DVD: Earthmoving Trails - Northern Spain

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Northern Spain is the second programme in the Earthmoving Trails DVD series and roughly follows one of the routes of the popular pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella. But our journey is in reverse, we start in the north-west of Spain in the heart of the country’s slate mining industry. The mountains in the remote Ourense region contain many large slate mines, one of which is home to some new and some not so new Hitachi trucks, excavators and wheeled loaders. We follow the slate extraction process down to the valley to see how blocks are transformed into roofing tiles, the final stage of which is done by hand. From here, we travel north-east of Ponferrada to the mountain tops above the coal mining town of Fabero to see the EX3600 and EX5500, the largest Hitachi excavators in Europe. We also look at the changing fortunes of Spain’s coal industry, which has seen many of the mine’s big earthmovers made redundant during recent years. We continue east to another big and stunningly-attractive coal mine not far from the city of León, where machines owned by Spanish contractor Transportes Peal do all the work. Excavator highlights here include a Cat 390D and Liebherr R 984, plus there are some great working shots of a 100-tonne Cat 992D wheel loader. We then leave the mountains and travel further east towards Madrid and Buenavente to tour one of Europe’s largest earthmoving machinery breakers yards. Containing many thousands of different machines, some of the larger excavators include a couple of O&K RH-30s and 40s. Journey’s end is midway between Zaragoza and Barcelona and the massive coal mine near the village of Ariño. This mine still uses a number of classic 200-tonne class Demag H 185 and Liebherr R 994 diggers, and we also have footage of a recently retired 450-tonne R 995 – the largest tracked Liebherr excavator ever to work on land in Europe. As well as these old timers, the programme also includes several of the mine’s classic mining trucks. These include the 200-tonne capacity T 252, the biggest Liebherr hauler ever to come to Europe, and what is believed to be the last surviving 120-tonne capacity Komatsu HD 1200M in Europe. This same mine recently spent a fortune on four new 350-tonne Liebherr R 9350 excavators and an equally-new fleet of 150-tonne capacity Cat 785 trucks, all of which are well covered. Northern Spain is written and presented by Steven Vale who is a regular contributor to Earthmovers Magazine and Classic Plant & Machinery, and has helped make many earthmoving machinery DVDs. The programme is directed and edited by Jonathan Theobald who has made a wide range of documentaries on agricultural and earthmoving machines working throughout the world.
About The Film Makers:
Jonathan Theobald

Jonathan is based in the UK and spent over 15 years writing about farm machinery, including six years as editor of the farm equipment magazine What’s new in Farming. In 1992, he founded Country Films – a production company specialising in outdoor programmes. Jonathan has directed and edited television documentaries, corporate programmes and almost 50 of the successful agricultural, mining and demolition machinery DVDs sold by Old Pond Publishing. These include the Massive Machines series as well as many programmes on both classic and modern farm machinery. He has travelled widely in America and Europe to film these programmes.
Steven Vale
Steven has been writing about tractors and farm machinery for many UK farming magazines for over 25 years. He lives in Holland and in 2004 he joined Earthmoving Magazine as a European contributor. Since then he has written about and photographed extreme earthmoving, demolition and dredging machines working in most European countries. Steven has also worked on many DVDs of earthmoving and demolition equipment. He has researched, planned and written the script for many of the popular Massive Machines series of DVDs published by Old Pond Publishing. He has also written a book looking at the largest earthmoving machines working in Europe called Walking with Giants – Europe’s Massive Earthmovers.

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