Komatsu’s “giant” is big, nimble, and doesn’t have much thirst
THE KOMATSU 895 Forwarder continues the popular legacy (market leader) of its predecessor the Komatsu 890.1, 890.2, and 890.3. There were over 200 units sold in Australia over a 12 year period and that’s not counting the old “Black 890” series.
The “new” gentle giant is not just Komatsu’s biggest-ever Forwarder but it also represents an entirely new class when it comes to maximising everything from productivity and operational economy to ergonomic benefits.
The 895 was released in Australian back in April 2013 and since then it has been widely accepted by Australia contractors with 55 units being delivered into the Australian market. Over this period it has been tested and testimonialised right across Australia. In fact, just to ensure this article covered all bases, we took the quest for views to every State we could and were able to interrupt some extremely busy contractors for their views.
The general consensus was Forwarder is a first class machine.
The 895’s crane is one of the Forwarder’s most essential components and is crucial for productivity. The new 165F, one of the market’s most powerful cranes, has a high gross lifting and turning torque, and a weight-optimised linkage system that delivers high gross lifting force. The carrying capacity is massive.
The new powerful engine minimises emissions and optimises fuel economy.
The new 20-ton wheels with their 28.5- inch rims, provide higher ground clearance and a lower ground pressure.
On the operator side there’s a noticeably larger cab – higher and wider with more legroom, more storage space and a quiet working environment. The large glass surfaces mean better visibility upwards and to the sides, which makes the crane operation easier and more relaxed. The new operator’s seat provides excellent comfort and work space, and offers many personal adjustments and settings. The new hand controls are ergonomically designed and well equipped.
Michael Mangan (Mangan Logging, NSW) recent fleet of forwarders is made up of seven 890.3’s and now five 895’s. These units mainly work in unthinned and matured clear-fell Radiata pine. Michael was quick to add that one of the biggest improvements was visibility, “Our operators are very happy with the improved visibility,” and the noise levels in the cabin are well down, reducing operator fatigue at the end of the day.
The load capacity is second to none, the bunk widener system is a big positive, gaining a much better payload, actually one of the best payloads in this class machine making it a very productive machine, and the crane geometry and lift power is again class-leading.”
So far maintenance costs have been lower than the 890.3 giving more machine uptime.
On its robustness his reply was ... “So far so good.”
Michael says fuel economy was another strong point “achieving much better economy than the previous model”. Mangan Logging’s growing fleet of 895’s is expected to grow.
Matt Leov (Total Harvesting, West Australia) operates three 895s, one 890.2 and one 890.3 in clear-fall Radiata and blue gum clear-fall which is used for export chips. that the 895
Matt bought the first of the 895s to hit Australia back in 2013 and is quick to add a strong list of positives covering the 895. “The visibility is great, it has a great load capacity of 20 plus tonne.
“It’s got a strong/fast crane; easy to adjust the crane functions, the Maxi Xplorer control system is very user-friendly.
“It’s has a big capacity grapple, too,” he says. Matt said the 895 has a smooth ride due to its large tyres, and great traction.
He has also been impressed with the fuel economy ... “low fuel usage per ton”.
“They’re very productive and the operators love driving them,” Matt says.
If there were any points he saw as possible negatives he said “scheduled” maintenance was time consuming to complete (changing oil and filters, adjusting tappets etc;) but other maintenance is zero, and that the travel speed could be faster.
“Otherwise, they are the best Forwarders on the market.”
Anthony Brown (Mechanised Logging, Tasmania) has an 895 operating in clear-fell Radiata and, overall, he gives the 895 the thumbs up.
“We had a bit of a software problem early on but it’s working pretty well now.
“The load capacity is probably feature,” he says.
“Operator visibility and comfort is excellent, and the bunk system overall is pretty good.” its best
On the economy side, Anthony said fuel-wise costs per tonne would be down but couldn’t quantify it at this stage.
Anthony has the 895 operating alongside an 890.3 on the same clear-fell job.
“There’s a fair improvement in the load capacity between the 890.3 and the 895,” he says.
“Basically, you could say it’s a better machine overall. However, we have some problems when it’s wet. It doesn’t seem to have the traction like the 890.3, probably because of the bigger wheels, you may be able to put it down to the lower ground pressure, we have worked around this problem a little by installing TRS tyres on the front, generally the 895 is a better machine overall. “
There are obviously a lot of positives about the 895 as Anthony is awaiting delivery of another 895 to work in eucalypt plantations clear-fell job.
Alan Hoffman (Hoffman Bros, Victoria) is another with experience with both the 890 and the 895 and he maintains the 895 is a “definite improvement” ... not to say that the 890 is not a good machine either!
“There’s a big improvement in the fuel burn,” he says, “and the vision and the ergonomics and overall comfort for the operator are great.”
Alan has two 895s working alongside an 890.1 in the Green Triangle (blue gum clear-fall for chip export) plus another couple of Timberpro 840s to cover the work.
He says the crane operation is a lot more precise and smoother, and the better ground clearance is a plus.
Again, overall, Alan says the 895 is a definite improvement on the 890.
■ Komatsu 895 clearfall.
■ 890... and the 895.
■ Blue Gum.
■ Komatsu 895 full load eucalypt.
■ Pine clearfall.
■ Pine thinnings.