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Volvo's BL71B was the obvious choice for Mark Richards Plant Hire

Digger Blogger | 19:51, Tue June 26 2012

Friend of the Digger Blog and a fellow contractor here in the South West, Mark Richards, has recently added a Volvo BL71B backhoe loader to his expanding fleet of equipment which includes a Volvo ECR48C compact excavator.

“I’ve been very pleased with the reliability and performance of the ECR48C which I’ve run for the last three years,” says Mark. “I needed to replace my existing backhoe loader because of the poor backup I was receiving so on the strength of my experiences with the mini and the deal on the table from Volvo I decided to try their BL71B.” And so far he is extremely pleased with the performance, smoothness of controls and the quality of build. “It’s comfortable to operate and to drive on the roads; it’s got plenty of pushing power and the tear-out force of the back-acter is quite awesome,” he continued.

Sporting the spacious Volvo Care-Cab, the BL71B sold to Mark Richards has an operating weight of 9.8 tonnes and is powered by a Volvo 5 litre Stage III low emission engine developing 94 nett h.p. The torque converter on the machine is one of the largest in the industry and has excellent peak torque and torque rise and this couple to the powershift transmission maintains progressive traction - even on steep gradients. A differential lock on the rear axle is engaged via a foot switch on the side of the brake pedal and provides maximum rear wheel grip over slippery surfaces.

Both the loader and excavator benefit from flow sharing hydraulics that enable multi-functioning for efficient and smooth operation thanks to load sensing hydraulics that constantly adapt to the needs of the job in hand. With oil delivery that matches the required force, there is always the speed and power required for all hydraulic functions.

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In applications such as load and carry, where speed is important, the system efficiently delivers the required flow. Hammer hydraulics are fitted as standard which will benefit Mark on certain applications where breaking up slabs and foundations is necessary.

As reported here on the Digger Blog earlier this month, Mark Richards latest addition was also seen on display at the Royal Cornwall Show, and was attracting a lot of attention from the regions keen plant men.


Mark Richards Plant Hire Ltd offers a complete contracting service specialising in general groundworks and hard landscaping projects in south Cornwall from its base at Sticker in St Austell. This year the company celebrates eight years in business.


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