KMH UK, the sole importer of Komatsu materials handling equipment, has launched the state-of-the-art new AX50 and BX50 ranges of forklift trucks, representing the most significant product launch in the Komatsu line-up for over 10 years.
Developed in Japan to replace the current 1.5 to 3.0 tonne diesel and LPG powered forklift truck ranges, the launch sees the introduction of a new 3.5 tonne truck which allows Komatsu to offer a 3.5 tonner in both its BX and CX range – models which allow Komatsu to fill two very different applications. The new range utilises the latest technology and manufacturing techniques, and will be produced at the company's two manufacturing plants at Tochigi in Japan and Bari in Italy.
The AX50 series is available in four models, two with diesel engines (FD15T-20R, FD18T-20R) and two with LPG engines (FG15HT-20R, FG18HT-20R), offering lift capacities between 1.5 and 1.75 tonnes, depending on the model.
The larger BX50 series is available in eight models with capacities of 2.0, 2.5, 3.0 and 3.5 tonnes, with the latter being a new super-compact variant that has been designed specifically to meet the European market. The full line-up includes four trucks with diesel engines (FD20T-16R, FD25T-16R, FD30T-16R, FD35AT-16R) and four with LPG power (FG20HT-16R, FG25HT-16R, FG30T-16R and FG35AT-16R).
Komatsu's already renowned reliability is further enhanced by a new floating aluminium transmission with expanded cooling that allows constant high performance from the truck even during intensive use. Each model employs a specially developed engine for the optimum balance of power and superior environmental performance, and all engines comply with the strict governmental regulations (EPA Tier 2/EU Stage II) concerning gas emissions.
One of the most notable innovations across the range, and a first for the forklift truck industry, is the introduction of a state-of-the-art system (conforming to Directive ISO:3691) which blocks all hydraulic functions and truck operations when the operator is not on board for more than three seconds.
Other notable features on the new models is the “Dual Floating” system, unique on the market, which helps to reduce vibration with a combination of cab and transmission mounted shock-absorbers. These help to alleviate operator fatigue and stress, whilst increasing productivity. The new design also contributes to making driving more comfortable, thanks to a cabin which is mounted higher than on previous models, facilitating easy access to the driver's seat, while the seat is wider than its predecessor and cushioned by gas filled shock-absorbers, as well as being 375 mm from the steering wheel.
“Every characteristic of the new AX50/BX50 trucks has been designed to increase our customers' productivity,” said Steve Watkiss, responsible for KMH UK. “For example, the lack of vibration provided by the Dual Floating system and exceptional visibility make for comfortable working conditions, which is a fundamental aspect in terms of hourly performance.
“The new models have been manufactured with the same quality, reliability and longevity for which Komatsu has built its reputation in the market, but the difference with this latest range is that it has been designed with the European market specifically in mind.
“Examples from across both the AX50 and BX50 ranges are already playing a leading role within our demonstrator fleet, which all of our distributors have access to. UK customers have already taken delivery of the new models and the response has been excellent without exception. We anticipate record orders and deliveries by Christmas,” he adds.
The BX50 series is characterized by its SLHS hydraulic system with tandem pump that allows lifting loads twice as fast at low engine speeds, thus offering significant added value in terms of productivity. Other important characteristics of the new series are the safety warning alarm when the handbrake isn't applied after leaving the truck, unique accessibility to components and the new design of the electrical cabling system and the waterproof protection of the fuses which allows the BX50 truck to perform at its best even in the coldest climates.