Equipment focus: Komatsu GD655-5 motor grader

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Komatsu GD655-5 motor grader Sicon Limited’s Komatsu GD655-5 motor grader Komatsu GD655-5 motor grader
Komatsu GD655-5 windscreen view The Komatsu GD655-5 has good visibility around the machine Komatsu GD655-5 windscreen view

New Zealand-based infrastructure maintenance contractor Sicon added two Komatsu GD655-5 graders to its fleet last April and says they’ve performed so well they’ve added a third.

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Sicon has been in operation in the South Island’s Canterbury region since 1994. The group holds a number of major maintenance contracts with local councils and also performs civil construction works for private clients.

One of Sicon’s maintenance contracts is for the roads of the Waimakariri and Hurunui district councils.

The company has been running Komatsu excavators for some time, so when the time came to replace its graders this year the call was made to stick with the brand and buy two GD655-5 graders.

"This was a very significant purchase for us," Sicon CEO Dave Wilson says. "It was critical to make sure the machines were reliable and they had good after-sales service, because often they would be operating a long way from service agents or technicians.

"Certainly Komatsu offered us the best value for money, but what was really important to us was their after-sales service and backup – and they have a good reputation for that in this area.

"For us, it was very important that if any issues did arise they were quickly dealt with," he adds. "So far that’s worked out well for us, and we’ve been very happy with their responses to any issues we’ve had."

The GD655-5 weighs in at 18.5-tonnes and is powered by a 165kW Komatsu SAA6D107E-1 diesel engine configured to US Tier 3/EU Stage IIIA emissions standards. This is the same engine used in Komatsu WA250PZ-6 to WA380-6 loaders, PC200-8 to PC270-8 excavators and the D51EX-21 dozer.

The GD655-5’s fully ROPS cab incorporates a Y-shaped front pillar and rear side pillar, giving the operator increased visibility. The grader is also guided by a steering wheel, a feature Sicon says was top of their list for safety reasons.

"We do a lot of grading on low-volume roads, and the graders are frequently working at fairly high speeds," Wilson says.

"As safety is the No.1 issue for us, we felt the ability to manoeuvre the grader with a steering wheel would be critical in the event of an issue with an oncoming vehicle."


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