Articulated haulers return to Komatsu plant
14 February 2023
To support of growing demand, Komatsu said it has again begun production of the company’s HM400-5 articulated haul trucks at its factory in Chattanooga, Tenn. The trucks were produced in Chattanooga in the mid-2000s, but in 2009 production shifted to the Komatsu plant in Ibaraki, Japan, where it has remained until now.
Used primarily in construction, quarry and mining applications, the HM400-5 has a payload capacity of 44.1 tons and is designed to move material across challenging terrain while delivering productive, consistent performance for operators of all experience levels.
The vehicle is powered by a six-cylinder, Komatsu SAA6D140E-7 diesel engine rated 473 hp at 2000 rpm. The engine incorporates a variable geometry turbocharger as well as an aftertreatment system consisting of a diesel particulate filter and SCR system.
The engine drives an automatic countershaft transmission with three-element torque converter that delivers power to the ground via planetary gear axles.
To celebrate the new production line, Komatsu and the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) hosted U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann along with other local and state officials for a launch event at the plant.
“AEM is honored to partner with Komatsu to host Congressman Chuck Fleischmann as we celebrate the return of production of the HM400 articulated truck to Chattanooga,” said Kip Eideberg, AEM’s senior vice president of government and industry relations. “Today’s event is a vital reminder that equipment manufacturing in the United States is alive and well, with a future destined to create more family-sustaining jobs in America.”
Production of the truck has already driven an increase in Komatsu’s spend with local and regional suppliers. Additionally, the new line will offer more opportunities for area students to gain experience in manufacturing. Komatsu’s Chattanooga plant currently has a pre-apprenticeship program that employs high school seniors part-time, allowing them to earn credits toward a full apprenticeship certification through Chattanooga State Community College.
In addition to the HM400-5 trucks, the plant produces midsize hydraulic excavators and intelligent excavators, as well as some machines for the forestry market. Approximately 525 people are employed at the Chattanooga campus. Of those employees, 425 are part of the manufacturing operation, while 100 work for other divisions of Komatsu.