In prewar times, production of the tractor began due to the need for agricultural development. During the war, mechanization of construction was in high demand at places like airports. However, it was the birth of bulldozers that truly started the history of construction equipment in Japan.
This was the first gasoline tractor manufactured domestically in the early 1930's while Japan was still relying on imports from the united states for farm machinery. With a need for mechanization of agriculture, this model was developed for a test conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and used at farms on a trial base.
As the demand increased, Komatsu made 238 units of this tractor until its manufacture was discontinued in 1943. After the war, Komatsu disclosed the drawing to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Niigata Tekkojo, Kubota, Ikegai Motor, and they vied with one another producing tractors for farmland development in Hokkaido.
The test run of the model fitted with a 1.5-ton truck engine of another manufacturer failed. As a result, Komatsu developed their original engine and used it in mass production.
Around 1944 and 1955, right before the war ended, a few were produced as a small bulldozer with a blade attached. Air transportation was considered to aid with building airports at battlefields and they conducted testing transporting disassembled units, however, it never became a reality.
Since its first emergence in 1951, it took only 50 years for the hydraulic shovel to establish its primary position on construction sites worldwide. Its size ranges from mini to super size depending on the scale of construction, and during the half century, it kept evolving by achieving a minimum rear-swing radius and adapting styles that would work with characteristics of each site. Mirroring the movement of a human hand, a hydraulic shovel will continue to evolve during the 21st century.