With Final Tier IV emission controls in mind, Byron Shire Council has purchased a Komatsu WA270-8 wheel-loader to help sort household and green waste.
Located in the Myocum hinterland close to Mullumbimby, New South Wales, Byron Shire Council’s Resource Recovery Centre is a recycling facility that sorts household waste and annually transforms 3000 tonnes of green waste into high-quality garden mulch.
Its chief tool-of-choice in this activity is a new Komatsu WA270-8 wheel-loader, a machine that was chosen for its productive capabilities and also because it met stringent Final Tier IV emission controls.
Ken Moore, Resource Recovery Centre Site Manager, says although Final Tier IV emission controls for non-road diesel-engined vehicles are not compulsory in Australia, Byron Shire Council chose to adhere to the standard.
“Council recently formed a Sustainable Emission Reduction Advisory Committee to evaluate purchases such as this,” he says.
“We take our environmental reporting seriously and a lot of consideration was given to the emission performance of the Komatsu wheel loader.
“We researched offerings from two other brands during the diligence phase, but we wanted to meet Final Tier IV emission controls and the Komatsu WA270-8 wheel-loader was the only machine under consideration that did so.”
Powered by a new-technology Komatsu engine, the WA270-8 features Komatsu’s PZ parallel-lift arm system and hydrostatic drive for excellent versatility and productivity across loading, handling and lifting applications.
The Resource Recovery Centre’s unit had the air-conditioning condenser relocated at pre-delivery, in order to reduce material build-up when the machine is turning-over compost and mulch.
It is also equipped with a cabin pressuriser and HEPA filtration in order to keep the cabin free of dust and fumes.
“The HEPA filter and pressurised cabin keeps the operators dust-free when they’re working, which they appreciate,” Moore explains.
“The air-conditioning is also fantastic. I can hardly get them out of it on hot days.
“There are also Waste Regulation Acts and Work Health and Safety considerations around air quality.”
The Komatsu WA270-8 wheel-loader spends the vast majority of its time performing duties for the Resource Recovery Centre’s Compost Facility.
“It pushes green waste up into a pile to be ready for mulching and loads out commercial quantities of the produced mulch,” Moore says.
“It takes a couple of days to move the mulch piles around and then about a week to pasteurise it on our aerated matt-pad. The rest of the time, the Komatsu wheel loader is emptying the bins that people drop their rubbish into.”
In addition to the wheel-loader’s emission performance and pricing, Moore says Komatsu’s service and support offerings were highly attractive.
“Cost was of course a factor, and also support and serviceability. They were big selling points for us,” he says.
“We’ve had the Komatsu wheel-loader for nearly a year now and the support and service we’ve had has been fantastic. Their field service technicians are local to our Northern Rivers area and they come out to us within a couple of hours if we need them, including after-hours if necessary.
“They rang me the other week and said it’s due for a service when I wasn’t aware of that. They asked what time to arrive and I said ‘early in the morning’ so it didn’t hold us up, and sure enough they arrived first-thing and sorted it out. Not a problem.”
Backed by Komatsu’s Australia-wide service and support network, the Komatsu WA270-8 wheel-loader comes standard with the KOMTRAX remote monitoring system, which provides real-time information on a fitted-machine’s location, performance and health – helping to maximise machine safety, productivity, up-time and availability.
“It comes with all the bells and whistles such as KOMTRAX, so you know exactly what the machine is doing,” Moore says.
“We don’t even have to keep track of when it needs a service. Komatsu has eyes on that, remotely, and come out to us when it’s due. It’s necessary for us to keep the machine on site because we can’t afford the costs of transport and down-time.”
Moore reported that the Resource Recovery Centre’s leading-hand mechanic is impressed by KOMTRAX and the ability to be able to access codes and diagnostics at the machine without having to need licences, laptops or specialised technicians.
“They sent our mechanic up to Brisbane to show him how to read all the diagnostics. He finds them really great to talk to.”
Other fans of the Komatsu WA270-8 wheel-loader include its operators, with Moore relating that his staff, and himself, enjoy using the machine
“I like to drive it; it’s a really comfortable and easy machine to negotiate, and the always-on reversing camera is fantastic, too. The other fellas are really happy with it, too,” he says.
The Resource Recovery Centre has a long history of using Komatsu equipment and is set to make more of it.
“We have hired Komatsu wheel loaders in the past and found them to be really good – we’ve had no dramas whatsoever – but this is the first time council has purchased one outright,” Moore says.
“Having the single Komatsu wheel-loader is enough for us because we have a backhoe as well, but the council Works Department has just ordered a new Komatsu grader.”