Bright lights, music and fireworks set the stage as Volvo introduced 13 new products in mid-January at the Rancho Bernardo Inn, San Diego, Calif. Four wheel loaders, an excavator, two compact wheel loaders, five skid-steer loaders, and the BL70 backhoe-loader made their appearance by performing perfectly choreographed routines to the beat of the music. But if Volvo has its way, these machines will be off the stage and into the dirt of North American jobsites in no time.
We've already introduced you to the new BL70, and will soon present details on the new wheel loaders and excavator. For now, though, the seven new compact machines get the spotlight.
The new Volvo skid-steer-loader range will initially include five models-the MC60, MC70, MC80, MC90 and MC110. Models MC60 and MC70 are due to hit the streets in April 2003, with the latter models soon to follow. These new models have a one-piece mainframe and heavy-duty, endless drive chains. Additional features include excellent height-to-hinge-pin clearance for ease of loading, high ground clearance, and dual bucket cylinders for high breakout force.
The machines are powered by four-cylinder engines with ratings from 49.5 to 86 horsepower. Rated operating capacity ranges from 1,350 to 2,450 pounds. All but Model MC60 can be equipped with high-flow hydraulics to power attachments such as cold planers, augers and trenchers. Other attachments include buckets, sweepers, power rakes, grapple buckets, pallet forks, pickup brooms and hydraulic hammers. The skid-steers have a universal quick-attach system that handles most tools, and their auxiliary hydraulic systems feature flat-faced hydraulic couplers for easy connection and a tight seal.
ROPS/FOPS cabs have a wide opening and have a non-slip step on the low-mounted cross tube; grab handles on the cab; and a flat, lockable center foot plate for easy entry and exit. Inside you'll find an adjustable, contoured seat with a retractable seat belt and operator restraint bar that deactivates hydraulic controls and sets the mechanical parking lock when raised.
Large, ergonomic foot pedals are angled for comfort and easy operation. Loaders can also be equipped with optional controls for hands-only operation. In addition to the fuel gauge and hour meter, there are visual and audible warnings for high engine-water temperature, low engine-oil pressure, and high hydraulic-oil temperature. Other visual warnings include alternator charging system, air-filter restriction indicator, hydraulic-filter bypass, and engine-preheat. Skid-steers also feature easy service access. The rear door swings open wide and the top engine cover flips up to provide access to all key service points. For major service, the cab can be tilted forward by simply removing two bolts. Spring assist shocks make it easy to raise the cab, and a mechanical latch safely locks the cab in the open position.
The new L20B and L25B compact wheel loaders feature parallel loader linkage and have lift capacities of 1.8 and 2 tons, respectively, and a dump height of 8 feet 1 inch. Operating weights range from 9,590 to 11,042 pounds. The loaders can be fitted with more than 60 attachments, Volvo says. Each model is equipped with a hydraulic attachment bracket for quick switches¡ªwithin seconds and without the operator having to leave the cab.
For entry into areas with low clearances, Volvo says the cabs are easily removable. The machines feature overall widths of 5 feet 4 inches for the L20B and 5 feet 8 inches for the L25B.
Each loader comes equipped with a Volvo in-line four-cylinder, four-stroke direct-injection diesel engine with horsepower ratings of 55 and 62. The engines are transversely mounted for easy access. Both machines have dual-circuit hydraulic systems with separate pumps for working and steering, ensuring total independence of movements and extraordinary smoothness of working cycles, Volvo says.
Service is made easy with all main components and service checkpoints located under the large, foldaway engine hood. Lubrication points on the articulating/oscillating joint are easily accessible, as are all daily service checkpoints.
The loaders provide good stability thanks to the rear wrap-around counterweight. Cabs are designed to ROPS/ FOPS safety standards, and the rounded rear end of the machines and large windows surrounding the cabs provide excellent visibility.
Prices for the skid-steers are not yet available; compact wheel loaders will retail for about $48,000 and $55,000, respectively.
|Basic Skid-Steer Specifications|
|Model||Engine HP||Operating Cap. (lb.)||Operating Weight (lb.)||Height to Hinge Pin (in.)|
|Volvo L20B||Volvo L25B|
|Engine/Power||55 hp||62 hp|
|Operating Weight||9,590-9,920 lb.||10,580-11,042 lb.|
|Bucket Capacities||0.79-1.24 cu.yd.||1.0-1.6 cu.yd.|
|Tipping Load/Full Turn||6,173 lb.||7,496 lb.|
|Breakout Force||6,969 lb.ft.||8,318 lb.ft.|