What Is Dragline?

By Berry Mathew

Are you curious to know what is dragline? You have come to the right place as I am going to tell you everything about dragline in a very simple explanation. Without further discussion let’s begin to know what is dragline?

What Is Dragline?

Dragline is a heavy equipment machine that is used in civil engineering and mining projects to excavate and move large amounts of earth and rock materials. It is a large machine that consists of a long boom arm with a bucket or scoops attached to the end, which is used to excavate material from the ground.

Draglines are commonly used in surface mining operations for coal, oil sands, and other minerals. They are also used in large civil engineerings projects such as building construction and dam construction. The machine is typically operated by a skilled operator who sits in a cab at the top of the boom.

How Draglines Work?

Draglines work by using a long boom arm and a bucket or scoop to excavate material from the ground. The bucket is attached to a cable that runs along the boom arm and is powered by an electric motor or diesel engine. The cable is wound around a large drum at the base of the machine, which can be rotated to move the bucket up and down the boom arm.

The bucket is lowered into the ground, and the dragline operator uses the controls in the cab to move the bucket back and forth, scooping up material and dumping it into a nearby truck or conveyor system. Once the bucket is full, it is lifted up and swung to the side, where the material is dumped.

Advantages Of Draglines

Draglines offer several advantages over other types of heavy equipment machines:

  1. High Production Rates: Draglines are capable of excavating large amounts of material quickly, making them ideal for large-scale mining and construction projects.
  2. Precise Excavation: The long boom arm of a dragline allows for precise excavation of material, which is important in projects where accuracy is critical.
  3. Cost-Effective: Draglines are often more cost-effective than other types of machines, as they require fewer operators and maintenance costs can be lower.
  4. Versatile: Draglines can be used for a wide range of excavation tasks, from small-scale projects to large-scale mining and construction operations.


Draglines are powerful machines that are used to excavate and move large amounts of earth and rock materials. They are commonly used in mining and civil engineering projects and offer several advantages over other types of machines, including high production rates, precise excavation, cost-effectiveness, and versatility. The use of draglines has revolutionized the mining industry, allowing for the excavation of larger amounts of materials in a shorter amount of time, and they continue to play a critical role in construction and mining projects around the world.

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What Is A Dragline Used For?

What are the main uses of a dragline? Small draglines are typically used for building roads and ports, foundations of bases, and other civil works. Larger draglines are fundamental for mining operations in open-pit quarries.

What Is The Difference Between An Excavator And A Dragline?

An excavator is defined as a power-operated digging machine and it includes different types like shovels, draglines, clamshells, backhoes, etc. A dragline possesses a long jib for digging and dumping and it is used for digging from grade line to great depths below ground.

Is A Dragline A Crane?

Draglines used in civil engineering are almost always of this smaller, crane type. These are used for road, port construction, pond and canal dredging, and as pile-driving rigs. These types are built by crane manufacturers such as Link-Belt and Hyster.

Do They Still Use Dragline?

The drag cable then draws the bucket system horizontally. Using these two main cables, operators can control the bucket and move it around. Though the largest dragline bucket in the world is no longer in use or existence, it still holds a fond place in record books and the memories of machinery enthusiasts.


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