Komatsu’s powerful PC138US-11 hydraulic excavator is a mean machine for roadwork, underground utilities, earthmoving and demolition applications.
For decades, Komatsu’s PC138 hydraulic excavator has been a go-to for construction professionals looking for a machine that packs a punch on the jobsite. But the company’s latest model, the PC138US-11, has taken performance to a whole new level.
Komatsu national business manager – construction Scott Berry says the PC138US-11, along with all of the company’s products, is manufactured to the Komatsu Engineering Standard (KES) – an in-house standard, which in many cases exceeds the requirements of the relevant international (ISO), Japanese industrial (JIS) and European (DIN) standards.
“One of our strengths is that the whole machine is designed, sold and supported by Komatsu,” says Berry. “All of our machines have Komatsu DNA inside and out.”
“The PC138US-11 is no different – it’s designed to our high-quality standards and comes with Komatsu’s market best-practice customer service and parts support.”
On the safety front, the PC138US-11 has Komvision, a 270-degree camera system which assists safety in the working area, helping the operator to detect and mitigate collisions. “We really focus on the safety side of things at Komatsu, and that is demonstrated in the rigorous design of our machines,” says Berry. “Safety is embedded in the engineering of the PC138US-11, with features including hydraulic safety valves on the boom and the arm, handrails to provide safe access to the upper structure, factory fitted provisions for fire extinguishers and emergency stop switches (e-stops).”
In addition, in line with Australian standard specifications, the machine features factory fitted quick hitch and hammer piping, as well as a reinforced arm and link.
With a net horsepower of 72 kilowatt/97.2 horsepower at 2,050 revolutions per minute, an operating weight of 15,140 to 15,500 kilograms and a bucket capacity of between 0.21 and 0.53 cubic metres, the PC138US-11 boasts power and durability.
“The booms and arms of the machine are constructed with thick plates of high-tensile strength steel and are designed with heavy-duty guarding in the bucket end of the arm to ensure maximum rigidity and durability,” says Berry.
Cleaner and greener construction practices are at the forefront of industry news, discussions and strategies, so Komatsu has also placed a key focus on designing the PC138US-11 with a greatly reduced emissions output. It’s equipped with an EPA Tier 4 Final emissions certified Komatsu SAA4D95LE-7 engine that reduces fuel consumption, reducing particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) by more than nine per cent when compared to Tier 3 levels.
“When an engine burns fuel, it emits soot, which is the dirt and smoke that you can see coming out of an exhaust pipe,” explains Berry. “A lot of engines have what’s called a diesel particulate filter, whereas our engine has a Komatsu Diesel Oxidation Catalyst (KDOC), which will catch a lot of that soot and reburn it off, so it doesn’t go into the environment.”
“It also has what we call a Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system that neutralises NOx with a solution called AdBlue, which breaks down to an ammonia solution and reduces most of the harmful NOx to a more environmentally friendly mix of nitrogen, water and carbon dioxide.”
Further reducing unnecessary fuel consumption and exhaust emissions, the Komatsu Auto Idle Shutdown will automatically shut down the engine after idling for a set period of time.
As governments and major project stakeholders continue to lift their demands for solutions that emit fewer emissions – compelling contractors to meet these requirements in order to get the job, Komatsu is ensuring its machinery – like the PC138US-11 – is up to the mark.
Operationally, the PC138US-11 is optimal for confined and space-limited applications. Compared to conventional excavators, it has a greater front swing clearance when space is limited – with a minimum front implement swing radius of 1,980 millimetres and a 1,480-millimetre short tail swing radius allowing it to work in more confined areas. On many confined sites where a conventional excavator won’t fit, Komatsu’s PC138US-11 will.
“This big utility machine is extremely broad in terms of the different applications it can provide exceptional value for,” says Berry. “If the machine alone can’t get the job done, we offer a range of attachments including rockbreakers and saws, hammers, tilt hitches and all sorts of buckets.”
Naturally, the PC138US-11 can be fitted with Komatsu’s payload monitoring and 3D machine guidance Retrofit Kit (RFK) technology to further bolster its capabilities.
“Having a quality pilot management system like our RFK, particularly in civil works road applications, can really enhance job delivery in regard to compliance and safety,” says Berry. “On a road construction site, the contractor often has their trucks travelling back onto the road or on public sites.”
“Overloading could mean danger for the public as these trucks head out onto public freeways, as well as fines for the owner.
“By equipping your PC138US-11 hydraulic excavator with the RFK, the system will measure each bucket load to ensure that there is no chance of overloading the truck – minimising risk for all parties.”
As with any of its machines, Komatsu provides PC138US-11 owners in-house, multi-layered support that goes all the way back up to the factory. “We offer four years or 8,000 hours machine warranty, which we believe is market leading,” says Berry. “We also throw in 2,000 hours of servicing, which is Komplimentary with Komatsu.”
Providing exceptional performance while reducing fuel consumption and improving safety, Komatsu’s PC138US-11 hydraulic excavator combines intelligence and durability to improve efficiency in the toughest of applications.