Why the direct-drive drum on a Vermeer continuous surface miner matters

By |  May 4, 2022
Photo: Vermeer

Photo: Vermeer

Today, we’re going to get technical. You may be aware of a chain-drive drum, but a unique feature of the Vermeer Terrain Leveler surface excavation machine (SEM) is its direct-drive drum. What does that mean, and how exactly is it different? That’s a good question that will be answered below, along with the specific benefits that come from using a direct-drive drum.


Before we dive into the world of direct-drive drums, it’s helpful to know what exactly a chain-drive drum is, so you can understand the main differences between the two. Both direct-drive and chain-drive drums are used for surface mining extraction, removing ground surface or creating a smooth, level area for site preparation, road construction or soil remediation. The chain-drive drum has chains that are driven by low-speed, high-torque hydrostatic motors on both sides of the attachment.

“Some people use chain-drive Terrain Leveler SEMs so they can go back and forth between them and a standard trenching boom,” said Barry Scieszinski, a Vermeer mining specialist. This is a good way to keep working efficiently, depending on the jobsite needs.


Now let’s talk about the direct-drive drum. It’s a single motor on one side of the attachment that provides direct-drive power and more horsepower to the cutting drum to enhance efficiency when working in soft, medium or hard rock conditions. More specifically, it’s a fully hydrostatic motor that’s mounted to the side of the cutting head, that delivers the power to the cutting drum.

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