Selecting the right excavator can make a huge difference to the profitability of your business. If you are working on today’s smaller blocks, townhouse and cluster dwelling sites, these sites often have very tight access.
The pressure of having to work in ever-smaller areas has sparked a big demand for small, nimble machines with enough power to get the job done profitably. Mini and compact excavators have become essential tools.
Purchasers of small excavators may not be aware of the differences in machine design that will be critical in providing the performance or specialisation needed for their business.
When evaluating your equipment options, you need to understand the small, yet significant differences that can make a big impact on how you satisfy the needs of your customers and keep the dollars in your pocket.
At first glance, people unfamiliar with excavators may not see what really matters. As with any machinery, a closer look reveals many significant differences in the design, manufacturing quality, components and performance between models and brands.
You get what you pay for
Price is a good indicator of quality. Buying a lower cost machine may not be the most economical investment in the long term. It’s like choosing between the handyman and the tradesman’s version of power tools. You need to buy the best quality if you’re going to be using it all the time and your income depends on it.
In the past, choices in machines of this category may have been limited, however market demands have guided Volvo’s decision to produce a range that has specific attributes and advantages, depending on the needs of different contractors.
Volvo offers a range of compact excavators that are based on needs such as transport method (trailer or truck), physical dimensions and weight of the machine; critical basics in deciding what machine is the best for your purpose. For example, when you add the weight of attachments such as a hammer and auger to the buckets you may need to carry, a two-tonne excavator may exceed the regulation road weight.
Dimensional capability is a major issue. For example, is the machine going to operate within the constraints of the job site? Addressing this requirement, Volvo compact excavators are supplied in models with retractable tracks, short swing radius and the boom cylinder position to the left. Volvo compact excavators are designed and built to work in tight spaces and can be used on more job sites while reducing risk of damage to the machine and its surroundings. Slew and offset movements are controlled simultaneously for easy and fast positioning of the machine and the swing post and cylinder stay within the tracks when in an offset position.
Short radius or short tail swing machines become attractive on tight sites, however some machines with a short tail swing will generally have a shorter reach or dig depth to compensate for stability making it important to have a good idea of how deep you may need to dig, or how often you may need to dig at maximum depth. Unless you have the right effective bucket reach, you may need to constantly reposition the excavator to dig a deep trench which may add extra time to the task. Reach is also critical when side loading a truck. Volvo has taken this into consideration when designing their reduced swing excavators, their compact excavators boast a heavy counterweight and sturdy undercarriage for increased stability making them the ideal machines for lifting as well as digging. Volvo compact excavators have also been built with an advanced hydraulic system that increases range, control and precision in your operations.
Most machines have standard features such as a swing boom, dozer blade, and options such as a hammer circuit. When adding attachments such as an auger, you need a hydraulic circuit that can do both these jobs efficiently. Some machines can power an auger and a hammer but lack the capability to switch hydraulic circuits to one-way, a mode needed to operate a hammer or rock grinder.
Volvo’s mechanical and hydraulic universal quick coupler’s allow attachments to be changed quickly and efficiently. The hydraulic quick coupler’s design allows it to be used for a broad range of attachments.
All Volvo excavators have auxiliary circuits with ball valves that enable convenient connection of attachments, helps prevent fluid spillage and increases the efficiency of the hydraulic circuit. This important feature contrasts with some inexpensive machines that use basic hydraulic plugs. Many machines have rubber hydraulic tubes instead of well-engineered steel tubes, however all Volvo excavators have fully protected steel hydraulic tubing.
An operator’s excavator
In order to maximise productivity, operator comfort is a major factor that needs to be considered when choosing a mini excavator. As the industry’s leading operator environment, the easily accessible Volvo cab boasts superb visibility, comfortable suspended seat, ergonomic controls, and conveniently-located cup and phone holders. The flat floor makes cleaning quick and easy, while noise and vibration insulation keep the operator fresh and focused for longer. Most machine functions and settings can be quickly accessed through keypad and monitor for maximum control of your machine.
Volvo’s state-of-the-art hydraulic system is perfectly matched to the Volvo engine delivering high performance, fast response times and smooth operation. The ergonomic, comfortable controls are easy to understand and make it simple to switch between operators. Responsive fingertip controls enhance ease of operation, reduce fatigue and improve fluency.
Go for quality
CJD Equipment’s relationship with Volvo extends more than 25 years. This strategic partnership provides businesses throughout Australia with access to Volvo’s ever-expanding line of construction equipment, with machines and features designed specifically to cater for the requirements of each particular industry segment.
Celebrating 46 years of business in 2020, CJD Equipment have a strong network of branches across Australia and have the ability to provide unrivalled support to our customers. For more information on Volvo compact excavators contact us today.