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Built to Handle Logs - Komatsu’s WA500-8 Fork Arrangement

January 13, 2021
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Added counterweight, larger tilt cylinder contribute to increased production with the WA500-8 fork arrangement

Moving and sorting logs is often done with wheel loaders. To perform those tasks as productively as possible you should consider a loader specifically equipped to handle the heavy loads involved. Many sawmills and sorting yards in Canada choose a specially equipped Komatsu WA500-8 Fork Arrangement model from SMS Equipment.
The upgraded loader features a counterweight that is nearly 10% heavier than a standard WA500-8, giving it the ability to handle larger forks and grapples. A 3-spool control valve is added for easy attachment operation.  
It also has a larger tilt cylinder that gives it additional capacity to lift and carry tree-length logs. For greater stability, 875/65 R29 tires are added. Lighting options are available for night operation and enhanced safety during the day.

To better protect the 36,580-38,385-kilogram (80,647-84,625 lb) loader, SMS Equipment installs guarding to critical areas, including the windows in the ROPS/FOPS Certified cab, which meet British Columbia’s WorkSafeBC regulations. The fuel tank, powertrain and radiator have more robust protection as well.
“Feedback during a recent demonstration was very positive with multiple operators reporting that the WA500 was the most powerful and fastest compared to other machines,” said SMS Equipment Sales Representative Jason Schleppe. “Their comments included that it was extremely well-balanced and that they could not overload the grapple causing the machine’s back end to lift off the ground. Exceptional visibility through the forestry guarding was another positive feature for them.”

Large-capacity torque converter

The Komatsu-designed power train has a large-capacity torque converter for optimum efficiency, including in V-cycle applications because the increased tractive effort does not require full throttle. It allows operators to up-shift gears faster for improved acceleration and hill-climbing ability. The loader achieves high gear ranges and maintains high travel speed when working in load-and-carry applications.
The torque converter features a lock-up function that activates in 2nd, 3rd and 4th gears and is effective for both load-and-carry and V-cycle work. Additionally, Komatsu’s SmartLoader Logic reduces the clutch engagement shock of the lock-up by controlling engine torque. The combination of these reduces fuel burn.

All components are designed and manufactured by Komatsu, so they are made to work in harmony for optimized performance as well as for reliability and long life.
“Because we use robust components and a high-rigidity frame in the standard WA500-8, we only need to upgrade certain items for the specialized loaders, such as the Fork Arrangement,” explained Adam Braun, Komatsu Product Marketing Manager-Wheel Loaders. “Other manufacturers producing similar machinery typically have to completely redesign their base products.”
Enhanced operator comfort

Enhanced operator comfort

Like other Komatsu wheel loaders, the WA500-8 Fork Arrangement features Komatsu’s Electronically Controlled Suspension System (ECSS) that cushions the boom while traveling with a load. ECSS makes for a more comfortable ride, reducing bouncing and can help prolong work equipment life.
The ROPS/FOPS Certified cab has a standard heated, air-suspension seat that provides enhanced support on rough terrain and dampens machine vibrations. The cab is mounted on viscous dampers that further reduce noise and vibration for greater comfort and productivity.
“Lighting needs in the forest are unique as working conditions vary from daylight to the middle of the night,” said Trent Daviduck, SMS Equipment Product Support Representative. “We carry a full line of LED light packages for equipment that fits any need and budget.”
Quick Specs on Komatsu’s WA500-8 Fork Arrangement

Quick Specs on Komatsu’s WA500-8 Fork Arrangement

353 HP (263 kW)

Operating Weight
80,647-84,625 lb
(36,580-38,385 kg)

Jason Schleppe - Sales Representative
Industry Experience
  • 1.5 years in the role of Sales Representative with SMS Equipment
  • 6 years as a Corporate Warranty Manager (prior to SMS Equipment)
With 20 years of service department experience in the automotive and heavy equipment sector prior to SMS Equipment, I have a strong understanding of critical issues my customers face on a day-to-day basis, such as uptime and total cost of ownership. This has provided me with the necessary tools to find suitable solutions to all our customers needs, whether it be finding the right machine within a challenging economic climate, or assisting in keeping the cost of ownership expenses to a minimum. I believe that honest and transparent communication between my customers and I is key to building long standing partnerships.
   Trent Daviduck - Product Support Sales Representative
Industry Experience
  • 20 years experience in Komatsu Construction, Forestry and Utility.
For me, it's all about the product support. My focus is on being a solutions provider, which includes assisting in preventing machine downtime and preventative maintenance. I also perform machine inspections, undercarriage measuring and tracking.

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