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Vote for D11R or a Komatsu 475

Discussion in 'Dozers' started by 9420pullpan, Nov 17, 2006.

  1. surfer-joe

    surfer-joe Senior Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Arizona
    Kiewit is a big and kind of lumbering giant owner of heavy equipment, but their maintenance and cost records are pretty good. At the time I worked for them, mid 90's, they had no Komatsu's that I was aware of. They did have an extensive number of smaller Volvo loaders on hand. I was told that they figured the much lower cost of the Volvo's over Cat's negated the long term advantage and that when the Volvo's were worn out, they could toss them and get another. This is again, indicative of new technology vs. long term brute strength. Which do you want to pay for?

    I don't know what Kiewit is doing with their equipment today, don't see them much here.

    I do believe that with decent operators and a good PM program, Komatsu and other than Cat equipment can last quite a while, certainly up into the 8-10000 hour range and beyond that for the rubber-tired loaders. I've seen WA600 models in the 15-16000 hour range that were still remarkably tight and powerful. But once past these two areas, depending on the model, the value drops off fast and the rebuild/maintain costs goes up quickly with no end in sight. If you look at Ritchie's auction results and compare Cat to Komatsu it quickly becomes evident where the value is. Cat really seized on a good thing with their certified rebuild programs, but they do have the platforms that are able to be totally reconstructed.

    Surprisingly, in the late seventies in Detroit, I helped with a similar program where a slag producer bought up severely used Euclid R35's and R50 end dumps from all over the Midwest. These were taken to our main shop in Detroit and stripped down to the bare frame. We than installed rebuilt engines, radiators, transmissions, differentials and finals drives -- all done in our own rebuild shops, and then brand new and updated cabs -- with air conditioning -- were bolted on. Electrical systems were all new. The hydraulic systems were upgraded, and the dump beds -- which were also totally rebuilt and specially strengthened in our weld shop, were then installed. All new fastener hardware was used throughout. This took quite a while and wasn't cheap, but it penciled out over the cost of a new haul truck, particularly in a slag operation. One wouldn't ordinarily think of an old Euc as being a rebuildable unit in this fashion, but we did maybe fifty of these trucks over several years.

    In Kentucky and West Virginia, the major use of large Komatsu dozers is in surface coal mining. The soil and rock there is soft and not particularly abrasive, and the rock degrades quickly if left exposed to the open air. (compared to some other places I've been) However, one does have to move a lot of overburden to get to the coal and that requires a lot of movement. Land clearing operations are tough as it's all straight up and downhill, so a cat is on it's nose most of the time doing that. Reclamation is just the opposite, you have to push mostly uphill, and in most places, track the slope in after grade is obtained. After a shot however, there is a large amount of overburden laden with huge slabs of solid rock that must be moved by loader & truck or dozers. Most mines run double shift so the hours pile on fast.

    Many of the mines in this region didn't think much of spending money building good haul roads, so when I and some others from outside the area first went in we called them goat tracks, usually not even wide enough to allow the haul trucks inner duel rear tires to touch the ground. Dozers were kept busy clearing, benching, and reclaiming. But I digress.

    Point is, good maintenance and proper operation are huge factors in extending long life to equipment, but there has to be an underlying commitment by the manufacturer to build long term value into the big iron and that's what I haven't seen much of in foreign designed and built machines.

    Hey, there's daylight in the swamp! Got to go.
     
  2. Dozer575

    Dozer575 Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
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    Occupation:
    Machinist and occasional pt Dozer oper
    Location:
    Seattle, wa
    I would like to know where I can purchase one of those Komatsu dozers that no one wanted? I would hope they are just going for scrap steel value.
    I would like contact numbers or email addresses.

    Thank you
     
  3. surfer-joe

    surfer-joe Senior Member

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    Too late Dozer575!

    Those ole hulks went out of the mine in 1994, and they actually did go for less than scrap iron value back then. I tried to get my boss to let me contact some friends in Missoula that might have been interested in the components, but he and the top brass didn't want to do that.
     
  4. Dozer575

    Dozer575 Banned

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    Occupation:
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    Location:
    Seattle, wa
    Surfer, please keep me in mind if you ever hear of a deal like that again.

    What s/n and they were 375's correct? Cheapest one I have found is 99k. Thats a bunch for junk.
    I did run 2 old junkers that came from a coal mine near by, considering their shape they ran real good. Hardly any problems. And that is running for many hours on the worse set of rails I have ever seen still being used. It was very difficult keeping them on. Yeah it was a very cheap outfit that had them. They got all the life they could out of an undercarriage. Yeah who cares about the finals.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2007
  5. surfer-joe

    surfer-joe Senior Member

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    I no longer have the serial numbers. The machines were new in 90 and 91, with maybe a 92 being that low hour unit I mentioned.

    In the mid-seventies, at an auction in the UP of Michigan, I saw a totally rebuilt 66A D9G pushdozer go under the hammer for 8 grand. The buyer lived down by me and had some small acreage in a woodsy/swampy area just off the highway. He did a bunch of clearing with that Cat, pushdozer and all. Built a real nice fish pond. That Cat had a brand new undercarriage just put on by me before the auction over to the Cat house in Ishpeming.

    There were a couple of dozen exceptionally well maintained International 495 Payscrapers sold at that sell-out auction that went very cheaply. They had all been overhauled and painted during the winter shut-down in anticipation of some major road contracts being won, but unfortunately, this outfit didn't get the work. The buyer stripped the tires -- mostly new -- off the scrapers and got all his money back and then some. He promptly sold every scraper to some junk yard guy, who proceeded to strip the engines and transmissions out, and the rest he cut up for scrap iron. These machines weren't that old as I recall. Everything in that auction went dirt cheap, there weren't many bidders present. The original owner cried like hell, and died some months after.

    It's hard to find deals like that these days with the internet and outfits like Ritchies around. But you can sometimes still find good (cheap) bargains at smaller, out of the way auctions. What we call "hayseed" sales.
     
  6. Gavin84w

    Gavin84w Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2007
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    554
    Location:
    Australia
    I have heard all the for and against arguments and that will always be the case, the one thing that as a Cat fan is that we should be greatful Komatsu makes such a decent dozer because if they did not then the current Cats would not be as good as they are. Good old competition is a great thing and the benefits are for all.

    That said it is hard to deny the facts and figures out there but when it comes to availability numbers you really need to back them up with the methodology behind how you come up with them.
     
  7. surfer-joe

    surfer-joe Senior Member

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    Gavin84w,

    Your comment below made me think of an incedent at the Houston CONEXPO in 1980 or 81, can't remember the year for sure. Anyway, I was visiting with some pals over to the Cat exhibit and one said, "hey Joe, you want to see something really funny?" "Well sure," I replied. He said, "take a look at those guys by the D10, what do you think they are doing and where do you think they are from?"

    So I wandered over closer to the nice new shiny D10, and there were about ten or more Japanese engineers from Komatsu all around, under, over, and in it. One would be taking measurements with a little ruler or tape measure, and another would be jotting down the dimensions and making notes in a little notepad. A third fella was taking pictures with a pretty sophisticated camera and his assistant was taking notes as well. They made no bother to hide their name tags, which identified them as all being from the Komatsu Factory in Japan, and sure didn't show any embarrassment at what they were up to.

    I went back over to my pals and asked if they weren't just a little bit upset by what those fellas were doing. They said, "oh no, they weren't concerned." "The D10 in the show was an early prototype," one told me, "and would be changed in several ways before production." So I asked if they had gone over to the Komatsu exhibit and measured and took photos of all their equipment. You wouldn't believe the dumbstruck expressions the boys from Cat got on their faces. One finally said, "what for?"

    Further discussion reveled that Cat figured Komatsu was 10-15 years behind them in technology at the time. The way they saw it, there was no use going over the Komatsu's in the show very closely. Oh, they had all been over there, but they hadn't seen anything that worried or amazed them, and were really amused and more than a little flattered by the Komatsu engineers flocking around the Cat equipment.

    I've heard that Komatsu tried building a high sprocket tractor after that show and that after some testing and evaluating, decided against production as they did not see any great benefit to it. But this is just a footnote to the competition between the two, if you could call it that. It looked more like industrial espionage to me.
     
  8. biggixxerjim

    biggixxerjim Senior Member

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    New Jerz

    Thats a funny story!!!!

    I could just picture it now.... hahahaha!!!!!!
     
  9. Neilus

    Neilus New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Could use your advise on a 475


    Hello, Just wondering if you could help me with a problem with my friends 475 up at one of the Brisbane mines. The have had techs working on it for two weeks and haven't come up with a solution yet. I thought some one of your experience might know where to start looking.

    Basically the problem is the machine starts fine etc but has problems selecting gears, goes into reverse by itself etc.......

    Temperature seems to be ok with the transmission....
    The common thought at the moment is the computer might be cooked... The vehicle is only 2 or three months old.......
    When the vehicle restarts the transmission resets itself and is ok for a very short time and then reverts back to selection wrong gears etc.

    I know its not much to go on, just thought I would run it by you to see if you have herd of it before...
    There is an error code 3 visible ....... I don't have access to what the error codes contain.

    Thanks very much for your time, andy hints you could give me I will pass on directly.

    Cheers

    Neil.
     
  10. Bluetop Man

    Bluetop Man Senior Member

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    farmer
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  11. diggerop

    diggerop Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
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    Occupation:
    Plant operator, coal mining/ 25 years
    Location:
    QLD , Australia
    Brisbane is the capital city of Queensland, Australia. What are the Brisbane mines?. If the vehicle? (dozer?) is only 2 or 3 months old ,what happened with the warranty?
     
  12. KMM4x4

    KMM4x4 Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2015
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    Location:
    Russia
    In Russia there is also D11R and D475A. According to people who worked or saw in work these cars, claim that D11R on loosening and speed of movement is better than D475A. Therefore productivity at it is better.
     
  13. RonG

    RonG Charter Member

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    heavy equipment operator
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    What ever happened to Surfer-Joe?We have not heard from him for years.Ron G