Australia, Products

New Komatsu loaders cut fuel consumption

New Komatsu loaders cut fuel consumption

The WA380-8 has an operating weight of 18.35-19 tonnes, depending on configuration, takes buckets ranging from 2.7-3.6m3 and is powered by a Komatsu SAA6D107E-3 engine rated at 143 kW net. Fuel consumption is said to be significantly lower than the WA380-6, the previous model in this size loader sold in Australia and New Zealand.

The 24.2-25.2 tonne WA470-8 has bucket capacities from 3.8-4.7m3 and is powered by a Komatsu SAA6D125E-7 rated at 203 kW net, with fuel consumption 6% improved over the WA470-7 that preceded it.

Richard Feehely, Komatsu Australia’s national business manager, quarries, said applications for the WA380-8 include civil construction and local government, to sales loading, concrete batch work, log handling with appropriate attachments, waste, and recycling, while the WA470-8 is designed for sales loading, logging, waste, and mulch handling.

“The engines on both loaders incorporate Komatsu’s electronic control system performing high-speed processing of all signals from sensors installed in the vehicle, providing total control of equipment across all conditions of use,” he said.

A dual power engine mode on the two loaders lets operators select either Economy mode, giving maximum fuel efficiency in general loading works, or Power mode for maximum output in tough digging applications.

Feehely said the two loaders also feature Komatsu SmartLoader Logic engine system, which controls engine torque to match machine demands.

“For example, engine torque needs are higher for digging in V-shape loading, but lower when driving with an empty bucket,” he said.

“Our SmartLoader Logic system optimises engine torque for all applications to further cut fuel consumption.

“It functions automatically and doesn’t interfere with operation, saving fuel without decreasing production or performance,” he said.

Other fuel-saving features include Komatsu’s closed-centre variable displacement pump technology for the hydraulics, delivering precise hydraulic flow when required, and an auto idle shutdown function.

Engine condition information is displayed via an on-board network to the monitor inside the cab, providing all necessary operating data to the operator.

This data is also accessed and managed via Komatsu’s advanced KOMTRAX telematics remote monitoring system, ensuring owners and fleet managers stay well on top of all maintenance requirements.

As with other Komatsu equipment powered by the company’s new Tier 4 engines, KOMTRAX monitors and transmits far more detailed data about engine conditions and operation, giving unmatched visibility into the health of equipment – and any potential issues.

To further improve operating and fuel efficiency, Komatsu-designed powertrain systems on the two loaders are matched precisely to engine output, as well as incorporating additional productivity enhancements.

These include a large capacity torque converter with enhanced lockup and automatic gear shifting within a mode select system.

“Our large capacity torque converters give greater productivity and efficiency in tough conditions,” said Feehely.

“And our enhanced torque converter lockup helps further reduce fuel consumption in load-and-carry and some loading applications by directly transmitting more engine power to the drivetrain.

“This works in conjunction with Komatsu SmartLoader Logic to eliminate clutch engagement shock in lockup mode.”

The automatic transmission and its mode select system give the option of using manual shifting, or two levels of automatic shifting, depending on workload requirements.

Operator comfort and ease of operation have also been improved on both new loaders, through features such as a new operator seat with new low-effort EPC (electronic pilot control) levers, low noise design – only 72 dBA at operator’s ear.

An optional mono lever configuration also incorporates proportional control of the third function via a rocker switch, giving the operator thumb control of attachment functions such as a 4-in-1 or high-dump bucket.

Other operator comfort and control enhancements include an electronically controlled suspension system, remote bucket and boom positioning, and automatic kickdown to first gear when entering the pile.

“In addition to these enhanced operator features, we’ve also worked to make servicing and maintenance on the WA380-8 and WA470-8 easier, safer and faster – further contributing to reduced owning and operating costs,” said Feehely.

These include such features as large side-opening gullwing-type engine doors, swing-out cooling fan, with auto-reverse, wide-core coolers, easily accessible DEF (AdBlue) tank and battery isolation.

“With these two new machines, Komatsu brings the latest advances in emissions reduction, fuel saving, machine management, and productivity improvements to these very popular classes of loader,” he said.

“They can load and carry more metres of material or tonnes of payload at a lower cost, and with lower fuel burn – while giving owners and fleet managers unrivalled operational data across all applications – including advance warnings of upcoming service requirements as well as any potential machine or component issues.”

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