Conventions:

200-ton dump trucks, massive payloaders move into Las Vegas Convention Center for MINEXpo

Lee Griffin, center, of JoyGlobal looks on as Michael Hemphill, a maintenance engineer, operates a mining shovel simulator at the JoyGlobal booth during the MINExpo International 2012 trade show at the Las Vegas Convention Center Monday, Sept. 24, 2012.

2012 MINExpo International

A Komatsu mining truck is displayed during the MINExpo International 2012 trade show at the Las Vegas Convention Center Monday, Sept. 24, 2012. Launch slideshow »

Thousands in the mining industry are digging Las Vegas this week.

MINExpo International 2012, a mining convention that occurs every four years, opened its doors Monday at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

An estimated 50,000 people from 112 countries are expected to attend this year’s three-day event, which includes an 850,000-square-foot trade show with 1,860 exhibitors.

To prepare for the show, massive dump trucks, loaders and graders weighing as much as 200 tons empty began moving into the convention hall seven weeks ago. Steve Moster, president of Global Experience Specialists, a Las Vegas-based convention services company, said the show was set up by more than 1,300 workers from four labor unions.

Among the most impressive exhibits are a train locomotive, a 4,000-horsepower Cummins engine and a Pro-Miner P&H Shovel Simulator that gives operators a chance to dig and dump dirt without getting dirty.

Moster said the large vehicles are brought to Las Vegas in pieces, assembled in a parking lot and soft-welded together to be transported into the hall. Some are so heavy they need special boards beneath them to prevent damage to the asphalt below, and power lines have to be raised to bring them into the building.

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