If you ask Matt McLean about Volvo Construction Equipment’s history and why the company decided to add three new models to its wheeled excavator lineup, he will tell you it starts with Volvo’s European base. And Europe includes many old cities with tiny streets.
“A lot of these cities were built before they had cars,” said McLean, who is product manager of wheeled excavators for Volvo Construction Equipment. When street repairs were needed there, equipment was necessary that could function in those tight environments.
“There was a market demand for a wheeled excavator that could navigate through all these valleys but also be tight enough that it could squeeze in there,” McLean said. “So that pushed for the development of short-swing, wheeled excavators.”
New Products Focus on Versatility, Mobility
Volvo Construction Equipment answered that call with its latest wheeled excavators, the short swing EWR150E and EWR170E, and the conventional swing EW220E. The company says the new products help users take advantage of the versatility and mobility offered by wheeled machines.
McLean believes wheeled excavators are underutilized in North America, and they provide benefits in the areas of road building and urban utility work.
He added that the shutting down of multiple lanes of traffic is a main complaint from the public about road work. Traditional excavators often cause those closures. A short-swing excavator provides the option of only closing the lane of traffic where the excavator work is taking place.
Features Include Tier 4 Engines, Joystick
Fuel efficiency features include automatic idling and automatic engine shutdown. Tier 4 engines offer high torque at low engine RPM. And the excavators have been upgraded with proportional-controlled joysticks, now standard, which the company says allow for more precise adjustments and finesse with attachments.
The L8 joystick provides what Volvo refers to as Comfort Drive Control (CDC). With CDC, the operator can steer the excavator using a roller on the joystick, and if desired, some models can be ordered without a steering wheel. The joystick helps the operator optionally control various systems on the machine, such as outriggers, blades, hydraulic cab risers, and Steelwrist attachments.