Used mainly for loading directly onto field conveyors or into hauling equipment the dragline is usually mounted on crawler tracks, the long side tracks reducing bearing pressure and increasing stability. The superstructure, comprising power unit, winches, cabin and boom rotate on this base. The machine is usually situated on a bank and is able to excavate material to a considerable depth below the bank depending upon boom length and slope angle. Owing to the length of the boom the machine is capable of extracting mineral over a larger area of ground than any other equipment. A skilled operator may even cast the bucket. The dragline can be operated 'wet' or 'dry' and can excavate soils, unconsolidated overburden, sand and gravel and well fragmented blasted rock although is not generally suitable for the selective recovery of thinly bedded materials e.g. soils. When excavating sands and gravel from below water level it is usual to create a stockpile to permit drainage before transfer to truck or conveyor.
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