Comparing measured results to those generated by analyses is often not straightforward – like fitting a square peg into a round hole, it can be done, but the fit may leave something to be desired. In the mining industry, the grinding mill is one of the most critical pieces of process equipment. Large units, capable of processing in excess of 100,000 metric tons per day, require extensive analysis at the design stage to ensure they can meet the rigorous fatigue conditions. Various analytical techniques are used involving axisymmetric models with harmonic elements as well as complex 3D models that represent such nonaxisymmetric features as bolted joints. This paper compares measurements obtained from strain gauges mounted on the machine in operation to results predicted by the various analytical techniques. It provides an excellent example of the practical issues involved in evaluating modeling assumptions and in using multiple sources of information to arrive at a design solution.