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Digger Man Blog

by Nick Drew  |  Fri 19 Nov 2021

Steve Kole’s Mining Memories (Koehring)

Following on from last weeks post on the Marion 8750 walking dragline, we present more fantastic old photos from the archives of American heavy equipment man Steve Kole, who in part of his job role with the Texas Utilities Mining Company (TXU), was involved in looking for new equipment to improve productivity and efficiency in the mine.

Steve Kole’s Mining Memories (Koehring)

One of the early machines that Steve was involved with was the mighty Koehring 1266 hydraulic excavator.

Steve takes up the story, “My first success back in 1976 was in getting the Koehring Company to work with my employer. Waukesha-Pearce Industries (WPI), who were the Koehring dealer at the time offered us a Koehring 1266 Hydraulic Backhoe on a 6-month demo / rental / purchase so that TXU could try the concept and if it worked out to be a suitable machine, they would buy it and if not, they would return it to the manufacture with no recourse to the dealer.

At that time, the Koehring 1266 was the largest hydraulic excavator in the world and yet there was not a single 1266 working west of the Mississippi River, which meant we had to jump through a lot of hoops to make this deal happen”.

The 1266 tipped the scales at 375,000lbs and were powered by not one, but two Detroit Diesel engines offering a power output rating of 1100hp.

The machine was used for bulk earthmoving and also for loading out the coal into Euclid bottom dump style haul units.

Pictured above: (Left-Right) Unknown, Cliff Erwin, Abo Schwarzer and Steve Kole (Below) during a visit to Philipsburg, PA for purpose of viewing the Koehring 1266 Hydraulic hydraulic excavator in action.

In the following video from our American friend Anthony Lucibello visits a surviving 1266 and gives us a walkaround.


Once again we thank Steve Kole for sharing his photos with us here on the Digger Man Blog, lookout for more over the coming weeks.


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