Cleaner emission loaders to reduce total ownership costs

The WA270-8 – replacing the WA250PZ-6 – is powered by a Komatsu SAA6D107E-3 engine rated at 111kW and offers bucket sizes from 1.9m3 to 2.7m3, while the WA320-8 – replacing the WA320PZ-6 – is powered by a Komatsu SAA6D107E-3 rated at 123kW and has bucket capacities ranging from 2.3m3 to 3.2m3.

Both loaders feature Komatsu’s fourth generation hydrostatic drive transmission system and its versatile parallel Z-bar (PZ) linkage system, which combines high breakout forces with parallel lift throughout the lifting cycle.

In releasing the Dash 8 versions of these two loaders, the company has gone straight from its Dash 6 variants and skipped the Dash 7 upgrades that included interim Tier 4-compliant engines, according to Richard Feehely, Komatsu Australia’s national business manager for quarries.

{{quote-A:R-W:300-I:2-Q:"These new loaders deliver significantly lower costs per metre of material moved than their predecessors-WHO:Richard Feehely, Komatsu Australia’s national business manager"}}“These latest wheel loaders incorporate all the new technology developments introduced in both the Dash 7 and Dash 8 upgrades, including improved performance and safety, reduced fuel consumption, superior operator ergonomics and significantly enhanced maintainability,” Feehely said.

Both loaders have increased straight and full-turn static tipping loads (STL) for improved productivity and safety; the WA270-8 has a full turn STL of nearly nine tonnes (a 2.3m3 capacity GP pin-on bucket) and the WA320-8 has a full turn STL of nearly 10 tonnes (a 2.8m3 capacity GP pin-on bucket). See Table 1 below.

“These higher performance capabilities, combined with fuel efficiency improvements of up to 13 per cent from our Tier 4 final engine technology, mean these new loaders deliver significantly lower costs per metre of material moved than their predecessors,” Feehely said.

Hydrostatic transmission

The loaders’ EPA Tier 4 Final compliant SAA6D107E-3 engines incorporate a hydraulically actuated variable geometry turbocharger to provide optimum air flow under all speed and load conditions, along with Komatsu Diesel Particulate Filter and Selective Catalytic Reduction systems to reduce particulate matter and nitrous oxide while providing automatic regeneration.

According to Feehely, auto-reversing fans as standard, along with wider core coolers, provide ample cooling capacity, able to cope with ambient conditions that are both hot and contain high amounts of airborne debris.

{{image3-a:r-w:300}}“Komatsu SmartLoader Logic on both machines automatically controls engine torque to match machine demands, optimising torque for all applications to minimise fuel consumption – without decreasing production,” he said.

“Reduced fuel consumption is further aided through six guidance messages and an enhanced ‘ecology’ gauge in the cabin display to encourage operators to work as fuel efficiently as possible.”

Komatsu’s fourth generation hydrostatic transmission (HST) provides quick travel response and aggressive drive into the pile.

“Full auto-shifting eliminates any gear shifting and kick-down operation, to allow the operator to concentrate on digging and loading,” Feehely said.

“The HST also acts as a dynamic brake, dramatically extending the life of the loaders’ wet disc brakes.”

A variable traction control system is designed to adjust traction control for each working condition.

“S-mode” reduces tyre spin in slippery conditions; “auto-mode” automatically optimises tractive effort for various working conditions, while “max traction” mode provides full 100 per cent tractive effort.

Service offerings

Feehely said new cab designs on the Dash 8 loaders provided operators with improved comfort and visibility, along with reduced noise levels – further promoting the concept of more productivity.

{{image4-a:r-w:300}}A new design air-suspension operator seat gives enhanced support in rough conditions, while dampening machine vibrations.

“The seat, along with the steering wheel, is fully adjustable for optimum comfort and control,” Feehely said. “In-cab noise levels at the operator’s ear have also been reduced, down to 68 decibels on both models, a significant reduction on their predecessors.

“Machine maintainability has also been greatly improved through such features as side-opening gullwing-style engine doors, swing-out type cooling fan and wide-core radiator, and placement of daily and weekly maintenance items for easy to reach ground-level access.

“Komatsu Dash 8 loader owners also have the benefits of our advanced ICT [information and communications technology], including enhanced and intuitive on-board diagnostics systems and our latest KOMTRAX remote monitoring capabilities.”

Feehely says each new machine is covered by Komatsu Australia’s Komplimentary Servicing offering, which covers either two years or 2000 operating hours and includes one complimentary scheduled diesel particulate filter exchange.

“This not only gives owners the peace of mind in knowing just what their hourly operating costs will be for the first two years of the machines’ life, but also further pushes down hourly owning and operating costs,” Feehely said.

“The combination of production and performance improvements, lower fuel consumption, easier maintenance and Komatsu’s outstanding product support offerings make these among the lowest cost per metre loaders available in their class.”












12.8-13.2 tonnes

Komatsu SAA6D107E-3, rated at 111 kW

Four-speed fourth-generation Komatsu HST

38/38 km/h



40° full turn at 10 tonnes

13,375 kgf



15.5-15.9 tonnes

Komatsu SAA6D107E-3 engine, rated at 123 kW

Four-speed fourth-generation Komatsu HST

38/38 km/h



40° full turn at 11.5 tonnes

16,470 kgf


Table 1. The specs for Komatsu’s new Dash 8 wheel loaders.

Source: Komatsu Australia

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