• February 8, 2019
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Excavator Comparison: Komatsu Vs Caterpillar

Excavator Comparison: Komatsu Vs Caterpillar

If you’re tossing up between Cat and Komatsu and need a comparison, you’ve got it! While we’ve covered Komatsu vs Caterpillar in our top-level article here, we’re drilling down into 2 of the most popular models with similar HP and pitting them against each other: The Komatsu PC200-8 and the Caterpillar 320D L.

In this article:

  • Komatsu vs Caterpillar excavator comparison: PC200-8 vs 320D L
  • We cover Komatsu vs Caterpillar quality
  • Caterpillar & Komatsu excavator specifications
  • Caterpillar & Komatsu videos

Sidenote: The 320D L is a long-carriage excavator, and therefore built slightly different to the Komatsu (you can see in the photos below).

Moving on!

Komatsu vs Caterpillar Excavator Comparison: PC200-8 vs 320D L

In The Cab

Komatsu PC200-8 Caterpillar 320D L
The PC200-8 has an ingenious cab design. With a wide cab space compared to the Caterpillar, a reclining backrest and adjustable settings, operators will be very comfortable in this excavator. The armrests are also adjustable with the console.

And for those long breaks onsite? The seat can recline right back to allow for a quick kip (not that we’d recommend napping on the job!).

As for noise and vibration, there isn’t much of it thanks to the viscous damper mounting in the cab.And of course, a necessity in Aus—this excavator features an option of automatic air conditioning!

Overall, a comfortable and ergonomic working environment.

The cab space is a little more cramped than the Komatsu, but still offers a decent amount of comfort, thanks to the suspension seat and dual armrests.The suspension seat helps reduce operator fatigue and makes for a smoother, more comfortable ride.

The operator controls are very similarly laid out to the Komatsu, and are easy to reach. The newer models feature easy touch-screen controls for ease of operation, including the Cat-grade control, where the operator can set the max depth.

Visibility is good with large glass panels, but is encumbered by the large plastic side panel.

The newer models don’t have this side panel, and also feature greater visibility with 360-degree cameras, for a full view of the worksite. This also features a split-screen monitor so you can see most angles at a glance.

The viscous damper in the cab takes some getting used to, but is a great change. The radio is under the armrest, which some may find annoying.

Under The Bonnet

Komatsu PC200-8 Caterpillar 320DL
The Komatsu hosts a powerful 6-cylinder Komatsu SAA6D107E-1 engine.

Known for their economical design, Komatsu do not disappoint in the PC200-8.

The fuel system is a cut above, allowing the operator to have full control of the engine, electronic and hydraulic system. This ensures minimal fuel is used.

The Komatsu is also easily serviced, with long service intervals for engine oil, engine oil filter and the hydraulic filter.

With its lifting mode, the Komatsu’s hydraulic pressure is automatically raised, increasing lifting capacity by 7%.

Its rust-proof fuel tank is also a huge bonus.

The Cat 320D L offers powerful performance thanks to its C6.4 engine with ACERT technology. The automatic engine speed control helps maximise fuel efficiency.

The design of this excavator allows for easy maintenance and extended service intervals. It also has user-friendly electronic diagnostics to help minimise maintenance costs.

Thanks to being located close together, the electrohydraulics are super smooth… but can be a little touchy, so this may take some getting used to.

None found—if you know of any, hit us up in the comments below! According to anecdotal feedback, many find they have issues with the diesel fuel pump.

Hydraulics are very sensitive so new operators will need to get a feel for them.  

Komatsu vs Caterpillar Quality

When it comes to quality, everyone knows that both Cat and Komatsu invest a lot in manufacturing their own models, parts and components where possible.

What is interesting though, is that Komatsu has a unique specification developed specifically for the Aus and New Zealand market. This specification is called the Komatsu Australia Ltd Standard Specification.

Comparing the two, both are incredibly high-quality machines that are evenly matched.

Komatsu Vs Caterpillar Price

Caterpillar 320D L models have been listed between $71,940 and $225,000, averaging at $122,801 (used). The current average price of a 320D L listing is $108,800.*

Komatsu PC200-8 models range between $15,400 and $172,000, averaging at $75,321 (used). The current average price of a PC200-8 listing is $72,500.*

When it comes to price, it’s important to consider cost of ownership and value retention. While Caterpillar can be more expensive upfront, they do have better value retention long-term, according to EquipmentWatch. For cost of ownership, these brands are evenly matched.

Caterpillar & Komatsu Excavator Specifications

Komatsu PC200-8 Caterpillar 320D L
Engine Komatsu SAA6D107E-1, 6-cylinder Cat C6.4 ACERT
Net Horsepower 148 148
Operating Weight 20,010 kg 20,330 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity 400 L 410 L
Ground Clearance 440 mm 600 mm (standard undercarriage)
Digging Depth Up to 6620 mm (for 2925 mm arm) 6560 mm
Max Reach Along Ground 9700 mm 9730 mm
Tail Swing Radius 2750 mm 2750 mm

Komatsu Vs Caterpillar Videos

What better way to get a good look at these excavators than some quick videos? Take a look below for video walkarounds and a video of both excavators in action on the same worksite. You’ll also be able to see and hear how they run.

Cat 320D L Video Walkaround

See how the Cat excavator looks and functions, compared to the Komatsu excavator below.

Disclaimer: This video may showcase an overseas model. Configurations may differ from the Australian model.

Komatsu PC200-8 Video Walkaround

Disclaimer: This video may showcase an overseas model. Configurations may differ from the Australian model.

Watch Both Excavators In Action

Disclaimer: This video may showcase overseas models. Configurations may differ from the Australian models.

The Verdict

Even though these excavators aren’t exactly comparable (thanks to Caterpillar’s longer carriage) they are fairly similar in most other aspects when you take a look at their specs. They both have 143 net horsepower, the Cat is only slightly heavier at 20,330 kg, it also holds 10L more fuel than the Komatsu and has a higher ground clearance at 600 mm.

When it comes to cost, the Komatsu does come in cheaper, so you’d be getting those similar specs at a much lower price. However, the Caterpillar does have a better value retention long-term, so if you’re looking to sell your machine once the job is done, this might be the better option.

As usual, it all really depends on the job and dealer support. Check out each dealer and make sure you’re comfortable that they understand your needs and the machine prior to making a purchase.

What do you think of this Cat Komatsu comparison? Let us know in the comments below, or take a look at similar excavators for sale.

Sources: Heavy Equipment Forums, YouTube, cat.com, Caterpillar Series brochures, komatsu.com.au, Komatsu Series brochures, Ritchispecs, speceps.com, constructionequipmentguide.com

*Prices are based on Machines4U listing data provided by sellers/advertisers and are an approximation only. Data is correct up to and at time of publishing. Prices may change and need to be verified with individual sellers.

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