Komatsu Debuts High-Reach Demolition Excavator, the PC490HRD-11

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Komatsu PC490HRD-11 high-reach excavator
The Komatsu PC490HRD-11 high-reach excavator can utilize attachments ranging from 5,500 lb to 11,000 lbs.

Komatsu has unveiled its PC490HRD-11 high-reach demolition excavator for the North American market.

Powered by a 362-horsepower Komatsu engine, the PC490HRD-11 offers six different working arrangements, with a boom extension for higher reach or extended digging. It can reach a maximum height with an extended high-reach boom that rises to 104 feet using a 5,511-pound attachment.

The hydraulically expandable undercarriage enables the tracks to be narrowed for transportation purposes.

The optional K100 quick boom-change system allows for hands-free boom changes within minutes, the company says. The system includes oversized quick connectors for the hydraulic lines that minimize back pressure and oil heating without restricting oil flow. The system also features hydraulically powered pins mounted inside the main boom structure to help reduce the risk of damage to the equipment during reconfiguration.

Komatsu PC490HRD-11 high-reach boom downThe optional K100 quick boom change system that allows for hands-free boom changes within minutes.KomatsuSimon Saunders, working gear product marketing manager for Komatsu, said the K100 name reflects "quite a few 100s associated with the system."

“We've timed it, and in ideal conditions, I believe you can change the configuration of the machine in around about 100 seconds,” he said. Komatsu’s former boom-change system allowed for a 30-minute reconfiguration process.

According to Saunders, the K100 was 100% developed by Komatsu, and operators can change the boom 100% by themselves while remaining 100% in the cab.

The core of the new system is the Human Machine Interface (HMI) integrated into the touchscreen to guide operators when aligning the equipment. 

“The next thing that anybody's going to do with this product is to drive in and pick up a piece of equipment,” Saunders said. 

Using K100, all connections, mechanical, hydraulic, and electrical are made automatically and hands-free. The HMI ensures the machine's condition is understood at all steps of the process and that it always behaves predictably, according to Komatsu. At any point in the process, the operator can back out and revert to where he was.

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“Through the development of the K100 system, we feel that the versatility of the machine that was always built in is now even more accessible,” he said. “It's really inspired by the customers and by understanding the challenges they face on their jobsites.”

The expectation is that the speed of boom change via the K100 system will allow contractors to take a second look at how they approach demolition work. For example, Saunders said, the high-reach extensions could be used to start on the taller parts of a building, and when heavier sections are reached, the boom could quickly be changed to the shorter length to bring in a heavier, more powerful demolition tool. In addition, the same excavator can be used to load the trucks to take the materials away, potentially saving the costs of having additional machines on the jobsite.

“We think that that's the most important benefit of the machine, but there are an awful lot of features and components which are built in to make the thing work safely and effectively,” Saunders said. 

He said the human machine interface in the cab that interacts with an ISO-compliant safety controller is among the additional important components. 

“When the machine is all ready to go it doubles as a working range indication (WRI) system.”

For the WRI, a camera is attached to the high-reach boom, feeding into the 360-degree WRI system with a side stability pre-alert function.

“The operator can work the machine to the maximum capacity of the machine without going beyond the safe limits,” Saunders said. “It's based on hydraulic power around machine stability.”

The range limits are like the safety margins established for lifting capacities, which are 87% of hydraulic power and 75% of the tipping limit. 

The PC490HRD-11 offers six different working arrangements, with a boom extension for higher reach or an extended digging boom. In addition, Saunders said the tool control system allows precise pressure and flow settings to be stored for up to 15 attachments,

“This means you get two direction flow rates in the main circuit and two direction flow rates on the rotate circuit,” he said. “The flow and pressure for all of the attachments is individually set, depending on what the attachment needs.”

The demolition cab tilts 30 degrees via joystick control for a continued optimal view of the work area. Also, the machine includes Komatsu's KomVision bird-eye-view system to improve the visibility of the safety zone around the machine. Optional LED lamps are available to further enhance visibility.

“There are multiple cameras around the rear and sides of the machine, and the software stitches these together so you can get a good view of whatever's around the machine,” Saunders said. “With the camera select button, you can choose the view from a different camera. It's a good assistant for site safety.”

Komatsu PC490HRD-11The PC490HRD-11 reaches a maximum height of 104 feet.Komatsu

Built tough

Saunders noted that the PC490HRD-11 is fully assembled as a high-reach model right from the bare metal.

“The real core of the machine's strength is the main base plate for the infrastructure, and that is 25% thicker than for a normal PC490 machine,” he said.

It features 15 mm thick bolted-on side guards that are easily replaceable if damaged. The PC490HRD also has oversized boom-raise cylinders that are 25 mm in diameter. The underside of the excavator is equally protected with covers that are 9 mm thick.

"The whole of the underside of the machine is covered to protect against debris on the ground," Saunders said. “On the high-reach machines, there is extra reinforcement of the understructure to cope with the forces from the big counterweight, and the very long lever arms that we have on the front." 

The purpose of the extra reinforcement is for added durability.

Quick Specs

  • Engine: 362 hp @ 1,900 rpm
  • Operating weight: 121,695 to 167,177 lbs.
  • Max. high reach: 91 feet with 7,385 lb. attachment.
  • Max. extended high reach: 104 feet with 5,500 lb. attachment.
  • Medium reach: 44.9 feet to 57 feet with 11,023 lb. attachment
  • Excavation boom: 34.4 feet to 43.6 feet with 11,023 lb. attachment