Awesome Excavator Attachments & Modifications – Our Top 5

As the director of attachments at Volvo, it never ceases to amaze me how many people put Volvo excavators to work using unique attachments and modifications. In fact, many of you have actually captured and shared great videos of the interesting and unique ways you use your Volvo excavators. Check out our Top 5: 


#5: Steelwrist Tiltrotator with RockWheel Cutter D’Amato Construction

D’Amato Construction is resurfacing a dam that’s 450 ft. long with 100 ft. of main spillway. The high reach boom on this excavator they’re using has a unique Volvo design that allows it to be changed out to a digging boom easily.

Another key to success was putting a Steelwrist tiltrotator with a RockWheel hydraulic rotary cutter at the business end of the boom.

From this article in Construction Equipment Guide, Thomas D’Amato, vice president, adds, “The critical piece of this equation was the Steelwrist tiltrotator which allows the attachment at the end of the stick to have 360-degrees of rotation and up to 45-degrees of tilt. This means if we can get that attachment to the face of the dam from virtually any angle, we can have the grinder meet the wall perfectly square and accomplish the task at hand more quickly and without the danger and cost of putting twenty people on the face of the dam.”


#4: SAS Processor

The SAS EXTREME™ Auto Processor enables precision auto dismantling of ELV (end of life vehicles) to allow auto recyclers to capture high value materials. The attachment is engineered specifically for medium sized excavators (16 to 30 ton). Here, you can see it easily picking apart a scrap vehicle, piece by piece.


#3: Steelwrist Tiltrotator with Slashbuster Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community

This Volvo EW180E wheeled excavator operator says his machine and attachments are better than a backhoe because the entire cab swings 360 degrees and the Steelwrist Tiltrotator allows him to dig sideways and in reverse, essentially transforming it into a mining tractor.

“The Steelwrist allows him to work in any angle without repositioning the machine. He can work from one side of the wide irrigation canals without having to travel to the other side. It suits their needs, and it’s very versatile,” says Mike Douglas with Arnold Machinery (their Volvo dealer).

The second critical attachment on his machine is a Slashbuster brush cutter. With an 18” diameter and 52” wide cutting swath, it shreds and mulches in-place nuisance trees and brush along canal banks.

This is how you turn clean-up days into clean-up hours.


#2: Pontoon Undercarriage – Maryland Environmental Service (MES)

When it comes to the construction work on Poplar Island, the elevation of the wetlands is a challenge. “The Bay and most of the completed cells are only about a 3-4 feet deep, so a lot of the channels that we cut are below sea level,” says Brad Fruh, operations manager at MES. “Due to constant water infiltration, a lot of the areas we’re working on remain wet, no matter how much we trench or pump.”

MES needed machinery that could operate in the cell without sinking into the soft earth. That’s where the specially modified Volvo EC300E amphibious excavator from Volvo came into play.

“The pads are hollow inside and have wide and thick tracks to dissipate the down pressure, allowing the machines to effectively float on the soft terrain,” says John Mirabile, equipment fleet manager at MES.

MES demonstrates a smart modification to get challenging work done.


#1: Roadside Mower – Taylor County, Georgia, Road and Bridge Department (RBD)

One of the duties of the RBD is mowing, which includes grass and graduates to bushes, thickets, steep embankments and trees. To keep roadways clear and maintain adequate right-of-ways and safe shoulders, the RBD needed a unique tool for the job. Their Volvo ECR88 excavator is equipped with a specialized mower attachment designed by Atlanta-based American Hydraulics that offers a full range of motion from more than a dozen feet below ground level, to steep hillside angles, to branch trimming more than 20 ft. in the air.

The articulation and reach provided by the excavator boom and arm can’t be replicated by a standard tractor-mount mower. And in the winter, the excavator is re-commissioned for snow removal and trenching work. That’s awesome versatility.

Do you have video of an interesting attachment or modification on your Volvo excavator? Are you using a common attachment in a unique way? If so, share your photos or videos with us and tag us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

By Mark Mohn

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