"Mr. Klimax" was really
a Marion M7800 dragline
built 1957- 1958,
south of Bienfait Saskatchewan Canada.
First used at the
Western Dominion Collieries,
whose coal brand at that time was "Klimax" Coal
Owned by the Great West Coal Company Limited,
which was owned by
John Robert Brodie,
based in Brandon MB..
It was purchased through Huggard Equipment,
1421 Whyte Ave. in Winnipeg MB.
They were in business as early as 1948.
Became Champion Road Machinery Equipment Sales,
part of the Champion Group of companies of Goderich, ON.
Huggard was Champion's oldest Dealer in Canada.
They sold Champion Graders in 1946.
For years I thought it was built
south of Estevan,
in 1958, but now I know this is not true.
It was moved, and used at
the Utility Coal Mine
in 1970, moved to the Boundary Dam Mine.
Original cost estimate=
$2,000,000 in 1956 $'s
It had a 220 foot boom originally.
but after rebuilding in 1970,
the boom was extended by 20 feet.
This added 25 tons extra to the original weight.
In it's day it was a very impressive machine,
and the talk of the District.
Everyone knew about "Mr. Klimax"!
"Mr. Klimax" Dragline
ordered from the Marion Power Shovel Company,
from Marion, Ohio, USA.
Sept 17, 1956
President Donald Paterson
Plant Manager, Archie Hawkes.
For years I thought this dragline was built near Utility Coals,
and a special rail line was laid in there for it,
so if it wasn't Mr. Klimax, which one was it?
Maybe it was near Bienfait where I lived until 1958.
I do remember seeing this railway line though.
Well now I know my memory is
Just to verify the article I found above,
this email came in to me, from Mr. Bob Just..
Here is what he sent to me Nov 26th, 2008.
"I was reading your article on Taylorton & Mr Klimax.
I noticed you
thought it was built at Boundary Dam,
in fact it was built at Western
Dominion Mine in 1958,
and my Dad Fred Just was the first Operator.
then moved it to the new Manalta mine,
east of Estevan in the early 60's.
Then he also moved it over to Boundary Dam
where it was turned over to
Utility Coal Operators.
I lived at Taylorton until 1947 when we moved
One of the pictures you show of Mr. Klimax
has my Dad's 68
Dodge Pickup beside it,
so the picture was still taken at Manalta.
have a picture which hung in the Corporate Office
of my Dad and a
Company pickup in the bucket,
taken by Jack Jenish"
Now we know
the real history of this machine
Thanks Bob for sending this correction in.
Original specs of the Marion 7800
Weight- 3,205,000 lbs / 1,600 tons
Height to top of cab= 34' 6"
Length of boom= 220' 0"
Height of Boom= 70 ft.
Capacity of bucket= 35 Cubic yards
Bucket weight= 33 Tons
Dumping radius= 211' 0"
Electrically Operated- 2,500 total Horse Power
Took 48 Railway cars to ship from Marion, Ohio.
30,000 man hours to assemble it.
Walking Shoes: length= 48 ft. width= 9ft.
Great West Coal Co. Ad,
Oct 25, 1958
Mr. Klimax Article, Oct 25, 1958
Interesting to note, the first picture
on the next page is date stamped April 1958,
and it clearly shows this machine working then.
So exactly when was it put into production?
If it took 5 months to build, it started in fall of 1957.
Why did they built it in the middle of a Saskatchewan winter?
Marjorie Turton tells me the
was shortened by 20 feet afterwards
due to too much strain on the dragline
for the overburden they were digging in.
I noticed a distinctive feature of this dragline
is the round, tear drop shaped structure
on the right, top, front of the House structure.
Marion name is painted on this
to identify the maker.
After the rebuild, it was supposedly,
no longer "Mr. Klimax".
Here is the purpose for the tear drop structure:
Mr Aaron Honyara sent me this email from PA, USA
message = "Great pics, on the
first page of the Mr. Klimax
you asked what the tear drop structure was for.
If you carefully look where the drag cable enters the house
it goes around the first wheel and goes up a tube
on the front and then inside the tear drop,
it goes on a wheel that's inside that structure
then down to the drag drum.
Hopefully this info helps you"
Now I know, and you too!
If you look close in the 1958 picture above,
the structure is there.
"Mr. Klimax" was originally painted on the
sides of the House, behind the A frames.
It was at the time, in 1958,
the Largest Walking Dragline in Canada,
for many years after.
Doing research on this machine, I found out other
draglines had the walking feature before this model.
For years I thought it was the first, but that isn't true.
While at Utility, it was painted the Utility Coals colors,
Dark yellow, (burnt Orange?) with reddish brown trim
I only found one color picture of this machine.
Hope you enjoy the "Mr. Klimax" tour.
"Mr Klimax" Marion 7800, ca1970
(Bucket from the Bucyrus-Erie 750B stripping shovel in front)