Crawler excavator and parts. Ransomes and Rapier S.6T 4 1/2 0, 1941. With skimmer attachment. British Estates Services Ltd. Machine No.376.
This excavator with skimmer attachment could be used for a range of functions. Skimmers could be used for removing old road surfaces, stripping top soil, removing shallow overburden seams above clay and coal deposits and loading coal and other minerals from seams in open cast mining.
Skimmers were an important part of the excavation industry from the late-1800s to the early-1960s but became an obsolete piece of machinery from the end of the 1950s with the introduction of other types of excavation equipment, especially crawler mounted tractor shovels.
Skimmers were suited to lifting and loading tarmac and materials which did not require deep digging. The skimmer works by skimming its bucket out along the boom until it was full, it was then hoisted upwards and the bucket emptied by releasing a latch which opened the bucket floor.