Massive Massiveosity, Thy Name is Crawler-Transporter

Illustration for article titled Massive Massiveosity, Thy Name is Crawler-Transporter

Their nicknames are "Hans" und "Franz," and yes, they are far from styro-puff faux Austrian bodybuilders. They're NASA's twin Crawler-Transporters; machines that make the run from the hangar to the launch pad for many of America's most important space vehicles. Gobsmacking facts: The duo are the largest self-powered tracked vehicles in the world. Their tracks weigh roughly 450 tons. Just the tracks! They feature sixteen electric motors powered by two diesels pumping out ponies well over the high side of 2,500 just to run the generators. They've been in service for over 40 years, and are only due to be replaced within the next ten. Kevin Nealon and Dana Carvey's characters may have been schmucks, but these two vehicles? Well, they just aren't. Hear us now, believe us later.

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Crawler-Transporter [Wikipedia]

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DISCUSSION

So I clicked on that Wikipedia article like any good Jalopnik bored at work would do, and I came across this little gem:

"While the German Bagger 288 excavator weighs more, it is powered from an external source, and is more correctly described as a mining machine which can be moved. The crawler-transporter was built as a load-carrying vehicle."

Bagger 288, eh? I'll see your wimpy crawler-transporter and raise you this 13,500 ton, 2,400 coal wagon capacity excavator. Plus, it's all-electric, so George Clooney will subsequently need new pants.

Did I mention the massive blade there? Yep, it's all ready for mankind's last stand against the impending zombie apocalypse. Put in my vote for the Fantasy Garage, in case we ever need to become the most badass coal miners in the history of mining.