 FS.

Hitachi EX8000-6 Excavator - The Biggest Bucket Capacity in the World.


The largest excavator in the Hitachi fleet, the EX8000-6 offers the versatility of being fitted with either a 45.3 m3 backhoe bucket or a 40m3 loading shovel. Boasting an operating weight up to 837 tonnes, it can fill the largest Hitachi dump truck (EH4000AC-3) in just five passes. The twin Cummins engines give a combined capacity of 2900 kW / 3888 HP. For perspective Hitachi's flagship mining excavator the EX1200-6, has an engine capacity one sixth the size of this!


Liebherr R9800 Excavator - Biggest Backhoe Capacity in the World.


With an operating weight of up to 810 tonnes, the R9800 from Liebherr comes with the option of either MTU or Cummins diesel engines, or an electric drive version. The electric version is rated up to 2984 kW / 4000 HP. It’s 42 m3 shovel capacity or 47.5 m3 backhoe capacity is designed to pair with the Liebherr T 264 or T 284 dump trucks for maximum efficiency.

Komatsu PC8000-11 Excavator - Largest Komatsu Excavator in the World.


Weighing up to 773 tonnes, this is the largest excavator in the Japanese manufacturer's portfolio. Komatsu's most frequently used model in the Australian/New Zealand market is the PC200-8 and it weighs over 36 times less than this behemoth. Its twin diesel engines give it a rating to 3000 kW / 4020 HP and it has shovel and backhoe capacity of 42 m3 (designed to integrate with trucks between 240 – 400 tonnes).

Demag H740 OS Excavator - Biggest Oil Operation Excavator in the World.


Designed specifically for KMC Mining’s abrasive oil sand works in Canada, the H740 OS has been in circulation since 1999. It has an operating weight up to 744 tonnes and 3280 kW / 4000 HP power generated from its two 16-cylinder CAT 3516B diesel engines.

Caterpillar 6060 / 6060 FS Excavator - The World's Most Powerful Excavator


Based on the Bucyrus RH340, the operating weight of these models is up to 570 tonnes. Powered by twin CAT 3512C engines with a combined rating of 2240 kW / 3000 HP, this is renowned as Caterpillar’s top seller within their mining excavator portfolio. Both the backhoe and shovel have a capacity of 34 m3 which is designed to fully load CAT 793D/F dump trucks in precisely four passes. As mentioned above, this baby has 2400 kiloknots of break-out force - which trust us, is an absolutely class-leading amount digging and lifting power.


EC950F - Volvo's Biggest Excavator


The EC950F crawler excavator is the largest in Volvo’s fleet. It has an operating weight of up to 94 tonnes.

Related Articles:

Perhaps you need an excavator of your own for an upcoming project. We have suppliers nation-wide including major locations including Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Canberra, Darwin and Adelaide. While you are here, now’s the time to make sure you don’t miss any project or industry updates! If you have an excavator and you want more work, or more profitable work, then you should list it on Australia's largest database of construction gear & services. Join for free today.