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How to hit the spot in mid-sized machinery

The swing radius is all that’s reduced in this Volvo excavator, with maximum comfort, capable tech and an improved hydraulics system. 

Producing mid-sized quarry-spec excavators can be a fine art and one that few manufacturers could hope to perfect.

Too bulky and they rule themselves out of many applications, too small and the same problem occurs. So, when Volvo set out to develop the almost 15-tonne ECR145E excavator, it was looking for that perfect sweet spot. 

And while perfection may be unobtainable, as definitions differ from one operator to the next, CJD Equipment’s national product manager Lindsay Daniels told Quarry why this well-balanced machine certainly does the job and then some. 

“The big talking points are Volvo’s reliability and economy. It’s a very economical engine to run, owing partially to its advanced hydraulic systems,” Daniels said. 

“You can expect good fuel consumption figures and operators are typically very happy with the comfort of modern day Volvos.”

The ECR145E has two hydraulic circuits which are proportionately controlled and bi-directional. This allows them to run all kinds of functions and attachments including augers, plate compactors, tilting heads, tilting rotators and anything that functions in multiple directions. 

Daniels said this makes the machine quite versatile and able to work a variety of jobs. 

Also adding to its versatility is the excavator’s reduced swing radius of under 1.5m.  “This makes it well-suited to highway applications where it operates on the side of the road. But it’s also really good at being used in any confined space like a scrap metal yard or somewhere where there’s lots of obstacles about,” Daniels said.

“It also has good lift capacity and good balance for a machine with such reduced swing.”

All these factors are key considerations by customers of CJD Equipment, Australia’s national distributor for Volvo Construction Equipment. 

But Daniels said a few other points are always the first question when customers come calling for an excavator. 

“The focus never strays from productivity and power, as is catered to by the ECR145E, but there is an increasing number of people looking for emission controls and efficiency, primarily because government contracts are written around these factors,” he said. 

To keep operators running as efficiently as possible, the ECR145E comes with three different tech-assisted options. 

The stock 2D option relies solely on the in-built GPS system to give directional awareness, allowing the operator to visualise direction, slope and depth on the in-cab display. 

Then, there is a mid-range option called in-field design (IFD) which uses the same satellite systems and gives the operator the additional ability to draw their own job design into the system on their display. This keeps them on track and in the zone to maximise their focus and efficiency. 

Thirdly, the ECR145E can come with all the trimmings in the form of a full 3D system from TopCon or Trimble. 

Daniels said the reports from the operators were very positive and the uptake is even better. 

“It’s easy to learn, easy to control, and it’s easy to draw into the system. We sell quite a few machines with just IFD but it’s almost a 50/50 split between IFD and the full 3D package,” Daniels said. 

To match the right machine and the right system with CJD customers, the distributor’s team will work closely with them from first inquiry to final commissioning. 

Daniels said it’s this CJD service that secures long-time clients for the company. 

“In my experience, CJD has a very good reputation for customer satisfaction,” he said. 

“Different job sites have different requirements, so we always make sure the machine is prepared in the right manner to suit them. 

“And then of course we always attend the delivery and make sure the new owner understands each part of the machine, what they can get it to do and how they can get the best out of it.”•

For more information about Volvo Construction Equipment products and CJD Equipment’s programs and services, visit cjd.com.au

This article appears in the February issue of Quarry Magazine. 

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