Liberalization of trade brought Japan demand from abroad and the opportunity to raise Japan's technological advancements to a world-class level. The introduction of large-scale power sources took place, which accelerated development of larger equipment.
The history of Wheel loader in Japan is rather short. SDA25 (2 wheel drive), the prototype put together by Nichiyu in 1949 was its beginning.
In 1965, Komatsu International, the merged company of Komatsu and International Harvester of the United States, began to manufacture Wheel loaders with 4 wheel drive under a technical partnership with the Frank G Hough Co., a subsidiary of International Harvester. The name "Pay loader" was a product name of Frank G Hough that Komatsu kept using for sales. It became synonym for a Wheel loader in those days.
Around that time, most 4 wheel driven Wheel loaders in Japan had a bucket capacity of 4m3. Since Komatsu already made a 2 wheel drive shovel loader SD20 with 1.0m3 capacity, they decided to change H30B (bucket capacity of 1.0m3) to JH30B for domestic production.
Offering the same digging ability despite its cheaper price, compared to 1.4m3 class. The sales of JH30B increased rapidly. Its production and sales continued until it was updated as "510" that was jointly designed with International Harvester in 1976. (H30B had a rigid frame structure, whereas 510 had articulated steering)
It was 1949 when the first wheel loader was manufactured in Japan, however, it was not until mid 1960's when Komatsu entered the wheel loader market aligning with International Harvester. From JH series in the beginning, to the 500 series, to Komatsu's original WA series, our wheel loaders have met the needs of construction sites by scaling up, coping with the environment and adopting advanced technology such as mechatronics and IT.