Taupo-based logging contractor Ron Thomassen has recently taken delivery of New Zealand's first Komatsu D65EX-16 dozer purchased because of the outstanding performance and low operating costs of a Komatsu D65EX-12 he's had since 2003.

"I went for the new Komatsu dozer because I've had such a good run with the last one," Ron said. "Nothing's ever gone wrong with it. "In comparison, one of my other dozers another make is an endless bucket of money for me.

"Komatsu dozers are just good workhorses; they go on and on and on.

"With the old girl which I'm keeping she's up to 11,000 hours and I've never done anything except do the servicing on time. The engine's never been out, the transmission's never been out," he said.

Ron took delivery of his new D65EX-16 in early November, and said operator DJ Favelle has been very happy with it.

"It's got a lot more power and it's a lot more user-friendly. It's been very good so far," he said.

Ron's company, Thomassen Logging, has been in business for around 10 years, and carries out forestry works almost exclusively timber extraction, with some minor logging track construction if required around Taupo, Wanganui and Tokoroa.

It runs four ground-based crews one each at Taupo and Wanganui, and two at Tokoroa based around skidders and tractors, with dozers at the Taupo and Tokoroa operations.

The new Komatsu dozer is with the Taupo crew, which carries out timber extraction for NZ Forest Managers.

All maintenance work on the Komatsu dozers is carried out by Komatsu NZ service crews.

"The good thing about this new dozer is that it also comes with KOMTRAX (Komatsu's remote monitoring system), so that Komatsu NZ can keep a pretty good eye on how it's going from upstairs," said Ron.

About Komatsu's D65EX-16

Komatsu's newly released D65EX-16 dozer can deliver up to 10% more production combined with 15% less fuel consumption for a total 25% increase in efficiency.

Powered by Komatsu's Tier 3-compliant SAA6D114E-3 ecot3 engine delivering 139 kW net, the new dozer (which is also available in a swamp dozer version, the D65PX-16) features an automatic transmission with lockup torque converter, delivering up to 10% lower fuel consumption compared with its predecessor.

This, combined with Komatsu's new generation SIGMA Dozer blade (first released on the D155AX-6 in 2005) which can deliver up to 15% higher productivity than a conventional semi-U blade results in up to 25% better efficiency.

According to Philip Dring, Komatsu NZ's National Sales & Marketing Manager, the automatic gearshift transmission and full automatic lock-up torque converter are the keys to the D65EX-16's overall improved performance.

"Constant monitoring of the dozer's application requirements allows the system to engage the torque converter when high torque is needed, or to lock-up the torque converter automatically and supply 100% direct drive during less demanding working conditions reducing overall fuel consumption by up to 10%," he said.

"In addition, all powertrain components are sealed in a modular design that allows them to be removed and installed without oil spillage, making servicing work clean, smooth and easy."

Other features of the D65EX-16 and D65PX-16 include:

Operator selectable working modes, with the option of E (economy) mode for general operations and P (power) mode when higher production or pushing power is required.

Komatsu's Palm Command Control System (PCCS) joystick control for the travel system, and its Palm Command Proportional Pressure Control (PPC) blade control joystick.

Powertrain electronic control system, incorporating automatic/manual shift selectable mode; automatic shift is for general dozing, while manual shift is for dozing or ripping on rough ground, when more operator control is required.

Hydrostatic Steering System (HSS), with engine power transmitted to both tracks at all times, for smooth, powerful turns.

Redesigned ROPS cab with a fully adjustable air suspension seat that is wider, deeper and taller than on its predecessor and fully integrated with the ROPS structure, and offers the best visibility in its class.

Cab damper mounting, incorporating long-stroke dampers to soften shocks and vibration in rough conditions, suppressing vibration and providing a quieter more comfortable operating environment.

Komatsu's Parallel Link Undercarriage System (PLUS), with rotating bushings combined with heavy duty double seals

Supplied with Komatsu's KOMTRAX remote monitoring and tracking system as standard.

cu m; drawbar pull, first gear, 1 km/h, 28,000 kg; transmission, three-speed automatic Torqflow transmission with lockup torque converter.