With a larger cab and easy access for maintenance, Volvo’s EC220D excavator is the product of choice for Litchfield Green Waste Recyclers. Manager Jamie Spilsby explains.
It’s fair to say that Litchfield Green Waste Recyclers (LGWR) is impressed with Volvo’s EC220D excavator.
Since purchasing a first unit in 2017, LGWR has added an extra two to its fleet, with plans to add another later this year.
LGWR Manager Jamie Spilsby says the EC220D excavator is now a core part of the company’s services in the Northern Territory.
“We cover a lot of different aspects, such as land clearing, mulching, stage one of earthworks and bulk haulage as well,” Jamie says.
Catering from small private jobs, up to the largest of corporate clients, LGWR specialises in tree mulching and land clearing in Darwin. The EC220D excavator is used for each, as well as feeding LGWR’s 800 horsepower mulching equipment.
LGWR uses a range of attachments with the 22 tonne EC220D excavator – general buckets and tilt buckets support mulch feeding, and the attachable timber shear and log grab are used for land clearing.
A new electro-hydraulic system and main control valve can control the on-demand flows when using these attachments, resulting in shorter cycle times and improved fuel efficiency.
Oil flows for each attachment can also be regulated from the cab, with the internal electronic control unit able to store 20 individual settings.
Jamie says he was immediately impressed with the machines cab size. As he explains, the EC220D excavator has helped to look after some of LGWR’s taller operators.
“We have a few guys who are taller than 6’4. The squarer-shaped cab gives our operators easier access when entering and exiting the machine,” he says. “Other models that have the rounded cab and windows can be awkward for some of our taller operators. Some of the taller guys have to pull the seat forward when they get in,” he jokes.
The EC220D excavator has a ‘D-series’ cab, built with a focus on maximising visibility and comfort.
The cab is supported on hydraulic dampening mounts to reduce shock and vibration levels. It also has a sound absorbing lining, reducing noise levels.
An integrated air-conditioning and heating system controls the climate, with air distributed through 14 vents.
Projects for LGWR usually take place in demanding environments such as torrential downpours or extremely dusty.
Jamie says the EC220D excavator has had no trouble in the wet, due to the machine’s dual speed tracks. The unit also effectively blocks out dust, a must-have when dealing with mulch, he adds.
Due to the isolation of some rural sites, waiting for maintenance is not an option. As such, LGWR conducts its own servicing in-house.
“The EC220D excavator makes it very easy for our mechanics. It’s got great access for services. You just need to spin one plate to access plugs underneath. You don’t need to remove guards and floor plates like other machines,” Jamie says. There’s also a door on the rear right hand side of the machine, which contains all of the excavator’s filters.
“We can do these services in the paddock; we don’t need to increase downtime by taking it to a servicing centre. The air conditioner, condensers and radiator can all be done in day-to-day maintenance.”
Jamie estimates the three EC220D units in use at LGWR have accumulated 7000 to 8000 hours of use between them. Minimal repairs have been required.
“We service them at 250-hour operation intervals. They could easily be serviced at more than 500-hour intervals,” he says.
Volvo CE distributor CJD Equipment also has a servicing network with technicians, workshops and dealers across the country.
“The main factor that attracted us to the Volvo models was CJD’s after-sales support and spare parts,” Jamie says.
He says LGWR will look to expand its fleet as the company continues to win larger contracts.
“We’re ramping up work with another contract, doing clearing work for future mining sites,” he says. “If we need another excavator, we’ll get a Volvo.”