Volvo hails next-gen excavator as it unveils 50 tonne prototype

By Mike Hayes15 March 2023

Volvo CE has unveiled the EC500 crawler excavator – a 50 tonne prototype machine designed for heavy applications such as building and road construction, quarrying and utilities.

From Left: Stephen Roy, Martin Lundstedt and Melker Jernberg with the EC500. Photo: Volvo CE

The company said the new machine – which will be made available in regulated markets including Europe and North America – heralds its next generation of large machines, being faster, safer and more productive than predecessor models.

The EC500 – successor to the EC480E – boasts a completely new cab layout, with features including a high-definition co-pilot screen, keyless engine start, wired and wireless smart phone charging and a new work mode switch.

The technology on board the new excavator includes Volvo Smart View with Obstacle Detection. With a combination of enhanced cameras and radar detection, the system gives operators a 360-degree view, as well as delivering alerts when objects are detected, also identifying and classifying them as human.

Volvo says the addition of electric joysticks gives the operator greater control over the hydraulic system.

The excavator’s hydraulic pumps can be operated together as well as virtually disconnected, allowing the operator to control the boom without affecting track speed. This, says Volvo, increases controllability, shortens cycle times and improves fuel efficiency, which has the potential to deliver higher productivity and performance.

The EC500 excavator is fitted with Volvo Smart View with Obstacle Detection. Image: Volvo CE

Lower costs, greater uptime

The EC500 is designed to cope with extreme weather conditions, featuring greater cooling capacity than its predecessor model. Volvo says service intervals for the hydraulic oil and filter have also been extended, from 2,000 to 3,000 hours, increasing uptime and reducing costs.

Stephen Roy, president of Volvo CE North America, said, “We’re excited to share the first look at our next generation excavator. A pre-production model, there will be some differences to the appearance of the EC500 that will be available to our customers, but it gives an insight into the future, with enhanced safety, operability and productivity.”

Production of the EC500 is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2023.

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