First machine to enter the arena was a classic Volvo BM AB LM641 wheeled loader, which was manufactured in Eskilstuna, the spiritual home of Volvo construction equipment. These four wheel drive machines were built from 1970-1978 and were powered by a 59kw (80hp) Volvo BM D42 engine. The demonstration operator really got into the spirit of the event and was even sporting a stereotypical French beret in the cab!
Next to enter the fray was the largest machine on the demo plot, the 50 ton class EC480D, which tracked towards the waiting press pack, before scribing a 360 degree mark on the ground in preparation for the next part of the show.
Hurtling down the earth embankment and into the main arena next was the A35F articulated hauler, where it showed off its manoeuvrability whilst circling the EC480D. The A35F is powered by Volvo’s D13H engine which has a gross power output of 350kw (469hp). It has a load capacity of 33,500kg to 39,000kg, it can attain a top speed of 57.0 km/h and features a whole host of new innovative design features that help to keep Volvo at the forefront of ADT design and production.
The EC480D and the A35F then performed a spectacular and tricky 360 degree manoeuvre where the operator in the D Series excavator placed his bucket in the butt of the truck and pulled the skip over so it was travelling on two rear wheels, clearly displaying the machines articulation properties and traction control in operation.
Wheeled loaders were busy on the demo plot with the all new L250G being put through its paces. The second largest model in the Volvo wheeled loader range is powered by Volvo’s D13H-E (Tier 4i) or D13H-F (stage IIIB) engine, which gives the machine a gross power output of 291kw (396hp). This machine has an operating weight of 33.4 – 35.4 tonnes, depending on specification, and has a bucket capacity ranging from 5.1 – 10.2 m3.
As a finale to their part of the display, the four wheeled loaders, including the largest on display the L250G, and the smallest model, the L25F, accompanied by a supporting Volvo BL71B backhoe loader model, performed a bucket stack up routine in front of the crowd.
With the end of the display approaching all the machines converged on the demo plot and the new PL3005D pipe layer raised a sail to celebrate the fact that the Volvo Ocean Race was taking place in Lorient, in what was the penultimate stage of the Volvo sponsored global race event.
With the demo over it was time for the assembled International press members to get hands on with the machines, which is always a favourite time for many of them. I think it’s really fantastic that so many of the journalists get a chance to try out the machines for themselves, so they can experience what it’s like to operate a machine in relatively realistic situations. It must make a pleasant change to get out of the office and try something different like this. For me personally of course, the cabs of machines are my daily office, but I still love the chance to get hands on with the latest kit at these events! Here we see one of the journalists trying out one of the smallest machines on the day, the EC20C mini excavator.
Finally a shot of one of the most enthusiastic members of the press I met during our trip to France, who just seemed to be having the time of her life at the controls of this Volvo EW160D wheeled excavator.
Alexandra Wynne is news editor at the New Civil Engineer, and doesn’t often get the chance to get behind the controls on the kit out in the field. During an interesting chat with Alex, she said she was quite envious of those of us who get to spend our days in the seat in the real world of site work. Strange that I often think I would like to swap the incredibly long days and associated travelling to sites, for a nice 9-5 office job. However I think my role’s as a day to day operator and industry blogger are starting to pan out as the perfect combination!
I would like to thank everyone involved in the Volvo Construction Equipment, Lorient event, for making it a superb experience all round, and I look forward to covering more in the future.