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Komatsu WE-Series Wheel Loader With Generation 3 Hybrid Tech Offers Strength, Versatility

Wed September 15, 2021 - National Edition

The WE1850-3 wheel loader can help maximize productivity.
The WE1850-3 wheel loader can help maximize productivity.

For mine operators with a focus on sustainable operation, Komatsu's new WE1850-3 wheel loader, part of the new Generation 3 series, is a versatile loading tool that can be used for main line production and shovel backup as well as cleanup and ramp building.

Komatsu is rebranding all of its hybrid wheel loader products, as part of its ongoing process to integrate its legacy brands into One Komatsu. This rebranding transitions legacy brands, such as the P&H L1150, P&H L1350, P&H L1850 and P&H L2350 loaders to Komatsu.

"Our large hybrid loaders have carried the legendary LeTourneau and P&H names for many years, but we are proud to move the product line to the Komatsu brand," said Brian Fox, vice president, mining products.

"Since the Komatsu acquisition of Joy Global in 2017, we've been making significant investments in our factories and new product development with the goal of bringing the Komatsu standard of quality and product support to this unique, highly efficient product line."

The WE series of wheel loaders have an SR Hybrid Drive system that is fully regenerative. During braking or retarding, electrical motors become generators and feed power back into the electrical system. This allows for up to 45 percent less fuel consumption than comparably sized mechanical drive wheel loaders or hydraulic excavator machines, as well as considerable reduction in carbon emissions per ton.

For faster cycle times without a commensurate increase in fuel usage, Generation 3 series wheel loaders include the Kinetic Energy Storage System (KESS), which works in concert with the SR Hybrid Drive to store significant horsepower captured from braking and direct it to supplement peak power demand.

"The goal here was maximizing productivity, lowering that cost per ton," said Jesse Dubberly, product director. "The Generation 3 series is engineered to improve both sides of that equation. Lower cycle times and increased payload, which can lead to higher productivity and more tons moved."

The LINCS II network control system on the WE180-3 provides real-time feedback and vital statistics, such as bucket height and angle, individual bucket payload, and total tons moved. This can help improve productivity by allowing operators to quickly adjust to conditions.

To keep operators comfortable during shifts, the spacious, environmentally controlled cab was designed to offer excellent visibility, and a trainer seat that is now standard. Digital joysticks offer easy and responsive control, while the highly adjustable, heated/cooled seat helps minimize driver discomfort.

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