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High praise for Europe’s first Volvo front-shovel excavator

Volvo front-shovel excavator

Volvo CE meet Slovakian dolomite quarry’s requirements with fully adapted Volvo EC480EL crawler excavator

EARLIER this year, in partnership with SNS, Volvo Construction Equipment supplied their first front-shovel excavator in Europe to Slovakian dolomite quarry operators Dolkam Šuja, meeting the customer’s preference this type of machine over wheel loaders and backhoes.

For more than 40 years, Dolkam Šuja had tested every combination of machines in search of the optimal equipment for their site conditions. Their conclusion – only a front shovel excavator would do.

‘The selection of equipment in quarries is influenced by the layout and geology but also regional preferences. Further east, front-loading shovel excavators are often preferred,’ explained Peter Lam, Volvo CE’s demolition and special application solutions specialist in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

‘The main benefit of the front shovel is the high breakout force delivered by the kinematics of the boom and arm, meaning it can operate with larger buckets and achieve greater productivity. It also has in advantages when working in confined spaces and there is less wear on parts such as tyres when loading blasted and abrasive materials.’

Keen to work with Volvo CE, Dolkam Šuja challenged the equipment manufacturer to deliver an excavator that met their requirements. The result was a Volvo EC480EL crawler model, adapted by Volvo’s South Korean certified special application solution partner, SNS.

The 47-tonne machine began life at Volvo CE’s South Korean plant in Changwon, before SNS added a bespoke arm, boom, tip bucket and additional counterweight. The excavator then returned to Changwon for testing before being shipped to the customer.

‘What is so great about this modification is that we were able to work closely with our partner to incorporate all original Volvo components, including cylinders, pins, bushings and the linkage system, into the design so that Volvo quality is built in,’ said Mr Lam.

Attila Annus, general manager of Ascendum Slovakia, the local Volvo dealer which facilitated the sale, said: ‘Our customer is very satisfied with the new machine and we believe we can continue to grow this application in our area.

‘The collaboration with the Volvo special application team was really appreciated during the complete process and gave us the possibility to provide the unique solution the customer strongly required.’

Since the handover in July, the machine has performed so well that representatives from Ascendum Czech Republic have brought customers to the Dolkam Šuja site to witness the EC480EL front shovel in action and offer them this solution.

Volvo CE sold their first front-shovel excavator globally, a modified EC700CL, in Indonesia in 2014 for slag handling. The company has also achieved some success with front-shovel excavators in quarrying, mining and hot slag handling applications in India.

SNS, who gained their CE marking especially to be able to supply the EC480EL front shovel to Dolkam Šuja in Slovakia, say this has now opened up many more opportunities for Volvo dealers in Europe to offer similar front-shovel models.

‘At Volvo CE, we are flexible – our customers are not limited to the specific products in our portfolio. We always enjoy the challenge of listening to their needs and, with the help of strong collaborative partners, tailor-making a solution just for them,’ concluded Mr Lam.

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