Komatsu Releases the HD1500-8

Komatsu’s HD1500-8 dump truck drives down haulage costs through higher production, improved fuel efficiency and better maintainability.

Komatsu has released the HD1500-8 mechanical drive dump truck, a 142 metric tonne capacity hauler designed to reduce cost per tonne through such features as highest payload in its class, faster cycle times, improved fuel efficiency, longer component life and enhanced maintainability.

It replaces Komatsu’s successful HD1500-7, introduced in 2008 and with more than 50 units operating in Australia working in mining applications across coal, gold and nickel.

“Our new HD1500-8 truck will further build on the success the HD1500-7 has had in Australia,” said Scott Harrington, Komatsu Australia’s National Product Manager, Mining.

“It’s a completely new, redesigned truck, developed using principles developed by the Earth Moving Equipment Safety Round Table (EMESRT) to ensure high standards of safety and harm minimisation,” he said.

“This new truck builds on the performance and reliability characteristics of the HD1500-7, as well as incorporating technological advances from our proven HD785-7, such as the Komatsu Traction Control System.

“It will deliver our customers outstanding productivity due to its high payload and high engine power, enabling faster cycle times.

“We estimate it will provide a further 6% cost per tonne advantage compared with the HD1500-7, through reduced operating costs due to component life improvements, improved fuel efficiency and better maintainability,” he said.

Power comes from a 16 cylinder Komatsu SDA16V159-3 engine, based on the Cummins QSK50 Tier 2 diesel (also available in fuel-optimised calibration), rated at 1175 kW gross – a 6% increase in power over the 12-cylinder Komatsu SDA12V160 powering the HD1500-7.

“While this engine is new to the Australian imported HD1500-8, it’s been used across other Komatsu mining products, and is well-proven in the industry,” said Scott.

Fuel efficiency is improved compared with the previous model through a number of engine management and control features, including:

» Komatsu “on demand” energy saving technologies, such as variable displacement pumps for the steering and hoist circuits.

» Improved hydraulic pressure management for the transmission system.

» Operator feedback systems, including ECO fuel saving guidance on the in-cab monitor to encourage more fuel-efficient operation.

» Operator selectable operating modes, with a choice of “Power” or “Economy” mode depending on operating conditions and haul road profiles.

A key element in the truck’s improved fuel efficiency, higher productivity and increased safety is a completely revamped transmission system which offers a seven speed automatic transmission with selectable reverse gear ratio. This is combined with electronically controlled technologies found in the HD785-7 designed to optimise operating efficiency.

These include:

» K-Atomics, electronic shift control with automatic clutch modulation in all gears, optimising clutch engagement for smoother shifting without any loss of torque.

» Komatsu Traction Control System (KTCS); this system, introduced on the HD785-7 truck, continuously – and automatically – monitors the rear wheels’ rotating speeds and vehicle speed to minimise wheel slip, maximising traction, improving productivity and extending tyre life.

» Komatsu Automatic Retard Speed Control (ARSC) which allows the operator to easily set a downhill travel speed and go down inclines at a constant speed, allowing them to fully concentrate on steering.

“We’ve also significantly upgraded the transmission and rear axle components to ensure improved maintainability and durability,” said Scott.

Reliability and durability have been further enhanced through a redesigned high-rigidity frame, incorporating castings in high-stress locations where loads and shocks are most concentrated.

In addition, the HD1500-8 incorporates a payload monitoring system (PLM) which assists in managing the payload of each haul cycle, as well as analysing production volumes and working conditions.

The PLM has also allowed Komatsu introduce a “loading policy” for the truck, providing guidelines for ensuring correct target payloads are achieved every haul cycle – maximising productivity, reducing operating costs, and extending the life of tyres, brakes and other components,” said Scott.

Improving maintainability was another important design aim in developing the new truck. To achieve this, the Australian-spec truck includes such features as:

» Centrally located service centre on the bottom part of the steering/hoist tank, allowing changing of engine oil, coolant, transmission oil, steering hoist oil, and brake cooling oil at a common location.

» Centralised filters. » Maintenance-free engine cooling fan drive belt, with tension maintained by an auto-tensioner pulley

» Auto-greasing system which automatically supplies grease to each point at a preset number of hours; the reservoir’s refill port is accessible from ground level.

» Easy radiator tube replacement with individual cooling tubes held in headers with flexible seals for easy to removal and installation. » A battery isolation switch.

» LED headlamps and tail-lights. » Flange-type tyre rims.

Komatsu has also made use of the latest information communications technology (ICT) developments to further improve reliability and maintainability, increase site and operator safety, and enhance productivity and efficiency. These include:

» KOMVISION camera and radar system, with six cameras and eight radar units providing full situational awareness for the operator of nearby machines, site vehicles, personnel and hazards.

» The latest KOMTRAX Plus machine monitoring system, to analyse the vehicle operation as well as machine health condition.

» A road condition analysis system, using suspension cylinder pressures to map haul road conditions, allowing the development of optimal travel speed guidelines and schedule road maintenance – further contributing to maximising vehicle availability.

Safety and operator comfort have also been upgraded on the new truck, including the provision of a new ergonomically designed automotive-style cab, an automatic climate control system, reduced in-cab noise levels of 75 dBA, and a number of new features to reduce vibration and movement. These include large capacity viscous cab mountings, a hydropneumatic suspension system and independent McPherson strut type suspension on the front wheels.

“These upgrades, combined with the additional operator feedback, monitoring and situational awareness systems, along with centralised maintenance locations, make this a far safer truck to operate, maintain and work around,” said Scott.

This, in conjunction with its productivity, efficiency and maintainability improvements, position the HD1500-8 as the leading truck in this class,” he said.