4 Reasons Road Contractors Should Consider a Wheeled Excavator

If you are involved in any phase of road construction, then an excavator is a probably a staple of your fleet. In this competitive segment, it is more critical than ever to have equipment that will adapt as situations change. Wheeled excavators, common in Europe but relatively new to North America, are taking hold here, particularly with municipalities and county road departments. But I think any contractor working or bidding on road jobs should consider a wheeled excavator. Here are four reasons why:

  1. Mobility. Being able to drive your excavator to various segments on a road job can be a huge time and money saver. First, you can reduce your reliance on a lowboy, which eliminates extra equipment, labor and time spent loading and unloading a machine. An additional benefit is that operators do not need a commercial driver’s license (CDL) — as they do with some trucks used for hauling and with truck-mounted excavators — allowing the same person who operates the excavator drive it. When it comes to Volvo wheeled excavators, most can hit up to 22 mph on the road and can tow a trailer with attachments or pipe, another way to reduce transport costs.
  2. Maneuverability. A short swing wheeled excavator can work in one lane of traffic, while a comparable conventional swing machine may require closing two lanes. Outriggers and the choice of a medium- or heavy-duty undercarriage give stability on par with tracked excavators, so you are not sacrificing reach or lifting and digging performance.  The EWR150E and EWR170E are two short swing excavators from Volvo that are great options for roadwork — both able to work within a single lane or on a shoulder, in many cases. At 67.7 inches, the EWR150 has the shortest radius of any Tier 4 Final wheeled excavator on the market.
  3. Flexible configuration. A wheeled excavator, unlike a truck-mounted excavator, can be outfitted with a range of arm and attachment options to meet the requirements of the job. The versatility of the two-piece boom allows operators to easily transition from placing a jersey barrier to digging a trench to laying a culvert and cleaning up the worksite with the front blade. The do-all capabilities allow you to handle multiple tasks on a road job without bringing in additional equipment. And the possibilities are limitless with attachments. For instance, watch how an Alabama county uses an EW180E wheeled excavator to cut trees and clear brush along miles of roadway without damaging the asphalt.
  4. Lower price, better performance than truck-mounted excavators. Volvo wheeled excavators typically have a lower purchase price than truck-mounted excavators. While the truck-mounted excavator can offer highway speeds, wheeled excavators bring much more to the table when it comes to doing the job. Volvo wheeled excavators provide greater lifting capacity and breakout force than comparably sized truck-mounted excavators, plus improved visibility and the ability to rotate 360 degrees. Visibility is critical for maintaining safety in a busy work environment with nearby traffic and pedestrians. Rearview and sideview cameras come standard on Volvo wheeled excavators. Plus, you can choose to add Volvo Smart View, which gives the operator a bird’s-eye view of the machine in real time.
  1. Today we have more wheeled excavator size choices and attachment options available than ever before to North American customers. For more information, take a look at our Volvo range of wheeled excavators.

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