How a Komatsu WA500-6 loader has successfully handled 10 years working in corrosive conditions

After a decade of operation at a corrosive iron ore processing plant in northern Tasmania, a Komatsu WA500-6 wheel loader is still standing strong, as Howard Shanks reported recently for

wheel-loader-website-image-(1).jpgOutside Grange Resources' Port Latta iron ore pellet plant, situated approximately 70km west of Burnie, a gentle northerly breeze rolling in from the Bass Strait cooled the morning air as the new, bright yellow Komatsu WA500-6 rolled off the low loader and parked next to the machine that it was replacing.

The old WA500-6, covered in a thick layer of black iron ore dust from its near decade of handling iron ore every day, had more than proven its worth especially when it comes to durability and reliability.

Komatsu's Tasmanian rep, Jason Cowling, says life in any iron ore operation is exceptionally hard on machinery and more so at Port Latta given its close proximity to the sea.

"That old WA500-6 has notched over 32,000 hours without any component replacement other than an alternator a month or so back," Cowling explains.

"There are two WA500-6 machines here at Port Latta and they have really proved their durability and reliability working here in these conditions.

"It's an extremely hostile environment on machinery, especially when you consider they are working right next to corrosive salt water mixed with windswept sea air and the material they move is extremely hot."

For the full story on the remarkable performance of Grange Resources' WA500-6 loader at Port Latta, please visit