In 1921, Komatsu was founded as a small construction machinery repair shop in the city of Komatsu on the west coast of Japan by the entrepreneur Meitaro Takeuchi (Maitaro Takeiichi). This was preceded by the organization in 1917 Komatsu Iron Works Division for the production of coal and mining equipment. To do this, engineers working in Komatsu, have been trained in Europe and the US, focusing on the international level. The company's foundation date is May 13, 1921, when Komatsu Iron Works separates from Takeuchi Mining Co., and becomes Komatsu Ltd.
At first she was engaged in caterpillar tractors, bulldozers, cross-country vehicles, armored vehicles, hydraulic presses, loaders, cranes and excavators. Only in 1951, modeled on American cars "Euclid" (Euclid) was built the first 15-ton dump truck "HD150", very similar to the Soviet MAZ-525. Its production began in 1953 at the Kawasaki plant near Tokyo, which belonged to Ikegai. The development of the first model was in 1968 an 18-ton dump truck "HD180" with a body capacity of 10 m3, a 6-cylinder 12-liter Cummins engine in 230 hp, a mechanical 5-speed gearbox, a spring suspension And pneumatic drive of drum brakes.
In 1973, the first model of the world level appeared - a 32-ton dumper HD320 of its own design with a 6-cylinder Komatsu diesel engine (19.2 liters, 450 horsepower), a 6-speed hydromechanical box Torqflow, , Hydropneumatic suspension of wheels and a single cabin. Two years later, one of the largest dump trucks in the world was manufactured - a 120 ton "HD1200" with a Cummins V12 diesel engine (46.3 liters, 1200 hp), liquid-cooled disc brakes and a 51- Inch wheels.
It was offered with an 8-speed hydromechanical gearbox or with an electric transmission and traction motor-wheels. Both machines became the basis of all subsequent gamut Komatsu. At the same time, the company began active international cooperation: in 1970 a branch was opened in the USA (since 1985 assembly of dump trucks was started there), in 1975 - the largest branch in Brazil, and since 1979, diesel electric dump trucks HD1200 (Up to the end of the XX century they were supplied with 1000 pieces).
In the 1980s, the Komatsu program increased to 8 base models from HD180 to HD785 with a payload capacity of 18-78 tons with its own in-line 6-cylinder engines or a V8 turbocharged diesel engine (12.2-30.9 liters ., 280-890 hp). The "HD1200" series with bodies of 46-70 m3 </ sup was offered in variants "HD1200-1" with electric or "HD1200M-1" with hydromechanical transmission and V12 diesels (1145-1290 hp). The 160-ton "HD1600" program with a total mass of 267.5 tons with a 90-cubic body, a diesel engine "Cummins" V16 (50.3 liters, 1496 hp) and a semi-automatic 7-speed gearbox closed the program.
In the early 90's, the program included 18 models from "HD205" to "HD1600M" with a carrying capacity of 20-160 tons. Specially for Russia, a 136-ton diesel-electric version of the "HD1200-1D" with a capacity of 1350 horsepower was created to work in deep quarries. Since 1987, 3-axle construction dump-trucks "НА250" and "НА270" (6 × 6) with a carrying capacity of 25-27 tons were produced with articulated frame and diesel engine with a capacity of 243 hp, created together with the Norwegian company "Moxi" (Mohu). On the basis of dump trucks, a 1000-strong truck tractor was built to operate as part of the "HD1400" road train with a 150-ton semi-trailer with bottom unloading.
Komatsu also produced several special HS chassis for industrial use with a payload capacity of 20-55 tons, airfield tractors "WT", and also participated in the creation of "KNWF" (6 × 6) timber carriers for countries of the councils. In 1988, Komatsu began cooperation with the American company Dresser, which shortly before bought back the production of Haulpak dump trucks from VABCO (WABCO) from Peoria. Since January 1996, it became part of Komatsu and became known as Komatsu America International Co. (Komatsu America International Co.).
So, to the very extensive program, the whole range of Holpec cars with a lifting capacity of 32-220 tons with hydromechanical and electric transmission (models from 140M to 830E) was added, renamed Komatsu Holpak. In 1996, the production of one of the world's largest dump trucks "930E" with a payload capacity of 310 tons started with a diesel engine MTU (MTU) V16 with a capacity of 2,686 hp. And an electric transmission. By the end of the 20th century, Komatsu had become a transnational concern for the production of road construction equipment, heavy dump trucks and diesel engines with a total of about 30,000 employees.
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