Komatsu CEO unveils new backhoe loader prototype at Intermat Paris


Attendees at this week’s (April 23-28) Intermat Paris 2018 were given a first glimpse of Komatsu’s new backhoe loader, as it was unveiled by MD and CEO of Komatsu Europe, Mas Morishita. The WB93-R, which is in line with EU Stage IV emission regulations, is set for distribution from September.

Speaking at the launch, Morishita (below) told his audience the machine could conceivably be released in “the next couple of months” but that it is so new, “we still have to call it a prototype.” He also said the vehicle offered, “unrivalled front visibility” and, “improved operator comfort and safety.” A second, larger backhoe loader will be introduced in the coming months.

Alongside heightened visibility and comfort, the WB93-R offers an increase in engine power up to 75kw gross, a viscous engine fan clutch for noise and fuel reduction, a higher-resolution, multi-functional 7in LCD colour monitor panel and improved cooling performance due to optimisation of the radiator, radiator fan and general layout. It also features Komatsu’s own Komtrax system enabling remote monitoring of essential vehicle information such GPRS location and fuel usage. Other details remain under lock and key until closer to the launch date.

“This is our two-wheel release, but next year we will be launching a four-wheel steering version,” says Alex Visentin, Product Manager at Komatsu Europe. “We have also changed the overall appearance by introducing a black hood, black fender and black axels for added style. Combined with the cooling performance and the emissions changes this new series represents a perfect match between performance and efficiency. Keeping the exceptional visibility and exclusive design for the work equipment of previous models, our new backhoe loaders deliver high productivity and give special attention to the operator’s needs.”

In his address CEO Morishita recognised that demand for backhoe loaders changes dependent upon location. “Whilst the market for such products in Japan is nonexistent we appreciate that in Eastern Europe our customers are waiting for us to come out with a new product that is Stage IV compliant,” he said. “Until then the global market will continue with the product we have available today. Once the WB93-R is released, and going forward, we will try to improve the technology further and expand our backhoe loader business globally.”

By Saul Wordsworth

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Tom Stone is Editor of the iVT brand – which includes digital and print editions of a quarterly magazine and the Advanced Lift-truck supplement, as well as, which is updated daily. Tom has met and interviewed some of the world's leading industrial vehicle OEM presidents, CEOs and MDs, and takes great pride in cementing iVT's place as the leading forum for debate within the industry, a reputation that his been built up over the brand's 25-year history.

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