Chattanooga, Tennessee, is the newest production hub of Komatsu’s HM400-5 articulated haul trucks. While the trucks were produced in Chattanooga in the mid-2000s, in 2009 the company shifted production to its plant in Ibaraki, Japan, but has now returned.
The 473-HP HM400-5 is designed to move material across challenging terrain while delivering productive, consistent performance for operators of all experience levels. 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 company’s Chattanooga plant.
The company says production of the truck has increased 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.
“We have seen the demand for our HM400-5 trucks grow significantly in both the U.S. and Canada, which is why we began producing the trucks here in the U.S.,” said Rod Schrader, chair and CEO, Komatsu North America. “The domestic production of this popular truck supports Komatsu's commitment to jobs and manufacturing in the U.S., and also enables us to contribute far more to the local Chattanooga economy.”
To learn more visit www.Komatsu.com.