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komatsu reviews

Discussion in 'Excavators' started by ditchdiggerjcf, Dec 20, 2011.

  1. ditchdiggerjcf

    ditchdiggerjcf Well-Known Member

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    I have almost no experience with komatsu machinery, but i am seriously looking at an 07 pc 158 and a d41. How does a komatsu stack up against a comparable hitachi/deere? Fuel consumption? power? speed? lifting power?
     
  2. ditchdiggerjcf

    ditchdiggerjcf Well-Known Member

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    Wow, no komatsu guys at all?
     
  3. jey_c

    jey_c Senior Member

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    With no doubt Komatsu machines are classified among the best, like many other brands
     
  4. Trashman

    Trashman Well-Known Member

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    Komatsu excavators are great, their dozers not so much and I have owned both.
     
  5. ditchdiggerjcf

    ditchdiggerjcf Well-Known Member

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    What's wrong with their dozers?
     
  6. Trashman

    Trashman Well-Known Member

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    soft metal, no power, uncomfortable to operate. Finally sold it after 5 years. The dealer did provide good service and their excavators are better than cat's in my opinion.
     
  7. Dozerboy

    Dozerboy Senior Member

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    I agree there hoes are ok but deere makes the best small dozers.
     
  8. willie59

    willie59 Super Moderator

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    You didn't mention type of work you need a dozer for. D41 is more of a finish dozer than mass material moving dozer.
     
  9. masterwelder

    masterwelder Well-Known Member

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    Never ran a Komatsu dozer but the pc120 excavator I ran was fine. Good ergonomics, good power, smoth and realy good on fuel. Not as good as my Cat but not bad either. I would definatly consider a Komatsu in a second.
     
  10. MRRPM

    MRRPM Member

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    Location:
    Denton NC USA
    I've got an older, (early eighties) Komatsu PC300LC-3 I think it is, we just completely redone the motor, the machine was actually worth the motor overhaul.
     
  11. John C.

    John C. Senior Member

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    The excavators were great for 6-8,000 hours and then you had to tune the hydraulic systems back up.

    The dozers would run 10 - 12,000 OK with great maintenance and then they were completely worn out. There is no resale value to them so you either rebuild enough to keep running or try and trade them in on another machine. You will probably go through at least three undercarriages in 10,000 hours.

    I've only seen a couple of Komatsu motors ever wear out. They pretty much break before they wear out.

    All the Komatsu machines are very complicated but they used to have decent service manuals. You better be good a reading electrical and hydraulic schematics before you ever get one.

    Good Luck!
     
  12. ditchdiggerjcf

    ditchdiggerjcf Well-Known Member

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    That doesn't sound good at all. I think i will stick with deere/hitachi. Thanks
     
  13. rezod1

    rezod1 Active Member

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    Dec 27, 2011
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    Location:
    central illinois
    Wow First I've heard 'beware of komatsu' I bought my first new dozer in 1994, a D65-ex model. had very little trouble at all, undercarriage lasted just over 4000 hours in our conditions which was the same as our D6H. Dealer service was a huge factor in our machine purchases from then on. Cat was there if you needed them but they seemed to prefer the large contractors. We have traded several times over the years and currently have four Komatsu dozers and two excavators that perform well. The biggest factor in reliability is more about equipment maintenance and up keep . As far as being comfortable, they are simple to run and have good visibility in all types of work projects. I would also think any machine with 10-12000 hours would need a complete rebuild no matter what make or model it is. General wear and tear with who knows how many different operators on a dozer that was still operational with those kinds hours should have made a profit for the owner. All in all, good machine. my 1/2 cent opinion.
     
  14. mrkomatsu1

    mrkomatsu1 Member

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    D375........rulez.........
     
  15. coalrulz

    coalrulz Well-Known Member

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    In my humble opinion Komatsu/Cummins builds good engines. I always attempt to stay away from words like "all" which you you used in sentence about Komatsu's "all" being complicated, usually someone comes along and proves otherwise. Just my experience. I believe Komatsu builds some quality products, and they have some that are of lesser quality (which most manufacturs do). I like the saying they are all pieces of crap (Ford,Chevy,Dodge,Deere,Hitachi,Komatsu,Cat), that is what keeps me in a job.
     
  16. mrkomatsu1

    mrkomatsu1 Member

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    Amen brudda........................
     
  17. John C.

    John C. Senior Member

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    My comment was only a warning of the type of problems that are likely to be seen in a used Komatsu. The gentleman was looking for used machines and asked about the manufacturer. As far as excavators go, I stand behind what I said. They are complicated, especially for someone who has never worked on or owned one before. Komatsu to their credit did put all the electronics diagnostics on board and with some time spent deciphering the service manual a decent mechanic with some experience with computers can figure it out. The hydraulics though are extremely complicated and trouble shooting a valve or pump problem has given even highly experienced mechanics fits. Don't count on getting much of any help from the dealer or the manufacturer cheaply. I worked five years for a dealer and many times when we hit the head scratchers and requested info from Komatsu, we got the who wants to know speech.

    As far as the Komatsu/Cummins engine issue goes I think Komatsu made a big mistake in using the Cummins product in their machinery. The Komatsu engineered and built engines are gold. The licensed Cummins products are a scab on the product line. While it was common for the Komatsu engines to run so long they broke before wearing out, I've seen far too many Cummins put out more smoke from the breather than the stack. This is particularly true for the small bore "B", "C" and "L/M" series Cummins used in excavators and wheel loaders. I've had power problems no one solved in both the excavators and the loaders.

    The dozer line is a horse of a different color. I go back to the early D65, D155 and D375 machines and they were the hard working mules in the industry. I saw plenty of factory problems on the D375 but we made money with the one on my job site. Unfortunately we had plenty of power pod issues and final drive rebuilds by the time we got to the 10,000 hour level. They should be better now but I've heard they added lots of computer stuff. I know there is plenty on the rest as well. The early D65 and D155 machines were bullet proof. They weren't the fastest or the most powerful, but they did nothing but run day after day after day.

    I have seen the price for Komatsu parts go through the roof in the last ten years. I haven't heard anyone say a Komatsu part was cheaper than any other brand.

    The final problem or blessing for some is that Komatsu has virtually no resale value at all. I saw a sweet PC400LC-7 sell at Ritchie Bros. two weeks ago for $45,000.

    So to summarize all this, if you are new to machinery you have a very steep learning curve. All the manufacturers are getting real complicated. Before you purchase I would suggest you line up someone who has plenty of experience in keeping them running.
     
  18. coalrulz

    coalrulz Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    John you wrote. "So to summarize all this, if you are new to machinery you have a very steep learning curve. All the manufacturers are getting real complicated. Before you purchase I would suggest you line up someone who has plenty of experience in keeping them running."


    My question is are you qualified to give advise to the original poster on 07 PC158? When did you work for a Komatsu dealer (year)? Believe it is important to original poster to give accurate info on equipment he inquired about.
     
  19. John C.

    John C. Senior Member

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    I have the fault code lists and have worked on Dash 7 machines but have not seen a 158 in this territory. The last digit usually means this is a zero tail swing machine which makes for tight spaces and little room to swing a wrench. It has a plastic fuel tank mounted under the cab. If it is like the earlier machines it has a strainer also mounted in or next to the fuel tank which is mounted under the cab. To work on the engine requires removing the counterweight. Most of the earlier units have a reduced diagnostic system with only about ten code designations. I suppose this machine will have the full compliment but I could be wrong about that.

    The hydraulic valve on the earlier machines was on the right side opposite the operator's cab. The sheet metal over the entire corner had to be removed before any work could be accomplished as there were no doors. You needed lifting equipment in order to accomplish that.

    I started working on Komatsu in the mid eighties. I left the dealership in 1995 when I went on my own. I worked on gray market machines for the next ten years as well as other parts of the business. I worked mainly for people like ditchdiggerjcf because the small contractors didn't trust the dealer. Because of many soured jobs there was a disconnect in trust between the small contractors and the dealer. The little guys were running gray iron and felt the dealer was gouging them on service and parts. The big contractors who spent lots of money got better service but still even today only run the machines up to the 7,500 hour range and then trade for new. The little guys couldn't afford that.

    If there are low hours on this machine, it could be a sweet heart and make lots of money. If it is up in the 7,500 hour range, then make sure you have an experienced wrench somewhere close.
     
  20. Mr. Butcher.

    Mr. Butcher. Member

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    Dec 28, 2011
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    Location:
    Wales, GB.
    Over the pond here in the UK, Komatsu is one of the top machines that most firms swing for. The firm I work for runs quite a few of 13t - 35t excavators and a couple of d65 - d61 dozers, our operators love them because of the power and smoothness, Us fitters find there easy to work on and when driven with a bit of care and maintained properly they give pretty much a hassle free life. Down side is the parts pricing it makes your eyes water, though Volvo in recent times are getting quite keen at adding a zero or two the end of the bill then smiling whilst your just stood air locked! :eek: