Paul Molinari, owner of WA-based mine rehabilitation specialist Ozcon Enterprises, has a strong preference for Komatsu D375A dozers over any other model – having owned more than 30 of the units over the past 20-odd years.
Paul is currently working on projects in the Pilbara region as well as Perth subdivisions, after starting out in the Kalgoorlie and Eastern Goldfields region, where on one mine he had six D375As working around the clock for 11 years.
Currently he owns two D375A-5s, three D375A-5EOs and a D375A-6 delivered in March 2012.
"The main reason I go with the D375As is the reliability and machine life before you have to start spending big money on them," he said.
"I've run these dozers up to 22,000 hours and put no replacement components into them.
"They can certainly rip; they'll outperform any other dozer by far in ripping, and they are as good as any other machine in dozing," said Paul.
"For example, in our Perth subdivision work we rip that hard limestone, which people think they need the larger dozers for, but the D375As handle it quite well."
He also finds that more experienced operators prefer the Komatsu dozers.
"The more experienced blokes, who really can operate a dozer, they really like them.
"I'm talking about the older, experienced operators some of who have been with me for 11 years and they sit in them and do their 2000-2500 hours each year and they are still going.
"Now, whether it is a myth or whatever that gets into these kids' heads, they do say that Komatsu dozers are rougher to ride in, but, like I said, you get more experienced blokes and they reckon that they are more comfortable, have better vision, are quieter, and have a nicer feel.
"If the ground is rough, they just slow down a bit and when you are tramming over bloody big blue rocks, it doesn't matter what machine you are in, it's going to be rough," Paul said.
And while he hasn't driven the latest Dash-6 dozer, reports from his operators are very positive.
"The feedback from the guys is that it's very nice inside the cab, plus they have another 100 hp more, so they are certainly a very powerful machine," he said.
In terms of service and support from Komatsu Australia, Paul "has never had a drama".
"We do a lot of the servicing work ourselves, but I've never had any issues with Komatsu.
"Under warranty, they do what they have to do, and if I ever call their fitters or electricians, I don't have any dramas.
"They've always given me good service and support; it's all good," said Paul.