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The Most Unusual And Unconventional Plant Machinery

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The Most Unusual And Unconventional Plant


Almost by definition, plant machinery is functional and exceptionally versatile, and a small fleet of machinery with the right attachments, calibration and skilled operators should ideally be enough for any typical job.

Of course, not every job is typical in the slightest. Either the terrain is difficult, the job requires specialist tools not found with conventional machinery or sometimes a designer tries a new approach to an existing problem.

Here are some of the rarest and most unconventional pieces of industrial equipment out there.

Spider Excavators

Officially known as a walking excavator, spider excavators are specialised mobile excavators that use a combination of four-wheeled drive and articulated legs to help them secure and bound up unstable and steep terrain.

They were initially designed for use on mountain slopes, particularly in alpine countries such as Liechtenstein and Switzerland, although they have seen exceptionally rare use elsewhere.

The reason why they are so rare is that outside of situations where it’s the only possible option, spider excavators are expensive and because of their complex electro-hydraulics, very difficult to maintain.


Part mini-excavator, part dumper truck, the dumphoe was a somewhat enigmatic device that apparently was not so much produced as cobbled together using various CAT components and powered using their 92-horsepower engine.

It sat on four tyres, had a dumper scoop and a mini excavator shovel arm, making it seemingly designed to be used for earthmoving with just one machine.

It is somewhat enigmatic as well, as whilst it certainly existed by 2010 when footage was officially provided of it, there’s no clear indication of when it was made if it was ever sold at all and even if it was ever meant to be more than an admittedly very interesting experiment.

Perhaps it could have become a backhoe-style two-in-one machine, but ultimately the potential of the design did not translate to the final product.