Volvo has unveiled three wheeled excavator models, in an effort to help North American contractors “rethink” the way their build their heavy equipment fleets.

The new Volvo models include the short swing EWR150E and EWR170E, and the conventional swing EW220E.

“Wheeled excavators are underutilized in North America, and contractors are missing out on the benefits they bring, especially in applications like road building and in urban utility work,” said Matt McLean, product manager for wheeled excavators at Volvo Construction Equipment. “They can travel on their own up to 35 km/h from site to site, even towing a trailer, rather than being loaded on a lowboy.”

McLean added wheeled excavators have a lighter footprint and don’t damage hard surfaces.

“That equates to less clean-up and lower labour costs,” he said. “We really see these wheeled machines as an opportunity for contractors to rethink the way they’re building their fleets.”

The EWR150E and EWR170E offer short swing radiuses for their class, making them ideal for narrow and confined spaces, such as road jobs that require working within a single lane of traffic. At 172 cm, the EWR150E wheeled excavator has the shortest tail swing radius of all Tier 4 Final excavators on the market. The larger EWR170E is not far behind with a 178-cm tail swing radius.

For all three new excavators, Volvo offers numerous purpose-built attachments. For easy and efficient changes, the Attachment Management System stores flow and pressure settings for up to 20 different attachments. As well, customers may opt for the factory-fitted Steelwrist tiltrotator, which allows for 360-degree rotation of the attachment, as well as 45-degree tilt from the left or right sides. This reduces the amount of repositioning time on the job and allows for precise digging around utilities. With a two-finger claw on back, the Steelwrist is also ideal for placing pipe.

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Powered by Volvo Tier 4 Final engines, the wheeled excavators offer high torque at low engine rpm. Other fuel efficiency features include automatic idling and automatic engine shutdown, which engage after a pre-set amount of time. These also help to reduce machine wear. Additionally, the proprietary eco mode from Volvo reduces fuel consumption.

To boost stability when travelling at high speeds over rough terrain, the all three wheeled excavators may be equipped with an optional Boom Suspension System (BSS). Complete with a hydraulic circuit and gas pressure dampers, the BSS helps absorb shocks that can unsettle the bucket load.

The EWR150E is available in two undercarriage types, tailoring the weight and drawbar pull of the machine to any application. To minimize weight, a welded undercarriage with a radial blade is available. For heavy-duty work, the machine can be configured with an EW160 class undercarriage, featuring bolted-on outriggers and a parallel blade. The EWR170E and EW220E have bolted undercarriages.

The wheeled excavator models feature the latest Volvo cab, designed with generous legroom and all-around visibility thanks to large windows and standard rear and side view cameras. The redesigned upper frame offers a clear view to the right. The machines can also be equipped with the optional Volvo Smart View — made up of three cameras that create a bird’s-eye view of the machine. This can be integrated into the machine’s display or as a stand-alone screen.

Volvo wheeled excavators have been upgraded with proportional-controlled joysticks now standard, allowing for more precise adjustments with attachments. Accompanying that change, an advanced, L8 joystick is being released to provide 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 multifunction ability of the L8 joystick enables it to optionally control outriggers, blades, hydraulic cab risers and Steelwrist attachments.

On the entire E-Series wheeled excavator range, greasing points have been grouped together and filters placed behind wide-opening engine doors, all accessible from ground level. With improved access to areas such as the radiators and mesh, maintenance is made easy, helping operators stay on track, even when they are on wheels.