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Liebherr R 9800 Mining Shovel

Maker:  Lego Technic
Model No:  42100
Scale:  1:39 approx
Review Date:  December 2019

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Mining Equipment Index

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Lego Technic Liebherr R 9800 Mining Shovel Video. [Youku video]
Lego Technic branded box.
Cork 'rocks' in the shovel.
Hoses on the boom and stick.
Allowing that it is Lego, excellent detail on top.
Looks good.  The blue light is one of the control hubs.
Red fire suppression equipment.
Access stair lowered.
Opening flap with control hub inside.
Loading a 1:50 scale diecast Liebherr T 264 Mining Truck.

The Liebherr R 9800 is the largest mining excavator in the Liebherr range in 2013.  It has an operating weight of around 810 tonnes in shovel configuration and the bucket capacity is 42m³. 

It is designed to work with the largest mining trucks.

This model of it is built in the Lego Technic system, and it is controlled by using an App on a smart phone.

Scaled from the crawler tracks it is approximately 1:39 scale.


The model comes in a large Lego Technic branded box which encloses another box and numerous bags of parts. 

The review model had no defects or missing parts.

No information is provided about the real machine. 

Two substantial manuals are provided and these guide the building of the model through 1000 steps.  All of the steps are pictorial, with no writing.  The build is not difficult in terms of the individual steps, but precision and accuracy is required, as any error may not manifest itself until later in the build making it difficult to correct. 

There are five distinct stages of construction, and each stage has the parts contained within bags marked with the stage number.  Frustratingly though there is no apparent logic to the inclusion of parts in one bag or another so time is spent hunting the parts for any given build step.  Sticker sheets are provided to apply the graphics.

The motors and control hub are added during the various stages.  There is little information about installing the necessary app onto a smart phone but in practice it is easy enough to obtain the Control+ app from the Google Play store or elsewhere.  12 AA batteries are required to power the model and these are not included in the box.

The app is very good in that it updates the firmware in the hubs and tests the build stages as it is progressed.

To build the model takes around 15 hours at a reasonable pace.


The tracks are plastic and they are mounted on decent representations of track frames.  Lifting eye lugs are modelled.  There are heavy duty rollers on the top and bottom of the frames, with there being fewer on the bottom than the real machine has.  The drive sprockets have Liebherr stickers. 

The body has graphics stickers applied, including 'Liebherr' and '9800' on the counterweight.  The access ladders and handrails are of standard Lego components so they are over large for the scale but they are a reasonable representation.  Some of the Lego parts used are coloured in red or blue and they would have looked better if they were coloured to match the overall colour scheme of the model.

The operator's cab does not have a windscreen or door but the interior detail is very good with a seat and stickers providing console details. 

Detail on the roof looks very good with large exhausts and fire suppression equipment.  There is a representation of mesh at the front of the roof with fans visible underneath.

The boom and stick are of very heavy construction and large hoses give a complicated appearance.  The hydraulic rams are suitably massive but the ones on the boom and stick are reversed to allow the Lego Technic mechanics to work. 

The shovel is huge with the front piece being a single special Lego moulding.  A bag of Lego parts is included as 'rocks' for the shovel, but these are unrealistic, and not enough to enable any shovelling.


There are opening side panels on the body.

An opening roof panel provides access to one of the control hubs.

The rear access stair can be lowered and raised.

The model is controlled by the Control+ app on a smart phone.  Once built the model is calibrated through the app so that the app knows the model's position and limits on the rams.

The functionality is excellent.  Each track can be controlled individually, and the model fully rotates in either direction.  All of the movements of the boom, stick and bucket can be actioned.  The controls are also proportional, so some fine control is possible.  The mechanisms also have slip clutches to prevent overloading.

With practice the model can dig a lightweight material and unload it cleanly from the shovel.  The track motors are powerful and can climb the model up a reasonable slope.

In addition to a standard control screen, an alternative method is also provided which allows the movements of the machine to be controlled by dragging a graphic on screen.

It is also possible to programme the model by recording actions or building commands in blocks and playing them as a sequence.  This works very well. 

The app also has other options such as recording achievements.


The Lego parts are of the expected very high quality and the fit of the parts including the working mechanics is excellent.


It is good value for a model of over 4000 parts and with full control functions.


This Lego Technic model is highly engineered and with its excellent smart phone control it is an outstanding model.  It is interesting to build, and although the Lego Technic system can reproduce high detail, it is a good looking model which is recognisable as being of the real machine. All it needs is a matching large mining dump truck.


It was first announced at the Nuremberg Toy Fair in 2019.
Fat manuals, and sticker sheets.
Profile view.
Liebherr sticker.
The cab.
Decent track frames.
Opening panels.
The figure is 1:32 scale.
Compared to the smaller 1:50 scale diecast model of the R 9800.