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Komatsu articulated dump truck breaks new ground

The new Komatsu HM400-3M0 articulated dump truck is designed to increase productivity and reduce costs through features such as an advanced traction and transmission system, higher dump body capacity and lower fuel consumption.

Other improvements over its predecessor, the HM400-2, include higher payload capacity, better operating performance, increased operator comfort and enhanced serviceability, according to Komatsu Australia National Business Manager, Quarries, Richard Feehely.

“The HM400-3M0 incorporates a number of ground-breaking improvements in articulated dump truck technology, leveraging on our many years’ of experience in traction control and transmission systems with our dozers and large mining rigid dump trucks,” he says.

The HM400-3M0 is powered by a Komatsu SAA6D140E-6 engine rated at 350 kW, allowing it to haul a 40 tonne payload at speeds up to 55.9 km/h.

Slippage control

When the truck operates on soft ground the new Komatsu Traction Control System (K-TCS) kicks in, detecting tyre slippage through speed sensors on four wheels and automatically applying the inter-axle differential lock if needed.

If the slippage continues, any of the four independently operated brakes can be applied to the slipping wheels to regain traction.

The new truck also incorporates the Komatsu Advanced Transmission with Optimum Modulation Control System (K-ATOMiCS), which has long been a feature of Komatsu’s large mining trucks.

This is a six-speed, fully automatic transmission that uses an advanced electronic system to eliminate shift shock and torque cut-off to improve operator and engine efficiency, and maximise powertrain life.

“The electronic system automatically selects the ideal gear based on vehicle speed, engine speed and the shift position chosen, resulting in powerful acceleration, smooth down shifting and synchronised engine speed when climbing slopes,” Feehely says.

“Key advantages of K-ATOMiCS include minimised operator fatigue, ensuring the load remains in the truck body and increased productivity.”

A 510 kW capacity retarder fitted to the HM400-3M0 allows the operator to select the optimum operating speed for downhill travel and fully loaded hauls, eliminating acceleration generated by the grade of the slope and minimising wear and tear on the braking system.

Pushing payload capacity

Feehely says the HM400-3M0 also boasts an optimised body design which has pushed payload capacity to a true 40 metric tonnes, compared to 36.5 tonnes on the HM400-2. Heaped capacity has increased from 22.3 cu m to 24 cu m.

The HM400-3M0’s loading height of 3164 mm allows it to be easily matched with 36 to 55 tonne excavators, or 4.2 cu m to 5.7 cu m wheel loaders.

In addition, the Komatsu HM400-3M0 is equipped with a factory-fitted Payload meter (PLM), allowing production volume and working conditions of the dump truck to be analysed directly via a personal computer.

The truck’s payload is also displayed for the operator on a 7-inch LCD monitor in the cab, while an external display signals to the loading tool as the truck reaches payload capacity.

PLM data can be downloaded directly to a PC via a PLM cable, and is also transmitted via KOMTRAX.

This allows a wide range of payload data, including Carried Load, Cycle Count, and Overload Count to be monitored and filtered for daily, weekly or monthly reports and analyses.

In addition, the HM400-3M0 is fitted with the KOMTRAX-integrated EMMS (Equipment Management Monitoring System), which continuously monitors all critical systems and provides troubleshooting assistance.

Comfort and safety

Komatsu has also significantly improved the cab design on the new truck, with operator comfort features now including interior noise levels of 72 dBA, and a high-back heated air-ride seat with a three-point safety belt.

“We have now located the operator’s seat right in the centre of the cab,” Feehely says. “This,  combined with a short nose design and rounded engine hood significantly improve visibility out the front, while a colour rear-view camera, linked to its own 7-inch monitor, ensures greater safety when operating around other equipment and personnel.

“The ROPS/FOPS Level 2 certified cab features a new designed rounded front dash panel with easy-to-reach switches,” he adds.

“In addition, the dashboard has been redesigned, incorporating a new, high-resolution, 7-inch LCD monitor giving enhanced capabilities and detailed information display.

“It allows the operator to easily modify settings for a wide range of items such as auto idle shutdown or the auto-reversing fan; to check operational records, such as driving history or fuel consumption; or to see when the next maintenance interval is required,” Feehely says.

The monitor also offers the operator the option of using Komatsu’s ECO guidance function, which provides operational tips to reduce fuel consumption.

Feehely says Komatsu has also worked to minimise the time required for daily checks and service access: “This includes such features as a newly designed engine hood for easy access, increased cooling capacity, and two standard hydraulically driven auto-reversing fans to help keep the radiator and charge air cooler clean.”


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