Vibration is a major concern in coal mining with a shearer, and an accurate model that allows complex responses can analyze the overall vibration of the system. The large load impact on and severe vibration of a coal shearer under operating conditions were considered. A numerical model was proposed for characterizing the nonlinear dynamics of the shearer traction-swing coupling in 13 degrees of freedom using vibration mechanics and multibody dynamics. Particularly, the contact between the shearer sliding shoe and scraper conveyor was characterized using three-dimensional fractal theory, the gapped contact between the driving wheel and base plate was characterized using Hertz contact theory, and the rigidity of the lift cylinder, the coupling between the shearer fuselage and haulage unit, and the rigidity of the shearer ranging arm were characterized using Hooke's law. Using experimentally corrected drum loads as the external excitation, the numerical model was resolved to characterize and analyze the dynamical responses of critical shearer components. The numerical model was validated against the vibration responses of a shearer and its critical components under different operating conditions obtained from a mechanical test.The research results provide theoretical basis for the structure optimization and process parameter optimization of the shearer.