Compact Equipment

JUN 2018

Compact Equipment is a magazine dedicated to equipment owners and operators of small, nimble, tool-carrying construction, landscape and ag equipment — such as skid steers, mini excavators, compact tractors, generators compressors and beyond.

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"The EW60E replaces the EW55B, which actually went out of production I believe around 2009," he said. "So, we were out of this market for a little while. When we came back, we had to make it better, and one of the things they did was combining the crawler and the wheeled technologies. Because you have two different engineering teams, one in Germany, one in Ko- rea. They were forced to work together, so this is the first series where the wheeled and the crawler internally look almost the same. For example, if you go into the cab of one, and I put you in one of the crawlers, even the full-size crawlers over there [he pointed to a mud field full of diggers], you should be able to find your way around because so many of the controls and the layouts are going to be identical to what you're seeing here." I jumped up into the cab. Besides the big steering wheel, the EW60E definitely feels and operates like other Volvo excavators, with maybe a little more comfort and control capabilities. The EW60E features the latest generation Volvo cab which claims 10 percent more space than prior compact versions, including more room behind the seat. I threw my cell in the phone tray, inspected two power sockets, plopped my bottled water in the cup holder and kicked around the three other large storage areas. I should have brought lunch. I eyed the large 7-in. color LCD display and a series of keypad groups on my right-hand side, which create a cluster of easily accessible navigational tools. I could create hot keys on the joy- sticks to swap boom functions, control hydraulic flow, lock the axles (yep, there's axles), engage travel, work the dozer blade or initiate attachment usage. I could even drive the unit with the joysticks, instead of the big steering wheel in front of me. "And what happens if you're in a panic and you use the steer- ing wheel? The wheel will override the joysticks," said McLean, noting another cool feature: "And here's your axle lock button. There's oscillation on this unit because it's a wheeled off-road machine. So, if you want to stabilize it, you'll push that and that's when it will lock your axles, so that if you picked up a heavy load, it's not going to dip down." The Experience The experience of digging and/or picking and placing with a wheeled excavator is somewhat different than a tracked version. Digging, lifting or dumping while extended from the side does have a different feel. "There is going to be a little bit of a trade-off on that sensation you have while dig- ging," McLean admitted. Also, wheeled units don't have the traction of an undercarriage and set of tracks. As I dug through the impressively dense spring sludge, the bucket and boom dragged the wheels forward. Using the dozer blade to counterbalance that lack of traction was essential. But those same wheels also allowed me to road at over 18 mph, and while the EW60E only sits about a foot higher than its tracked counterpart, it definitely felt like a higher, bigger and better view from the cab. "For an operator who is used to tracks, there are obviously the advantages of roading," explained McLean. "It may also depend on what you are operating on. Road work is ideal. The size, despite the fact that the [EW60E] isn't a short-swing machine, it's not sticking out that far. So, if you're in tight spaces, working on asphalt or concrete, then tires are obvi- ously a great idea." VOLVO Volvo's Matt McLean explaining the EW60E. 18 Compact Equipment JUNE 2018

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