WA600-6 Wheel Loader Steps Up to 502 Horsepower

By Larry Stewart, Executive Editor | September 28, 2010

Komatsu WA600-6 wheel loader
Raising engine horsepower 12 percent tied Komatsu's WA600-6 at the top of the 375- to 575-hp size class with Volvo's L330E. The new Komatsu is the heaviest loader in its class and has the highest dump clearance and greatest tipping load.

In bringing in the WA600-6 wheel loader into Tier 3 compliance, Komatsu pumped the quarry/mining loader up to 502 horsepower (12 percent greater than the WA600-3 it replaced) and similar boosts in weight, loading height and tipping load.

The WA600-6 shares the top of the 375- to 575-hp wheel-loader size class with Volvo's L330E. Both machines are rated at 502 horsepower, and they develop virtually identical breakout forces. The Komatsu outweighs the Volvo by about 7,000 pounds, and exceeds the Volvo's straight tipping load by 2,500 pounds. But its articulation angle of 43 degrees makes the WA600-6's static tipping load when articulated into a full turn about 1,800 pounds less than the Volvo's (which articulates to a maximum of 35 degrees).

The key component change is Komatsu's Tier-3 engine, the six-cylinder, 23-liter SAA6D170E-5 with cooled exhaust-gas recirculation and air-to-air charge air-cooling. Adding EGR allows an engine manufacturer to advance fuel-injection timing compared to Tier-2 engines, improving low-end torque and fuel efficiency, and reducing noise. Using the WA600-6's electronic fuel-injection controller, the engine comes standard with dual-mode engine power: an Economy mode for fuel efficiency, and a Power mode for maximum productivity.

With a new lock-up torque converter and a full-powershift, planetary transmission, travel speeds have increased compared to the WA600-3. Maximum forward speed is 23.4 miles per hour (a 23 percent increase) and reverse top-speed of 23.0 miles per hour (up 13 percent).

The upgraded drive train supports a more capable machine. The WA600-3 was an 8-cubic-yard loader with 11-foot dump clearance, and the WA600-6 is an 8.4-cubic-yard loader with 13-foot dump clearance ¡ª about two feet more clearance than the nearest competitors in this size class. It's tall enough to load 70-ton trucks, but ideally suited to 50- to 60-ton trucks. Yet the sharp articulation angle gives it a turning radius within about a foot of the shortest-turning machine in the class.

Komatsu brought its joystick steering — the same AJSS (Advanced Joystick Steering System) as is used on the WA800 — to the WA600-6.

The manufacturer "conservatively estimates" that the WA600-6 can deliver a 28-percent improvement in productivity over the Dash 3.

The WA600-6 includes Komatsu's EMMS (Equipment Management Monitoring System), which displays 28 different machine functions including time to fluid and filter changes and trouble-shooting memory such as historical engine oil levels and coolant temperatures. Also on board is Komatsu's VHMS (Vehicle Health Monitoring System) to provide detailed monitoring of the machine via satellite communication or through a laptop computer.

Quarry Loader Competitors
Komatsu Caterpillar Kawasaki Volvo Dressta
WA600-3 WA600-6 988H 115ZV L330E 560C
* Full height with bucket dumped
Source: Spec Check ¡ª see www.Spec-Check.com
Engine Komatsu Komatsu Cat Cummins Volvo Cummins
Model SAA6D170E-3 SAA6D170E-5 C18 MEUI ACERT QSK19 D16B LAE2 QSK19
Net power 450 hp 502 hp 475 hp 480 hp 502 hp 415 hp
Max. speed (mph)Forward/Reverse 18.8/20.3 23.4/23.0 24/15.6 21.8/14.1 19.8/19.8 20.2/20.2
Static tip load (lb.) straight 74,414 80,645 76,776 65,280 78,130 63,310
Static tip load (lb.) full turn 64,838 67,210 64,745 55,910 69,090 56,350
Bucket cap. (cu. yd.) 8 8.4 8.33 8.3 8.6 7.5
Dump clearance* 11' 0" 13' 1" 11' 4" 10' 10.7" 10' 9" 11' 11"
Dump reach* 78" 71" 80" 78.3" 88" 58"
Dump cycle time (sec.) 14.6 15.7 15.6 15.2 14.6 18.2
Breakout force (lb.) 83,010 87,230 85,068 84,900 87,200 66,230
Wheelbase 13' 5" 14' 9" 14' 11.2" 13' 3.4" 13' 4" 12' 11"
Turn angle (deg.) 40 43 43 40 35 35
Operating weight (lb.) 101,854 118,385 109,230 100,180 111,070 92,533