Komatsu Field Days: Komatsu’s desert showcase

As trite as it seems to say anything is new and improved these days, Komatsu can honestly apply that phrase to its latest line of equipment. At Komatsu Field Days near Las Vegas earlier this year, 15 of the 43 machines slated to appear were new (see sidebar), and virtually all the others came with significant upgrades.

The new machines had much in common, including power derived from Tier 3 engines and expanded use of Komatsu’s Komtrax electronic monitoring and diagnostics system. Komtrax gathers equipment data and transmits that data via a wireless network to a secure website. Information on operation hours, physical location, cautions and maintenance alerts are available for later analysis. Komtrax is standard on a wide range of machines (see sidebar on page 24) and can be ordered on any Komatsu machine.

Complementing Komtrax on bigger machines, such as the WA600-6 wheel loader and the PC1250 excavator, is Komatsu’s Vehicle Health Monitoring System, which tracks all critical systems for early detection of problems. Alerts are posted on a large LCD screen. EMMS also tracks preventive maintenance needs to help in scheduling PM service. Service technicians can tap into EMMS for fault codes and assistance with diagnostics.

Komatsu’s Tier 3 engines have two types of personality traits – those that are not immediately apparent and those that are. Among the less obvious traits are reduced fuel consumption and lower exhaust emissions. Things that get your attention right away are the footprint – Tier 3 engines are similar in size to their pre-tier 3 counterparts – and noise. There isn’t much. The Tier 3 engines are noticeably hushed, and their quiet nature is enhanced by improvements in fan design and other features to further reduce overall equipment noise.

Engines and electronics weren’t the only areas to see improvements. Buckets are bigger. Booms are stiffer. Cycle times are shorter. Load heights are taller. Access to service points is easier.

Special attention was paid to cabs, such as the one on the new PC600LC-8 excavator. It is spacious and wide and provides excellent visibility to all points in the working area. The high-capacity automatic climate control system has outlets placed for maximum efficiency and minimal intrusion into the operator’s space. The cab is mounted to a rigid deck with a multi-layer, viscous mounting system to reduce noise and vibration.

Levers feature pressure proportional control operation, which improves feel and feedback for the operator. The levers and the suspension seat can be adjusted together or independently.

The PC600LC-8 also has three modes – power, economy and lifting – and the economy mode is further divided into four levels. The goal is to match performance to the task at hand and, in many instances, save fuel in the process. Engine speed, pump flow and system pressure are all tailored within a mode setting. While some operators ignore mode settings, those who appreciate the advantages offered by them will find more to love on the new and improved Komatsu lineup.


New models brought to Komatsu Field Days
Hydraulic Excavators

PC800LC-8
PC600LC-8
PC220LC-8
PC200LC-8

Crawler Dozers
D155AX-6
D85EX-15 Tier 3
D65WX-15 6-Way

Wheel Loaders/Toolcarriers
WA600-6
WA500-6
WA380-6
Trucks
HM300-2

Backhoe Loaders
WB146

Compact Track Loaders
CK20-1
CK30-1

Compact Wheel Loaders
WA100M-5


Komatsu Telemetrics

WHEEL LOADERS
WA900-3 Komtrax optional
WA800-3 Komtrax optional
WA700-3 Komtrax optional
WA600-6 VHMS standard
WA500-6 Komtrax standard
WA480-5 Komtrax standard

RIGID AND ARTICULATED TRUCKS
HD785-5 Komtrax optional
HD605-7 VHMS optional/Komtrax optional
HD465-7 VHMS optional/Komtrax optional
HD325-6 Komtrax standard
HM400-2 Komtrax standard

HYDRAULIC EXCAVATORS
PC1250LC-7 VHMS standard
PC800LC-8 Komtrax standard
PC600LC-8 Komtrax standard
PC400LC-7 Komtrax standard
PC300LC-7 Komtrax standard
PC270-8 Komtrax standard
PC228UCLC-3N Komtrax standard
PC228-8 Komtrax standard
PC200-8 Komtrax standard

DOZERS
D475A-5 VHMS standard
D375A-5 VHMS optional/Komtrax optional
D275AX-5 Komtrax standard
D155EX-5 Komtrax standard
D85EX-15 Komtrax standard
D65EX-15 Komtrax standard