Volvo Cleans Up in the 1.6 to 2.2 Ton Compact Excavator Class

Wed April 28, 2010 - National Edition

The all-new EC15C, EC17C, EC18C and EC20C compact excavators from Volvo Construction Equipment set new standards of quality, technological innovation and value in the 1.6 to 2.2 ton (1.5 to 2 t) class. Available in European, North American and International markets, the new models are powered by a 16.8 hp (12.3 kW) diesel engine. They include hydraulic hoses routed in the boom as well as rear protection.

The new models replace the EC15B in XR, XT and XTV variants and the EC20B in XT and XTV variants.

The entry level excavator in the new range is the EC15C. With a maximum operating weight of 3,395 lb. (1,540 kg), this open canopy model can be transported by a light vehicle. Built to access the smallest of job sites, it has a maximum digging depth of between 6.9 to 7.6 ft. (2.1 to 2.3 m) and a bucket breakout force of 1,290 daN.

The 3,637 lb. (1,650kg) EC17C is fitted with the same fixed displacement 8 gal. (31 L)/min hydraulic gear pump as the EC15C but has a higher specification cab. The EC18C shares the same dimensions as the EC17C but is fitted with a 11.6 gal. (44 L)/min variable displacement hydraulic pump for increased performance and versatility. Able to operate a wider range of attachments, the EC18C has been purpose developed to meet the demands of rental customers, owner operators and specialist contractors.

The range topping EC20C is offered in both canopy and cab versions with respective operating weights of 4,078 and 4,277 lb. (1,850 and 1,940kg). Like the EC18C, it can be specified with a variable width undercarriage. This allows the compact operating width of 39 in. (994 mm) to be increased to a wide and stable 52.6 in. (1,336 mm).

Cab and Controls

Both cab and canopy excavators meet or exceed TOPS, ROPS and OPG1 standards of protection. Extensive cab glazing with narrow cab pillars and a compact rear design enhance all-round visibility.

The operator can use an electro-proportional roller on the joystick to slew and offset movements at the same time. This enables these new C-Series excavators to deliver faster and more precise performance, according to the manufacturer.

The attachment circuit and offset function ft. controls have now moved to a button on the right joystick — providing operators with more leg and ft. room. A new instrument panel provides comprehensive information on all key operating functions.

All models have a cast steel boom end and a cast iron arm end. Key hydraulic hoses are routed through the boom for optimum protection, with the rear counterweight acting as protection for the rear of the machine.

Ease of operation is another design feature. As an example, the travel speed will automatically shift from high to low according to load. This ensures optimum productivity and traction is retained when operating over steep terrain or in difficult conditions. It also ensures productivity can be maintained when conducting levelling work or backfilling.

A wide range of Volvo CE approved accessories also are available.

Other key Volvo EC15C/17C/18C/20C features include:

  • Performance: EC15C and EC17C are fitted with a single high efficiency pump for all hydraulics. The variable displacement pump automatically adjusts oil flow to meet demand and a rounded profile dozer blade offers extended reach for optimum grading performance.
  • Protection and economy: EC15C, EC17C and EC18C boom cylinder is positioned above the boom for added protection. Flat cab windows can be replaced quickly and more economically than curved glass, according to the manufacturer.
  • Operating efficiency: EC18C and EC20C feature a load-sensing hydraulic system for fast cycle times, even when carrying out multiple functions. All models have a simplified hydraulic level check with an in-built diagnostic system. Three lift/securing points in-built for easy lift and transport.
  • Operator comfort: There are full size hydraulic travel pedals for comfort and operating precision. A digital hour meter shows total engine running hours that can be viewed from outside the cab without starting the engine and sliding side and upper windows can be opened for ventilation or allow communication with third parties. Purpose designed anti-vibration cab mounts are included.
  • Safe operation: High performance halogen work lights (canopy version: 1; cab version: 2) and a self-adjusting inertia seat belt are included.
  • Serviceability: A single-piece engine hood provides unobstructed service access and an instrument panel provides at-a-glance monitoring of all key functions. The cab floor panel lifts for access to hydraulics and main control valve.