CANADIAN MINING PERSPECTIVES: Remote tracking comes to Komatsu vehicles

Good ideas can come from anyone, anywhere, and the idea to tell CMJ readers about KOMATSUs Komtrax system of wire...
Good ideas can come from anyone, anywhere, and the idea to tell CMJ readers about KOMATSUs Komtrax system of wireless vehicle tracking came from my brother. He was recently at Komatsu headquarters in Chicago and visited the Komtrax nerve centre. He was mightily impressed that so much information from so many vehicles in so many far-flung parts of the world all winds up in a bank of flat-panel displays in the Windy City.

Ill admit that he works for Komatsu, but in a division far removed from the heavy equipment industry. My brother is the human resources department for the companys former computer chip plant near Portland, Oregon.

Komatsu is promoting Komtrax thusly: If knowledge is power and time is money, then Komtrax puts both power and money in the hands of its customers. With the system, operators will enjoy increased machine availability, less chance of theft, and remote diagnosis of potential problems. That adds up to more efficiency and productivity. Komtrax includes an hour meter, tracking system, engine lock-down, cautions and maintenance alerts and more, all of which relay information to the web-based application.


Komtrax is on the leading edge of wireless technology, but what does that mean? Things like fact-based fleet and asset management: Komtrax can tell you the exact location of your machine, what task it is carrying out and how it is doing it. The graphs and information generated can also be downloaded into spreadsheets for easy analysis.

Komtrax provides data on how a machine is operating: Is it operating at peak performance or not? Is the operator using the equipment to maximize its productivity? Should preventive maintenance be scheduled sooner rather than later? Abnormality codes are transmitted directly to the Komatsu dealer, saving you time and money. Technicians are able to troubleshoot the machine before setting foot on the job site, saving downtime, travel, cost and most of all, productive operating time.

The threat of theft and unauthorized equipment use is minimized. Komtrax uses the global positioning network, letting owners know at all times where their machines are. If someone tries to steal a machine, it can be quickly intercepted. A number of engine lock and unlock capabilities assures that machines are only operating in approved areas during approved times. It is possible to create a geofence to define where a particular machine is expected to operate. Operation outside of the approved area will generate a notice and will be displayed on-line.

Ordinarily I might not have written so many words on global positioning and equipment tracking; use of such systems has been growing in the mining industry. But the Komtrax system sure impressed my brother, and now you know why.

For more information on the Komatsu line of equipment and your local dealer, go online to


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