New Komatsu Vantage-series graders offer class-leading visibility, more power and non-stall transmission.

11032010NewKomatsuVantageSeriesGraders-(1).jpgKomatsu Australia has released its new Dash 5 Vantage series of graders consisting of two models, the GD555-5 and the GD655-5 featuring the best cab visibility of any grader on the market, increased engine power, and an upgraded version of its unique dual-mode transmission system.

Operating weightof the GD555-5 is 17.1 tonnes, with variable power up to 144 kW (depending on which gear is in use), while the GD655-5 hasan operating weight of 17.6 tonnes, and variable power ratings of up to 163 kW.

According to Kevin Edwards, Komatsu Australia's National Business Manager, the key advance in the new grader range is the visibility from the cab, which he said is class leading against any other grader on the market.

"The visibility on these graders whether to the blade, out the front or to the rear, is absolutely unrivalled which is why we've tagged them our 'Vantage' series grader," he said.

"The graders' new hexangular ROPS cab features a patented front Y-shape pillar and rear side pillar to give better visibility and hence greater operator confidence and productivity in all grader applications," he said.

"Combined with this, our cast circular saddle linkage provides an unobstructed view of the blade and front tyres, while a tapered engine hood provides good visibility to the rear of the machine, particularly the rear ripper."

Both graders are powered by Komatsu's Tier 3-compliant SAA6D107E-1 the same engine which is used in a number of other Komatsu machines, including WA250PZ-6 to WA380-6 loaders, PC200-8 to PC270-8 excavators and the D51EX-21 dozer, said Edwards.

"This proven Tier 3-compliant engine has shown itself to be very economical and flexible across a wide range of machine operations.

"In addition, the power ratings of both new Vantage Dash 5 graders are now in line with standard industry classes, making them a direct match in terms of power, to other graders on the market," he said.

The Vantage graders are also equipped with power and economy modes to better match them to customer applications and requirements.

As with Komatsu's previous generation of graders, the new Dash 5 Vantage series incorporates a dual transmission system. This gives the operator the choice of direct drive (manual) transmission, as used on conventional graders, or torque converter transmission for improved control at low speeds and in final finishing all at the flick of a switch.

The Komatsu powershift transmission has been designed and built specifically for Komatsu graders, providing on-the-go, full power shifting as well as inching capability and automatic shifting in higher ranges.

If power for tough grading or low-speed fine control is required, the operator can select the Torque Converter auto (T/C Auto) mode, giving significantly more tractive effort and control and allowing an operator to achieve fine control at low speed without shifting or using the inching pedal.

"With these new graders, Komatsu has also developed a new non-stall transmission feature which is incorporated while in manual mode," said Edwards.

"If engine revs drop too far during direct drive mode in tough conditions, such that the engine approaches stalling speed, the transmission automatically switches to torque converter mode until the engine powers back up.

"This can be quite a common occurrence on direct drive-only graders," said Edwards. "And with today's sophisticated Tier 3 engines, it can take up to a minute to restart the engine, so there are considerable potential time savings and safety advantages with our non-stall system."

The Komatsu Vantage Dash 5 graders sold in Australia will be factory-fitted so they can take Topcon machine control systems on a "plug-and-play" basis in the near future.

Serviceability has also been improved, through such factors as:

Easier access to service areas though large hinged lockable doors providing quick access to engine and radiator service points.

Spin-on filters for faster change over.

Integrated ground level refuelling and checking of daily service and drain points

Easy radiator cleaning with a hydraulic reversing fan.