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Komatsu Bulldozer D155AX-6

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As human civilization develops, the structures it creates, such as skyscrapers that soar into the clouds and massive engineered buildings such as dams, continue to increase in quantity and in size. Supporting this tireless building is construction equipment that facilitates large-scale and extensive work without requiring a large amount of energy.

Construction equipment first came to be developed in earnest during the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century. Construction machinery, the predecessor to construction equipment, was in use as far back as Ancient Greece, but has consistently proved problematic: in general the energy efficiency of such machinery was poor, and the machinery itself was large and cumbersome, making it difficult to use. After the Industrial Revolution, construction machinery was transformed by an innovative idea: steam power. These new machines were equipped with distinctive and vital tracks, known as crawlers. Later on, steam power gave way to gasoline, and construction equipment began to be improved with much greater rapidity. The market for construction machinery grew in response, particularly among today’s developed countries.

Bulldozers are primarily used for ground leveling, and are one of the most ubiquitous types of construction equipment today. The bulldozer was invented in 1923 in the US, and by the 1950s, a much refined model had become commonplace throughout America. It first arrived in Japan in the 1940s. At the time, Komatsu was a company that manufactured machinery for home use, but they were chosen by the government of Japan to take on research and development into the creation of a Japanese bulldozer. Komatsu subsequently recorded significant success, including the development of the world’s first “swamp bulldozer,” operable in swamps as well as dry ground. Komatsu succeeded in achieving steady growth, and by 1964 commanded one third of the global bulldozer market, with no signs of slowing. Today, Komatsu has the largest market share in Japan, and the second largest in the world; this represents a formidable presence in the international construction machinery field. Komatsu’s flagship product, the bulldozer, is a particularly strong market performer, jostling for market supremacy with U.S. company Caterpillar.

The Bulldozer D155AX-6 was first put on sale in 2006. It’s most distinctive feature is the shape of its blades. The most common type of bulldozer blade is the U-blade type, which resembles the letter “U” when looked at from above. The D155AX-6 instead has blades that are shaped like the Greek letter Sigma (Σ). This innovative SIGMADOZER blade allows the D155AX-6 to lift 15% more soil than the conventional U-shaped blade.

The D155AX-6 is also equipped with an automatic transmission that distinguishes it from other similar machinery. This is the first automatic transmission with lockup torque converter included on any bulldozer. Making transmission automatic avoids shift shock, and ensures that the optimum gear speed is always selected, facilitating efficient dozing operation. Improvements of this transmission have also allowed the D155AX-6 to reduce fuel consumption by 10% in comparison to the conventional model.

The D155AX-6 has another innovative feature of note. This is the KOMTRAX electronic control system, unique to Komatsu. The KOMTRAX system allows a Komatsu employee in the Tokyo headquarters to monitor operational data from D155AX-6 bulldozers located throughout the world. It is designed to provide strong support to the globalization of the market. Specifically, the KOMTRAX system uses GPS and other sensors installed in machinery to send detailed information to the Komatsu headquarters in Japan, on machinery location, operational hours, operational status, remaining fuel levels and whether any parts are due for replacement. This vital information, once received, is analyzed by Komatsu, and subsequently provided to customers and sales representatives. This can then be used to ensure better aftercare services for customers.

It is generally assumed that the running costs of construction equipment will be three times that of the cost of initial purchase. What this means is that companies need to provide customers will good aftercare support even after the initial sale has been completed. Although demand for construction equipment in developing countries is high, in developed countries, where the construction rush is winding down, the construction equipment industry is in decline. Komatsu has skillfully anticipated this shift in domestic demand, and turned its focus to the internationally tailored KOMTRAX system, which is now being installed in all construction equipment. The KOMTRAX system is the key to providing international customers with appropriate and timely aftercare service and support.

Komatsu bulldozers, along with other Komatsu products, are purchased and used throughout the world, in the US, Europe, Asia, Oceania, the Middle East and Africa. It is certain that the continued growth of civilization, and the structural symbols of civilization that are erected, will be supported by Komatsu bulldozer technology.



May 16, 2011

About the author
Eriko Kinashi is a reporter for Japanest NIPPON
http://www.komatsu.com/
(Komatsu Ltd.)
Weight 41,200 kg
Gross horsepower 264 kW
Ground pressure 110.0 (1.12) kPa(kgf/cm2)
Track ground contact 3,275 mm
Total length 8,225 mm
Total width (main unit) 2,700 mm
Total height 3,395 mm
Engine type SAA6D140E-5
Total displacement 15,240 cc

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