Considering the whole picture when reviewing GET costs

Consideration of the total cost of GET should factor in planned and unplanned bucket maintenance, the cost of welding-related failures and throw-away material that cannot be used on site.

Rod McCallum, Komatsu Australia’s national sales and business development manager for GET, said retention reliability, unplanned maintenance, penetration performance, fuel efficiency, tyre life, powertrain and frame life were all part of the total GET cost picture. 

“The classic example of unplanned maintenance is a GET part breaking off a wheel loader bucket and falling into the crusher,” McCallum said. “Suddenly, the quarry operator is faced with unplanned maintenance, downtime, idle plant and
lost production.”

{{image2-a:r-w:250}}Chris Guntner, the KVX regional sales manager in Oceania for Komatsu KVX LLC & Hensley Industries, backed up McCallum’s comments. KVX is part of the Komatsu group and is Norway’s leading manufacturer of GET. It serves the construction, quarry and mining industries, while also offering products for a range of other severe industrial applications.

“The complete elimination of the most common retention failure points and the use of steel that is significantly tougher than conventional GET castings significantly reduces the risk of GET loss events,” Guntner said.

“While it’s impossible to completely eliminate risk, if all the KVX benefits save a site just one shutdown event in 10,000 hours due to a GET failure, that could easily constitute a $15 to $40 per hour site saving, directly attributable to KVX.”

Guntner noted the long-term experience of a number of sites around Australia achieving extended periods with no GET breakages while operating 100-tonne class wheel loaders in various applications with KVX spade lip systems.

“These are bauxite, coal and even gold mines where, in one case, there were no reported breakages/losses, and hence no parts in the crusher, for more than 50,000 hours of crusher feeding – over the full life of one wheel loader and the current life of its replacement,” he said.

“This kind of experience is extremely significant – it means no lost production, lost sales, idle staff, idle machines, safety issues or crusher repair costs.”


KVX GET systems have an exceptional record worldwide for their retention reliability, with the unique bolted, “pinless”, “adapterless” and “weldless” design, as well as the use of high toughness Sagitta steel.

Other key design features of KVX GET include an unrivalled slim overall lip/GET system profile for better penetration of stockpiles and faster cycle times, coupled with reduced fuel, powertrain and tyre costs.

KVX GET also have a unique “flat-floor” design, providing a smooth underside for the bucket and a smooth working profile, reducing the risk of tyre damage and reducing wear and tear on the machine.

A smooth, unobstructed internal floor offers better penetration and less potential for carryback.

Senior operators at one KVX GET high hour site pointed to the flat profile on the bottom of the bucket as a major plus, allowing the mine to maintain a flatter profile on the mine floor.

Guntner said KVX’s flat-faced components result in further savings on alternative-wear materials, allowing up to 100 per cent of remnant steel from worn GET parts to be reused on site, typically as wear protection on mobile and fixed plant buckets, hoppers and feeders.


Komatsu Australia supplies customers with a full range of GET solutions through its KVX and Hensley XS ground engaging tools.

Both KVX and Hensley XS ground engaging tools can be fitted to Komatsu-branded equipment, plus any other make of machine.

This is a significant advantage for operators running multiple makes of machine, allowing them to easily standardise GET across their fleet.

KVX has gained worldwide recognition for its highly wear-resistant bolt-on ground engaging tool system for earthmoving machines. In recent years, KVX has also developed a highly attractive range of buckets and attachment products for excavators, wheel loaders, LHDs and front shovel machines.

Source: Komatsu Australia

KVX gives face loader teeth in Victorian quarry

A Melbourne-based quarry operation recently installed a Komatsu KVX ground engaging tool (GET) system on its Komatsu WA600-6 face loader, to minimise the chance of teeth breaking off during operation and severely damaging the quarry’s crusher.

The company, Northern Quarries, is located in Melbourne’s northern metropolitan region and predominantly extracts and crushes basalt to produce a range of crushed rock and aggregate products.

{{image3-a:r-w:250}}According to Pat Kerr, production manager at Northern Quarries, the primary reason for using KVX GET on the loader was to eliminate the possibility of teeth breaking off during operation and ending up in the quarry’s crusher unit – which can involve costly repairs and extended downtime on the crusher.

“The KVX system’s unique design minimises the chances of the GET becoming detached and ending up in the plant, vastly reducing the potential for costly repairs to the equipment,” he said.

“And the range available from KVX and Komatsu meant we were able to tailor a system to suit our particular site application and extract the maximum performance and production from our Komatsu loader.”

Northern Quarries extraction manager Wayne Deken echoed Kerr’s comments.

“We really have a lot more peace of mind now over the chances of wayward teeth ending up in our crushing plant,” he said. “I’m also really pleased with the low maintenance aspect of the KVX product. It’s almost fit it and forget it, which leaves us free to concentrate on our core business.”

KVX’s bolt-on system for attaching teeth and other wear parts eliminates the need for retaining pins and adapters, and dramatically speeds up the tooth replacement process, according to Bill Guirguis, Komatsu Australia’s customer support sales representative responsible for Northern Quarries.

“In addition, the teeth self-sharpen as they wear, far outlasting conventional teeth,” Guirguis said. “The philosophy behind the design of KVX is to address more than component life versus cost as a measure of the product’s performance.

“In addition, the system targets a broader range of site and operating costs. For example, the sometimes immeasurable cost of downtime, planned and unplanned maintenance, production efficiencies and so on were all taken into account during the development of the product. Since installing KVX at Northern Quarries, everyone from management through to the operators has been very pleased with the system.”


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