Mobile Plant

New haul trucks enhanced for lower emissions, fuel savings

The newest 25 models in the Komatsu range – spanning excavators, loaders, haul trucks and graders – were unveiled at Komatsu Australia’s annual BOOTS ON event at the Hunter Plant Operating Training School in Cessnock, New South Wales earlier this year.

The event was designed to introduce Komatsu’s latest offerings – including the HM400-5 articulated dump truck (ADT) and the HD605-8 rigid frame dump truck – to existing and potential customers across Australia.

Other machines on show included Dash 11 series excavators, the “intelligent Machine Control” PC210LCi-10 excavator, and Dash 8 series wheel loaders. The Dash 11 series and the Dash 8 series were extensively reported upon in a feature article in last month’s issue of Quarry [26(9), September 2018: 50-56].

Komatsu also demonstrated its KOMTRAX remote telematics-based remote monitoring system and its SMARTCONSTRUCTION technology, which covers the steps in a project’s development, from initial site survey, design and professional consultancy, through to operation and production.

Nearly 150 attendees from the industry were at the event, and all had the opportunity to test the capabilities of the machines for themselves.

Emissions, fuel savings

The machines launched at BOOTS ON are equipped with Komatsu’s US EPA/European Union Tier 4 Final emissions-certified engine technology. Tier 4 engines can potentially reduce particulate matter (PM) and nitrous oxide (NOx) emissions levels by up to 90 per cent on previous generations of equivalent machines. Indeed, this was the key message that Komatsu Australia representatives were very keen to emphasise across the whole of the new range.

Richard Feehely, Komatsu Australia’s national business manager for quarries, explained that emissions standards have been systematically reducing PM and NOx levels since 1996 when the first emission standards went into effect for Tier 1.

Komatsu Australia representatives also emphasised the relative savings in fuel consumption the new machines could achieve on their predecessors.

“Komatsu has introduced new electronic control systems throughout the new machines that ensure engine power, hydraulic requirements and transmission output is optimised – resulting in fuel consumption savings of between five per cent and 15 per cent [in tonnes per litre] – depending on models and applications,” Dean Gaedtke, Komatsu Australia’s executive general manager of construction, said.

Komatsu’s range of proprietary technologies that contribute to low emissions and reduced fuel consumption include:

  • A heavy-duty after treatment system.
  • An advanced electronic control system.
  • A heavy-duty cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system.
  • A Komatsu variable geometry turbocharger (KVGT) system.
  • A heavy-duty, high pressure common rail (HPCR) fuel injection system.

“In addition, Komatsu’s new Tier 4 machines take advantage of the company’s latest developments in its KOMTRAX telematics-based remote monitoring system to deliver owners and fleet managers even more data about key operating criteria,” Gaedtke added.


Dash 5 ADTS

Komatsu’s additions to its articulated dump truck (ADT) range – the 28-tonne HM300-5 and the 40-tonne HM400-5 – are both powered by low emission Tier 4 Final engines, which reduce NOx and PM by 90 per cent on the Tier 3 equivalents, as well as save up to 14 per cent more fuel in litres per tonne. The HM300-5’s engine is rated at 242kW net, while the HM400-5’s engine is 348kW net.

The engines incorporate advanced electronic control systems that process at high speed all signals from sensors installed in the vehicle and relay it as operating data to an on-board monitor for the operator. For maintenance purposes, this data can also be accessed by owners and fleet managers via the KOMTRAX telematics remote monitoring system, which is supplied as standard on all Komatsu vehicles.

Feehely said the new Tier 4 engine monitors and transmits more detailed data about engine conditions and operation than in previous models.

“Through our in-house development and production of engines, electronics, and hydraulic components all designed to work with each other, Komatsu has achieved major advances in technology, providing high levels of performance and efficiency across all applications,” he said.

“Because of this integrated design approach, we have been able to achieve further reductions in fuel consumption with these new trucks.

“These include the use of variable displacement piston pumps that use engine power only as needed to eliminate unnecessary power take-off inefficiencies, along with design improvements to the drive axles and transmission systems that reduce parasitic driveline losses.”

The Dash 5 ADTs’ advanced truck transmission systems feature the Komatsu Advanced Transmission with Optimum Modulation Control System (aka K-ATOMICS), which is also used on Komatsu’s large mine trucks, and the Komatsu Traction Control System (KTCS).



Payload capacity










28 tonnes


Tier 4 Final,
242kW@2000 rpm

Automatic countershaft with lockup
torque converter, 6F/2R speeds


23.5 R25





40 tonnes


Tier 4 Final,
348kW@2000 rpm

Automatic countershaft with lockup
torque converter, 6F/2R speeds


29.5 R25




“K-ATOMICS automatically selects the optimum gear based on ground speed and engine rpm,” Feehely explained. “The shift point automatically changes depending on the acceleration of the vehicle, and load on the engine. This avoids unnecessary fuel consumption and provides much smoother gear change transition.

“K-ATOMICS also features the ‘skip shift’ function, whereby the transmission will select the optimum gear position based on current grade and shift directly to that gear. This eliminates shifting through each gear when travelling up or down hill, resulting in more efficient power transfer, a smoother ride for the operator and reducing potential for material spillage.”

Feehely said that the KTCS, which derives from Komatsu’s experience in traction control systems in dozers and rigid dump trucks, was developed to ensure maximum machine performance in soft and slippery ground conditions. When wheel slip is detected, the KTSC automatically engages the inter-axle lock without the need for operator intervention.

“If the machine continues to detect wheel slip, it will brake the wheel that slip was detected on, continually monitoring wheel speeds and engaging the brakes as necessary,” Feehey explained.

“KTCS provides superior turning performance than diff-lock, and superior tractive and steering performance than limited slip differential. It also delivers optimum traction in soft ground to maximise productivity, reduce fuel consumption and tyre wear.”

The Dash 5 ADTs are also equipped with a Komatsu-developed hydraulic braking and retarder system. “Large-capacity, continuously cooled, wet-multiple disc brakes also function as a highly responsive retarder, giving the operator full control when travelling downhill,” Feehely added.

The retarder absorbing capacity (continuous descent) is 392kW on the HM300-5 and 510kW on the HM400-5. The ADTs are also fitted with payload meters (PLM), which Feehely said provide the drivers with readings of the material being loaded into the body.

“This enables the operator to maximize productivity by ensuring the maximum payload is achieved but also increases safety by assisting the operator in preventing overloads,” Feehely explained. The PLM data is also available to owners and fleet managers via KOMTRAX.


Dash 8 Rigid trucks

Intended for quarrying, construction and smaller mine applications, Komatsu’s 40-tonne capacity HD405-8 and 63-tonne HD605-8 rigid frame dump trucks offer fuel savings of up to seven per cent – thanks to respective 383kW and 540kW rated Tier 4 Final engines – and can reduce NOx and PM emissions by up to 90 per cent on their predecessors.

To achieve the Tier 4 emissions standards, the HD605-8 is distinctive from the HD405- 8 because it doesn’t require the use of selective catalytic reduction (SCR) or diesel exhaust fluid (AdBlue).

The trucks can further reduce fuel consumption through the auto-idle shutdown system, power and economy operating modes, an “ecology guidance” function and enhanced integration of the hydraulics and transmissions systems to reduce parasitic power losses.

The power operating mode is suitable for maximum output in tough applications; the economy mode is suitable for general loading works (providing fuel efficiency). Parasitic power loss is managed through the optimisation of a cooling speed fan based on operating temperatures; drivers can reverse the fan through the monitor panel to blow out the coolers.

Like their counterparts on the Dash 5 ADTs, the engines on the Dash 8 rigid trucks incorporate advanced electronic control systems that perform high speed processing of all signals from sensors installed in the vehicle and relay it as operating data to an on-board monitor for the operator. The new Tier 4 engine monitors and transmits more detailed data about engine conditions and operation than in previous models via KOMTRAX.












Turning radius


40 tonnes


Tier 4 Final, 383kW@2000 rpm

Automatic planetary with lock-up torque converter, 7F/1R speeds


21.00 R33






63 tonnes


Tier 4 Final, 540kW@2000 rpm

Automatic planetary with lock-up torque converter, 7F/1R speeds


24.00 R35





Feehely said the Dash 8 trucks were designed to provide safety, productivity and cost-effectiveness across a wide variety of operating conditions.

“Operators have unmatched control and safety in even the most difficult operating conditions, through our integrated transmission and braking system – which is recognised as being the best in the industry,” he said.

The transmissions on both rigid trucks feature K-ATOMICS with the “skip shift” function for smoother operation, fully hydraulic wet multiple-disc brakes and retarder absorbing capacity (689kW on the HD405-8, 802kW on the HD605-8). The KTCS is an optional extra – to provide optimum traction in all ground conditions.

The trucks are also equipped with Komatsu’s Automatic Retard Speed Control (ARSC) which provides constant control over downhill travel speeds – even under full loads on steep haul roads.

“The ARSC lets operators simply dial in the downhill speed required for safe travel, allowing them to concentrate on steering the truck,” Feehely added.

The two vehicles feature a long wheelbase and wide tread, for a lower centre of gravity, allowing for higher haul speeds. Their McPherson strut-type front suspensions enable an increased turning angle of the front wheels in a smaller turning radius (7900mm on the HM405-8 and 8700mm on the HD605-8). This increased manoeuvrability is considered invaluable on smaller sites.

Like the Dash 5 ADTs, the Dash 8 rigid trucks are also equipped with PLMs, which display payload data in the cab and transmit it to KOMTRAX. This data ensures optimum loads for maximum productivity and assistance in the analysis of production rates and working conditions.

“Our 40- and 60-tonne class trucks have built a reputation over the years for being the safest, most cost-efficient and productive trucks available,” Feehely said.

“These two new generation Tier 4 trucks will further build on this, with their ultra-low emissions, even lower fuel consumption, and detailed data capture through on-board monitoring and KOMTRAX.

“Quarries, contractors, plant hirers and smaller mining operations will be able to further lower their owning and operating costs, while achieving an unrivalled level of control and visibility of their production and operating variables.”


Remote monitoring

The new Tier 4 machines on display at BOOTS ON were equipped with the latest iteration of KOMTRAX, Komatsu’s telematics-based remote monitoring system.

First introduced in 2008, KOMTRAX has been installed on more than 11,000 Komatsu machines at no additional cost to producers across Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia.

All data coming from KOMTRAX is managed through Komatsu’s INSITE Fleet Management Centre at its Fairfield headquarters in Sydney.

As Komatsu’s general manager of construction and utility Charles Wheeldon explained at BOOTS ON, KOMTRAX Step 5, which has been installed on nearly all of Komatsu’s new Tier 4 Final machines, enables machine owners and fleet managers to view detailed data online about every aspect of a machine’s operation, 24 hours per day, seven days per week, via computer, smartphone or tablet.

“The latest KOMTRAX Step 5 on our new Tier 4 Final machines gives owners and fleet managers unprecedented visibility and up to date operating data on their equipment,” Wheeldon said.

“It’s the most sophisticated version of KOMTRAX to date, designed to provide equipment managers with data that increases their peace of mind, knowing that the advanced technologies incorporated in today’s equipment are working reliably to deliver operational efficiencies.”

The Step 5 technology is designed to deliver data reporting on the key operational criteria of Tier 4 Final engines, including the Komatsu Diesel Particulates Filter (KDPF) soot count, active KDPF soot removal regeneration time and fuel consumption, KDPF cautions and diesel exhaust fluid (DEF/ AdBlue) levels.


Step 5 also provides enhanced reports on machine travel hours and distances, working modes, cycle times and maximum speeds.

“Another new feature of KOMTRAX Step 5 is our operator ID system, which can be set for each operator,” Wheeldon added.

“This allows data being sent from KOMTRAX to be used to analyse operating status by operator as well as by machine.”

By identifying individual operators working on given machines, KOMTRAX also has the potential to promote collaboration between site/project managers and operators on the improvement of production levels and the development of personal skills.

“We know many of our customers are using KOMTRAX data to work with their operators to optimise site productivity and machine performance,” Wheeldon said.

“It’s now common for KOMTRAX reports to be discussed and analysed by operators, fleet planners and site or project managers working together to get the very best from their equipment.

“For machine managers, knowing important operational details such as idle time and fuel consumption helps maximise machine efficiency, and make decisions that can improve their fleet utilisation.”



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