New crane-like pipe layers

18 March 2008

A new range of crane-like pipe layers is available from Volvo Construction Equipment. The five models have lifting capacities between 20 and 150 tonnes and boom lengths from 7.3 to 11.3 m.

The design is very different from traditional pipe layers in that it has a slewing undercarriage from a tracked excavator. It is a technical leap from the traditional tracked dozers with side booms, which have changed little since their introduction in the 1930s, according to Volvo CE.

All models have a Load Management System (LMS) to ensure safe lifting conditions and help prevent tip-overs at all points in the load chart.

“With its excavator configuration, the machines offer a 360 degree swing with full lifting performance and functionality at all radius positions; a solution unattainable with the traditional tractors. Also, the tractors' side booms are limited to a fixed position, lifting off one side only, with their boom mountings on the outside of the track roller frames, limiting their stability,”said a Volvo spokesperson.

The Volvo pipe layers, targeted at the onshore oil and gas industry, also have a wider track and lower centre of gravity, along with a lifting platform where the boom is mounted inboard of the track frame and closer to the machine's centreline. Volvo added that the combination offers superior stability to work on steep slopes with up to 29% greater lifting capacities.

The largest model, the PL7015, with its 150 metric tonne capacity, is 41% greater than the largest track-type tractor side boom type pipe layer, said the spokesperson, adding, “When not being used for pipe laying, Volvo pipe layers can be quickly converted into a high production excavator or used as a crane in a variety of applications where their heavy lift capability can be brought into play.”

In the new range the model number designates the base model and lifting capacity of the pipe layer. The PL2102, for example, is based on the 21 tonne EC210 excavator, and has a 20 tonne lift capacity.

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