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.
This was the birth of articulate steering Wheel loaders. As its front body can turn at 34 degrees sideways, it was particularly useful in small spaces and on soft surfaces. Its digging power was superior to other domestic models which quickly led to replacing dozer shovels for crushing stones and collecting river gravel.
Bucket capacity: 1.9m3
Unlike today's Wheel loaders, the driver seat of these Pay loaders was located at the front frame. This means the joint of articulated steering was positioned behind the operator. International Harvester owned the patent for this, and it was said that an operator facing the same direction as the machinery made the work easier due to better visibility. On the other hand, it had its own problems such as the shock from the bucket to the driver's seat being strong and bigger sideways swing of the driver's seat when turning were pointed out.
After all, Komatsu ended up not changing its design until they canceled the merger with International Harvester because of the business relationship, despite the fact that their design was the minority in the market.
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.