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Can’t decide between the Komatsu PC4000-11 or the Hitachi EX3600-6 for your mine site? Both have their strong points and there’s no doubt both are absolute beasts onsite. So which is best?

We’ve compared the Komatsu PC4000-11 and the Hitachi EX3600-6 to showcase these machines and help you decide which is right for you.

The Komatsu PC4000-11 and the Hitachi EX3600-6 are heavy-duty excavators designed for big workloads in mine sites and similar industries. Both machines have been designed to provide a superior performance, but Komatsu have designed the most recent PC4000-11 to feature a Tier 2 engine, specifically for Australian mines where a Tier 4 isn’t necessary.

 

Komatsu PC4000-11 Overview

Komatsu PC4000-11 with a full bucketImage courtesy of Komatsu Australia

 

The PC4000-11 is a powerful machine designed to handle the toughest workloads. Aside from the engine, the Tier 2 and Tier 4 machines are almost identical. This makes it a great choice for mine sites that don’t need a Tier 4 compliant machine, and is a simple way to save money while still getting the performance necessary to complete the job.

Taking advice from their customers over the years, Komatsu have made several safety improvements to their excavator range, including additional handrails and an emergency egress ladder.

Packed full of the latest technology, the PC4000-11 uses a simplified system. This provides a better user experience and a less gruelling learning curve for operators.

This simplified system is designed to use less electrical components, therefore reducing possible downtime due to failures or maintenance. Very important for mine sites!

Of course, there are plenty of other features in the PC4000-11, including:

  • Improved Cabin Comfort
  • Increased Performance & Weight Capacity
  • Flexible Attachment Range

(We cover these points below).

Hitachi EX3600-6 Overview

Hitachi EX3600-6 dumping bucket of dirt into a truckImage Courtesy of Hitachi Australia

The slogan for the Hitachi EX3600-6 says it all “more than durable—just plain tough”. This excavator is built to provide consistent performance for those giant-sized jobs, fast. Hitachi’s engineers used a rigid box design that resists bending and twisting forces, combined with a centre track frame to provide more strength in that key area.

As a part of the Hitachi Giant Excavator range, the EX3600-6 takes the best of previous models and combines it with improvements based on customer feedback. With new features like a larger bucket and Hitachi’s computer-aided Engine-Pump Control, the EX3600-6 stands out from its predecessors as one of the best mine site excavators available.

One of the strongest selling points however is the ease of access for maintenance and repairs.

Map for the Hitachi EX3600-6's service & maintenance

Image courtesy of Hitachi Australia

This spacious, well-thought-out layout means it’s easy for your team to access, inspect and maintain your excavator.

Want to know more? Keep reading to see what we think.

Komatsu Vs Hitachi Excavator Specifications

 

Komatsu PC4000-11 Hitachi EX3600-6
Engine Komatsu SDA16V1610E-2 (Tier 2)

Komatsu SDA16V160E-3 (Tier 4)

Cummins QSKTA60-CE – Tier 2
Net Horsepower 1875 1944
Max. Operating Weight 408,914 kg 359,000 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity 6,910L 7,450L
Hydraulic Tank Capacity 3900L 1900L
Dig Height 15,000mm 17,710mm
Dump Height 9,700mm 11,540mm
Ground Level Reach 16,650mm 17,660mm
Dig Depth—Mono 8,000mm 8,630mm
More Specs More Specs

Technology & Cab

As with most machinery, technology for in excavators is advancing rapidly. With state-of-the-art cameras, sensors and guidance systems, Hitachi and Komatsu have hit the ball out of the park. Both the EX3600-6 and the PC4000-11 also feature well-designed cabs that let you work in comfort all day long.

Komatsu PC4000-11

The Komatsu PC4000-11’s cabin is mounted on 18 viscous damping pads and is sound insulated, designed to help reduce noise and vibration during operation. The pressurised cab features automatic climate control for user comfort. But the true selling point of the PC4000-11 is the integrated KOMTRAX Plus 2 technology.

Basing development on feedback from their clients and partners, Komatsu created the KOMTRAX system to provide real-time machine data to the operator and maintenance crew.

The system:

  • Stores & monitors fault messages
  • Provides visual & acoustic alarms as standard

The comprehensive reporting makes for easier management and helps to reduce service time.

The other big technology feature for the PC4000-11 is the KomVision system. Not standard but available for both the Tier 2 and Tier 4 models, the KomVision uses 7 cameras to give the operator a birds-eye view of the worksite.

Cab interior for the PC4000-11

Image courtesy of Komatsu Australia

Hitachi EX3600-6

Of course, the Hitachi EX3600-6’s cab is jam-packed with some of the latest features and designs as well. Much the same as the PC4000-11, the Hitachi features a pressurised cabin that is fully air conditioned. However, instead of using dampening pads, the EX3600-6 uses fluid-filled elastic mounts to absorb vibration during operation.

For fault display and logging, the EX3600-6 uses a 10.5” LCD colour screen. With multiple meters, the operator has constant fault diagnosis and analysis of the excavator. If a fault does occur, the screen will display a countermeasure (when there is one) and provide the operator with a snap-shot of the operating data from 5 minutes before the error occurred.

Optional with every excavator is an addition of 4 cameras to improve worksite visibility and reduce the chance of an accident during operation. Of course, the cab is a huge 6.83-metre height, giving your operators a great level of visibility during operation. The controls have been laid out as ergonomically as possible.  

Cab interior for the Hitachi EX3600-6

Image Courtesy of Hitachi Australia

Attachments

Both of these excavators have loading/front shovel and backhoe attachment options. The PC4000-11 has 2 options for both of its Tier 2 and Tier 4 engines (a standard duty and a heavy-duty option each), giving you more flexibility when deciding the right attachment for your worksite.  

The EX3600-6 has a slightly wider shoe width on their shovel and backhoe,when compared to the standard-duty Komatsu attachment.However, all the Komatsu shovel and backhoe attachments provide a higher operating weight. Meaning you can get more into each bucket.

Komatsu Vs Hitachi Excavators: The Verdict

There’s not much separating the Komatsu PC4000-11 excavator and the Hitachi EX3600-6 excavator. Both offer innovative design, the latest safety features and a fully operational Tier 2 (or 4) engine. The Komatsu is much heavier (with a max operating weight of 408,914kg) and has an option for 7 cameras, as compared to Hitachi’s 4. The Komatsu technology is well-designed and provides a great way of monitoring for faults, however Hitachi’s close behind thanks to their 5-minute snapshot tech—a godsend in case of system failure.

What it really comes down to is your workload and your staff. If you need the absolute most in every shovel-load, then the Komatsu is right for you. However, if your staff are already well-equipped to handle maintenance and repairs on Hitachi equipment, it may be more beneficial to choose the EX3600-6 for familiarity and to reduce training costs.

Of course, the price may be a deciding factor and any relationship you already have with a local Hitachi or Komatsu dealer could make the decision a lot simpler for you.

All we can really say is that the Komatsu PC4000-11 and the Hitachi EX3600-6 are both well-designed excavators that can handle any mine site work you throw at them. How are we so sure they can handle the work? While they say a picture is worth a 1000 words, a video is worth so much more.

See The Komatsu PC4000-11 In Action

 

See The Hitachi EX3600-6 In Action

 

If you’re looking for an excavator for your mine site or large industrial application, browse through our listing or 101+ tonne excavators to find one in your area. Or head over to find a great deal at auction here.

 

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