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Komatsu America’s New Wheel Loader Built for Power

Wed April 28, 2010 - National Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

Komatsu America Corp.’s WA500-6 wheel loader is designed for quarry, sand, gravel and industrial applications. The WA500-6 has a net power of 332 hp (247 kW) and an operating weight between 71,585 and 74,010 lbs. (32,470 and 33,570 kg), and all major components including the engine, torque converter, transmission, hydraulic units and electric parts are engineered by Komatsu.

The WA500-6 is equipped with KOMTRAX technology, which sends the machine operating information to a secure Web site utilizing wireless technology. Hour meter, location, cautions and maintenance alerts — to name a few of its features — are relayed to the web application for analysis. The KOMTRAX fleet monitoring system increases machine availability, reduces the risk of machine theft, allows for remote diagnosis by the distributor, and provides other information to drive business efficiency and productivity, according to the manufacturer.

Powerful Technology for Optimal Productivity

The new WA500-6 gets its power and work capacity from a Komatsu SAA6D140E-5 engine coupled with a new, large capacity torque converter with lock-up transmission and variable piston pumps. The large capacity torque converter with lock-up transmission improves the machine’s performance when loading trucks and climbing grades. The variable piston pumps combined with closed-center load sensing system (CLSS) delivers only the required amount of hydraulic flow necessary to the work equipment. By reducing the wasted flow of hydraulic oil, the amount of power necessary to move the pumps is reduced, improving performance. The rim pull is increased for better bucket penetration and reduced cycle times, all leading to higher productivity, according to the manufacturer.

The engine complies with the new Tier III EPA emissions and provides improved fuel efficiency. By properly matching the large capacity and engine horse power, the engine works in a more fuel-efficient manner.

With two selectable operating modes that are easily adjustable, the engine effortlessly adapts to different working conditions. The E mode provides maximum fuel efficiency for general loading and the P mode has a maximum power output for hard digging operation and hill climbing. In the low speed range, the low-noise, high-torque engine and the large-capacity torque converter reduces fuel consumption for maximum efficiency. For load and carry or hill-climb operations, the new torque converter with lock-up transmission provides increased production efficiency, reduced cycle times and optimum fuel savings.

The new wheel loader has an increased general purpose bucket capacity of 7.4 cu. yds. (5.6 cu m) and can now load 32 ton (29 t) trucks. There also is an optional 6.8 cu. yd. (5.2 cu m) bucket for excavating or an 8.2 cu. yd. (6.2 cu m) bucket for light materials. A wider tread and longer wheelbase improves the machine’s stability and enables operators to efficiently maneuver even the tightest job sites.

New Cab Design Improves Operator Environment

Improvements to the cab design make it easy for operators to work a full day, minimize fatigue and increase productivity. The new roomy cab is mounted with Komatsu’s viscous mounts to keep noise at a minimum and provide a low-vibration operating environment. The cab has a built-in ROPS/FOPS structure to protect the operator.

The layout of the cab also has been improved for easy access to levers, and the large armrests provide added comfort. The cab is equipped with electronic pilot control (EPC) levers, which make it easy for the operator to work all day without fatigue and to perform functions with minimal lever stroke. The air conditioner has been relocated to the front of the cab for more room behind the seat and on the left side. This provides the operator with more room to allow for increased seat travel to more comfortably accommodate all operators.

The automatic transmission with electronically controlled modulation valve (ECMV) makes operating functions easier and more efficient and ensures a more comfortable ride. It automatically selects the proper gear speed based on conditions such as travel and engine speed, and includes two switches that make operating the machine easier. With the touch of a finger, the kick-down switch automatically downshifts from second to first when beginning the digging cycle; in reverse, it automatically upshifts from first to second. Conversely, the hold switch keeps the transmission fixed to either the third or fourth gear speed when auto shift is selected.

Easy Maintenance for a Reliable Machine

To reduce costly downtime, the WA500-6 wheel loader was designed to provide easy service and maintenance access.

The WA500-6 is equipped with the Komatsu equipment management monitoring system (EMMS). The easy-to-read monitor keeps the operator informed of all machine functions, including fluid and filter change intervals and troubleshooting memory display functions. A reversible hydraulic radiator fan allows the operator to quickly clean out the cooling system with the flip of a switch.

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