The Utility Division of Komatsu America Corp. (KAC) continues to upgrade its line of backhoe loaders with excavator-style joystick controls. The excavator-type control option will be offered on the WB140-2N, WB140PS-2N, WB150-2N, WB150PS-2N and the WB150AWS-2N backhoe loaders. Other recent upgrades to these loaders include increased hydraulic speed, stronger, more advanced components and Tier 2 compliant engines.

The WB140-2N and WB150-2N represent Komatsu's standard models, while the WB140PS-2N and WB150PS-2N feature Komatsu's powershift transmission. The WB150AWS-2N is Komatsu's all-wheel steer backhoe with tires of equal size and also features the powershift transmission.

In addition to offering strong performance and reliability benefits, Komatsu has engineered the cab to offer operators improved visibility, comfort, and easier access to controls and levers. These backhoes, with operating weights between 16,600 lb. and 19,731 lb., are designed for use in a variety of loading and excavation applications, including underground utility, general construction and landscaping operations.

The excavator-type control system features tiltable joystick control towers, function control buttons, and an easy-to-read dash panel. The two joystick control towers adjust to a 15-degree tilt to provide the best visibility of the excavation area. Each joystick is equipped with an adjustable wrist support for better comfort during operation.

The backhoes, just like Komatsu hydraulic excavators, are equipped with function control buttons for increased sensitivity during operations while maintaining maximum performance. The Economy Mode button provides fine control when excavating around in-ground utilities while the Power Mode increases power and speed. Every operator can easily find the correct working position thanks to the mechanical memory lock on the joystick. These function modes also increase fuel efficiency.

The shift-on-the-fly gear selector (only available on the PS models) allows the operator to twist the shifter up or down to change gear selection for improved cycle time and less operator fatigue.

Komatsu's S4D106-2XFH/2SFA turbocharged, water-cooled diesel engine conforms to all Tier 2 EPA, EU and Japanese emissions regulations without sacrificing machine power. Featuring 269 in³ displacement, the engine ensures high torque, power and reliability. These machines feature 87 NET HP output for the WB140 series and 94 NET HP output for the WB150 series. Additional quality enhancements include improvements to the injection pump, fuel hose layout and fuel filter design as well as a feed pump with an electric control and a high capacity engine cooling system. The WB140 and WB150 also feature new air filters to protect the engine and extend engine filter life.

Komatsu's continued commitment to hydraulic system advancements has led to increased hydraulic speed during both backhoe and loading applications. Utilizing Komatsu's HydrauMind hydraulics - a patented system proven throughout Komatsu's line of construction and utility equipment - this system consists of a single variable flow hydraulic pump and a hydraulic circuit that allows the machine to react almost instantly to specific operator controls. It also features a Closed-Center Load Sensing System (CLSS) with a variable flow pump to ensure that only the amount of oil needed for high operating pressure is generated and used, guaranteeing efficiency, low fuel consumption and quiet operation.

The Komatsu backhoes offer a Load Independent Flow Divider (LIFD) valve block that controls the speed of each movement independently from other machine movements. Time between these movements remains constant even when load resistance varies, resulting in shorter cycle times and greater productivity.

The standard WB140-2N and WB150-2N allow operators to switch between two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive through a two-position switch on the front dashboard. The transmission is operated through a torque converter and a powershift reversing shuttle, while the mechanical four-speed gearbox is synchronized. Travel speeds reach 23.5 mph.

Komatsu's "powershift" backhoe loaders, the WB140PS-2N and WB150PS-2N, are ideal for digging/loading applications with the front-end loader or for long distance travel with continual gear changes. These models feature an electronically controlled powershift transmission with four forward and three reverse gears, reaching a top speed of 24.9 mph. These machines also feature a new twist grip control that allows the operator to easily change gears and driving direction in manual mode without disengaging the drive.

The "all-wheel steer" model, the WB150AWS-2N, includes the features of the "powershift" transmission machines plus the benefits of three different steering modes: two-wheel steering, four-wheel coordinated steering and crab steering. Crab steering allows all four wheels to turn in the same direction, allowing the machine to approach or move away from obstacles with ease. These steering options give the WB150AWS-2N a turning radius more than a foot shorter than competitive models, making the machine extremely maneuverable. This model also features Komatsu's Electronic Gear Management (EGM) system that supplies self-diagnostic and anti-theft systems.

Komatsu's new backhoes feature a Pressure Proportional Control (PPC) system to offer low effort, smooth, precise backhoe operation. The ergonomically designed controls put functions such as transmission disconnect, auxiliary hydraulic controls and rear differential lock right at the operator's fingertips. Improved accelerator and parking brake lever design also make for easier operation.

The new series of backhoes offer superior all-around visibility. A 32,000 BTU air conditioning system helps keep the operator cool during hot weather while additional features such as a new front windshield design with window washer further improve the operator's environment.

In addition to the new air filtration system, Komatsu has added the following features to ensure engine and component reliability: high visibility maintenance lights and panel; steel reinforced, tiltable front hood; flexible, more shock-resistant fenders; increased clearance between the engine hood and cylinders; greaseless telescopic arm wear pads; new outrigger valves to eliminate outrigger drift; bolt-on steps; and universal battery mounting.

Komatsu's new loader bucket design, with capacities from 1.25yd³ to 1.50 yd³, allows for better pile penetration, while new backhoe buckets with KVX-style teeth (option) provide faster cycle times and 3-7 times longer tooth lifetime. WB140 series models feature a maximum digging depth of 18 ft. 4 in. with extended telescopic arm, breakout forces of 13,515 lb. (backhoe) and 12,790 lb. (loader), and lifting capacities reaching 10,580 lb. WB150 series models feature a maximum digging depth of 18 ft. 4 in. with extended telescopic arm, breakout forces of 14,685 lb. (backhoe) and 13,825 lb. (loader), and lifting capacities reaching 11,420 lb. The WB150AWS features a maximum digging depth of 17 ft. 6 in. with extended telescopic arm.

Source: Komatsu, Feb. 7, 2005