Volvo introduces Tier 4 Interim Pipelayer

By Helen Wright02 July 2012

Powered by a 151 kW Volvo D8H engine, the 35 tonne PL3005D has a 50 tonne lifting capacity.

Powered by a 151 kW Volvo D8H engine, the 35 tonne PL3005D has a 50 tonne lifting capacity.

Volvo Construction Equipment has unveiled a new pipelayer, the PL3005D, which complies with US tier 4 Interim emissions legislation and can also swap booms to convert to standard excavator.

Powered by a 151 kW Volvo D8H engine, the 35 tonne tracked machine has a 50 tonne lifting capacity. Its superstructure can swing 360o, allowing it to lift pipes and place them anywhere around the machine - a significant departure from traditional side boom pipelayer designs.

A heavy-duty mechanical slew lock can fix the superstructure at any angle in relation to the undercarriage, protecting the transmission and helping secure the load at a fixed position. The PL3005D can operate on slopes of up to 30o and in rugged conditions. Its standard 600 mm tracks can also be upgraded to wider 800 mm tracks for added stability and lower ground pressure.

The machine boasts a load management system (LMS) which uses inputs from hook, boom and base machine-mounted sensors to allows the operator to see what weight can be safely lifted in any position relative to a slope. There are also visible and audible warning signals that notify when the safe load limit is reached, including green/yellow/red light bars on both sides of the boom.

Other on-board technology includes Volvo's CareTrack telematics system, which comes as standard. This provides machine data such as location, fuel consumption and service reminders, and makes this information available securely to any remote online connection.

Volvo's Attachment Management System is also included as standard. This stores up to 18 pre-sets for the use of a variety of attachments, allowing operators to adjust hydraulic flow as standard, and make adjustments to hydraulic pressure as an option.

The hydraulics on the PL3005D are also optimised for both pipelayer and excavator operations, and a digging kit is available to allow booms to be swapped. Volvo CE said the PL3005D shared 80% common parts with its sibling excavator, a fact which also makes servicing and parts replacement more simple.

Range of Tier 4i launches


Speaking at the launch of the PL3005D, Volvo CE president for the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) sales region Tomas Kuta said the machine was part of the manufacturer's comprehensive range of Tier 4 Interim launches. The company introduced over 50 new models in 2011, and plans to unveil more than 60 new machines this year.

"The PL3005D represents a pioneering approach to pipe laying," Mr Kuta said. "The availability of the digging kit makes this a truly flexible machine, while the 360o swing allows optimum productivity."

This year has also seen Volvo CE increase its investments in the EMEA region. Mr Kuta highlighted the fact that the manufacturer has spent over SEK 1 billion (US$ 144 million) increasing the capacity of its component factory in Eskilstuna, Sweden, while over SEK 100 million (US$ 14.4 million) has also been channeled into increasing the company's articulated dump truck and wheeled loader production capacity.

In addition, Volvo CE is also constructing a new SEK 350 million (US$ 52 million) excavator factory in Kaluga, Russia. Mr Kuta also emphasised Volvo CE's investments in its supply chain and dealer network.

"In Russia alone, we plan to invest up to SEK 700 million (US$ 101 million) by 2015 to expand our dealer network from over 50 locations today to around 100," he said.

Volvo CE also plans to invest SEK 100 million (US$ 14.4 million) in improving its attachment supply chain.

Regional hubs


Mr Kuta explained that the project started in Europe where a regional hub was set up in Gent, Belgium, to serve Europe, Russia, Turkey and Africa.

"France is the pilot dealer before the programme rolls-out to North and West Europe and then South and Central. A second hub is also planned for in China, and further down the line we plan hubs to serve North and South America, and a fifth and final hub in South Korea. All hubs are planned to be operational by the end of 2013."

"With increasing competition from around the world, the differentiator will be distribution," Mr Kuta said. "Together with the rapid development of our range, we aim to offer customers much more comprehensive support ­ - there need to be tailor-made solutions for each customer in each country."

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