In mid-May, Komatsu Australia held its third BOOTS-ON training and customer event, taking over the HPOTS Training site at Cessnock in the Hunter Valley for a week.

20062011KomatsuPutsItsBootsonToLaunchHybrid-(1).jpgThe event was used to introduce Komatsu sales teams from around Australia and New Zealand to the company's latest products including its new hybrid excavator range as well as launch the Komatsu hybrid in Australia.

BOOTS-ON included a customer open day on the Friday, where Komatsu customers again from around Australia and New Zealand had the opportunity to operator and evaluate the hybrid in actual digging conditions, as well as other new Komatsu equipment.

It culminated in the launch of the hybrid at a gala dinner that evening, where the keys to the first two hybrids sold in Australia were handed over to their owners Oliver and Tom Diprose of Gradco Pty Ltd and Andy Divall of Divalls Earthmoving.

More than 120 customers, along with a dozen media representatives, attended the customer day and hybrid launch dinner.

In addition to the new hybrid machines the HB205 and HB215 other new Komatsu equipment on display and available for evaluation and test-driving included:

The "premium-spec" WB97R-5EO "Platinum" backhoe/loader

The PC27MR-3 sub-3 tonne short-tailswing mini excavator

The 35 tonne PC350LC-8 flagship construction excavator

The D51EX-22 dozer.

Other equipment at BOOTS ON included WA250PZ, WA430 and WA500 wheel loaders, SK820 skidsteer, its Vantage graders, PC88 zero-swing excavator and HM400 articulated dump truck

Komatsu Australia also invited other suppliers, including Topcon distributor Position Partners which was able to demonstrate the productivity advantages of fitting the latest machine control systems to Komatsu graders, dozers and excavators.

"BOOTS-ON is a terrific opportunity to intensively educate our own people about our latest developments and technology and then provide our customers an opportunity to see and operate this technology themselves," said David Small, Komatsu Australia's general manager, construction and utility.

"Customers are able to try out and see our equipment operating in actual earthmoving applications, and see for themselves the productivity and performance advantages Komatsu

can offer.

"For example, with our new hybrids which use the slew motor to regenerate power through our Ultra-capacitor system they were able to place a machine at an angle on a pile of dirt, and swing it through 180 degrees to prove to themselves the power and efficiency of the hybrid system,"

he said.

"Overall, BOOTS-ON is a very worthwhile event for us, allowing us to talk directly to a large number of customers in real operating environments."