An important problem associated with tandem dragline systems is that of matching the productive capability of individual draglines in the combination. In this paper, a dependence mechanism among draglines in a tandem system is described, and possible consequential problems in a poorly-matched system are defined. The rate of linear advance and the cost of stripping are determined as two major indications for an efficient operation. The proposed decision criteria and the underlying mechanism to select a synchronous couple are introduced and used in simulating tandem dragline systems. The developed model is tested on a hypothetical strip mine where pull-back stripping is applied with a tandem dragline system.