The single best thing an operator can do to prevent a Komatsu machine from experiencing emissions problems is to put it in the “proper posture to idle,” said Mike Montgomery, trainer for Columbus Equipment Company. As mentioned in Emissions 101, that means putting the safety lever down and locking the machine in a track machine. For any wheeled machine, the safety brake needs to be set. (Komatsu designed the system this way for safety; a machine should always be locked out so it does not move when not in use.)
Why is being in the proper posture to idle so important? The emissions system relies on a chemical reaction that requires heat, Montgomery said. Setting the machine in the proper posture (pictured above) tells the machine to idle while still maintaining a sufficiently-hot engine for regeneration. If the machine is not in the right posture, sufficient heat for regeneration will not be maintained.
Komatsu machines have an internal clock that measure how long they idle without getting up to adequate operating temperature. When that clock reaches 90 minutes, the machine will require a manual stationary regeneration. This process can take from 20 to 40 minutes, and the machine must be parked and idling during manual stationary regeneration.
To avoid having to park a machine in the middle of a work day, Montgomery advises: “If you are going to idle, set it in the proper posture so the machine can take care of itself.” There’s a light on the monitor to remind operators to do this. “If you keep following best practices on idling, you will not need to perform manual stationary regens repeatedly, after every 90 minutes of idle time.”