The 8 ton midi excavator market continues to be healthy, as many sites are becoming tighter and more congested to work on and add to that the fact, that it really is amazing just how much work you can turn out in a day with this size of machine. The fact that you have the option of boom offset and the dozer blade for light backfilling and stability makes these machines the ideal choice for site work.
It’s no wonder then that so many of the major manufacturers are now investing in the development of this size class and introducing new models, including this latest offering from Swiss company Ammann.
The Vio80 is the replacement model for the outgoing Vio75, and a lot of attention to detail has gone into this new model. The machine is incredibly compact for a machine of its size. The machine is a genuine zero tail swing model with no overhang at all, which in turn gives the operator peace of mind to concentrate on the work in front of him and not have to worry about any counterweight damage.
Access to the Tier 3 compliant engine is facilitated by the addition of wide opening panels, which means all daily checks can easily be performed at ground level. A refuelling pump is now fitted as standard, which makes refuelling a whole lot easier at the end of a hard working day.
Sadly on this occasion I could not put the machine to work in anger, but I was invited to take to the controls for some simulated action. First thing that struck me as I climbed aboard was just how much more space there was in this cab, something that is often compromised on zero tail swing models. Ammann state that cab volume is up by 40% and the cab is 170mm wider than previous models, the cab door entrance is now 100mm wider and foot space is up 30%.
Once ensconced in the seat I was very impressed with the visibility, the 2 piece front windscreen is handy as the bottom section slides up into the main screen which can then be stored in the traditional way above the operators head, this of course is great when working down trenches and gives the operator a clear view to the job in hand without any glare, which is often a problem on sunny days.
And talking of sunny days, I noticed that the operator is well catered for with the addition of full air conditioning which is always a bonus in my book when working long shifts in hot weather.
Fuel consumption is enhanced by the fitment of an auto decelerator system, which is a standard fitting on many machines these days. The engine returns to idle if the operating levers are left in neutral for more than 4 seconds and then returns to its former operating speed once the levers are used again.
The machine is also fitted with an Eco Mode button, which cuts down the engine revolutions by a further 20% automatically for improved fuel saving and lower noise emissions.
With improvements across the board, including higher digging force, faster work cycles and improved slew force compared to the outgoing Vio75, I can see this machine proving to be very popular with hire fleets and owner operators alike. This particular machine is heading for the Selwood fleet, who are massive Ammann equipment users.
The only thing I would like to see on this machine is a longer dipper arm, which would make life a lot easier when performing grading duties.
The Digger blog would like to thank all the team at Ammann Equipment Ltd for giving us the opportunity to see this machine in the flesh.