Volvo Unleashes Biggest Redesign of Midsize & Large Excavators in 20 Years

Volvo Unleashes Biggest Redesign of Midsize & Large Excavators in 20 Years

Volvo is calling its new series of excavators the most significant update to its midsize and large models in two decades.

The company rolled out six new models for the North American market, with “more models coming in the next several months.”

The new lineup starts with the short-tailswing ECR145 and extends up to the 116,000-pound EC500. The four models in between – EC210, EC230, EC370 and EC400 – range from 45,000 to 91,000 pounds. A hallmark of the models is a new sleek exterior design.

The excavators also get updates in all areas to boost fuel efficiency by 15% over their predecessors while at the same time raising cycle times by 10%, Volvo says. The company added lots of operation and safety features and technology, as well.

"All together, these updates will substantially impact their productivity, uptime, employee satisfaction and, ultimately, their success," says Scott Young, head of Region North America.

Here we take a look at the new features on the excavators, as well as give a quick rundown on each of the new models’ specs.

What’s In The Cab?

Volvo says it focused on comfort and ease of use for operators, with more space, intuitive controls and technology to boost efficiency.

Operators will find a new seat design and increased ventilation. A new footrest is designed to provide more support when working on slopes.

A cooler/heater compartment has been provided for food and drinks, and storage areas for other items. Additional lights have been added to the cab, boom and arm.

Other Features Include:

  • Keyless engine start with the ability to store multiple operator preference settings.
  • Larger cab-side mirror with heater.
  • Wireless phone charger.
  • Additional sunscreens.
  • Additional safety railings and relocated footsteps.
  • New DEF sight gauges and splash guard.

Technology on the new excavators includes Volvo Active Control, which enables operators to set the grade and push a button to automate boom and bucket movements. This makes “the digging process more efficient and more accurate, with less effort,” the company says.

The addition of VolvoSmart View with Obstacle Detection gives operators a 360-degree view of the excavator’s surroundings and uses a new radar system to detect safety hazards. In alerting the operator, it distinguishes between objects and people.

The excavators get the newest version of the Co-Pilot in-cab tablet, which is larger and has a higher resolution than previous generations.

Co-Pilot controls Dig Assist, Volvo’s GPS machine-control technology. Dig Assist can be used for 2D grading for leveling, trenching and grading slopes, as well as 3D design for creating full site profiles, Volvo says.

Dig Assist also provides on-board weighing for counting bucketfuls unloaded and tonnage moved, as well as setting limits per truck type. It even has Volvo’s In-Field Design, which uses GNSS and RTK navigation for improved accuracy, down to the centimeter, for such tasks as trenching and foundations. The company says it takes only minutes to take paper drawings and convert them to a digital excavation model that the excavator will replicate.

Less Fuel, More Productivity?

When it comes to increasing fuel efficiency, that can also mean less power, but Volvo says it can achieve 10% faster cycle times with 15% less fuel than previous models.

The company points to a new electro-hydraulic system that uses “a smart cooling system and engine speed regulation for higher torque at a lower rpm.”

“Fuel in particular is a major expense, and the improved fuel efficiency will reduce costs with the added benefit of lowering the environmental impact,” says Sejong Ko, product manager for large excavators.

Volvo increased the work mode settings to 10, including two for power and four for automatic Eco. A new creep travel mode, coupled with boom- and arm-shock reduction settings, helps reduce bucket spillage, according to Volvo.

The new hydraulics also smooth out boom, bucket and other hydraulic component movement and increase precision, the company says.

For further efficiency and reduction in owner costs, Volvo says it increased hydraulic oil service intervals by 50% to 3,000 hours for regular hydraulic oil and 6,000 hours for long-life hydraulic oil.

Quick Specs

Designed for power and performance in confined spaces.

  • Operating weight: 32,500 - 36,810 lbs.
  • Gross power: 121 hp @ 2,000 rpm
  • Bucket capacity: 0.33 – 1.01 cu. yd.
  • Max dig depth: 18’ 2”
  • Max dig reach: 27’ 5”
  • Max breakout force: 19,200 lbf
  • Lift capacity: 9,100 lbs. @ 20’ reach/15’ height
  • Tail swing radius: 5’ 2”


Designed as a support excavator by being light enough to move and maneuver easily for building, roadwork and utilities.

  • Operating weight: 45,159 – 52,941 lbs.
  • Gross power: 154 hp @ 1,700 rpm
  • Bucket capacity: 0.63 – 1.88 cu. yd.
  • Max dig depth: 24’ 8”
  • Max dig reach: 32’ 10”
  • Max breakout force: 29,898 lbf
  • Lift capacity: 14,310 lbs. @ 20’ reach/10’ height
  • Tail swing radius: 9’ 5”


Designed to be versatile and productive for general construction, roadbuilding and special applications, able to handle heavy loads on rough terrain.

  • Operating weight: 45,550 – 57,640 lbs.
  • Gross power: 173 hp @ 1,350 rpm
  • Bucket capacity: 0.6 – 1.88 cu. yd.
  • Max dig depth: 22’ 1”
  • Max dig reach: 32’ 7”
  • Max breakout force: 29,898 lbf
  • Lift capacity: 11,398 lbs. @ 24.6’ reach/19.7’ height
  • Tail swing radius: 9’ 5”


Touted as “a classic excavator model,” it is designed to reduce total cost of ownership with increased fuel efficiency and ease of service.

  • Operating weight: 82,890 – 87,460 lbs.
  • Gross power: 344 hp @ 1,200 rpm
  • Bucket capacity: 1.14 – 3.19 cu. yd.
  • Max dig depth: 24’ 11”
  • Max dig reach: 36’ 10”
  • Max breakout force: 48,559 lbf
  • Lift capacity: 25,360 lbs. @ 15’ reach/20’ height
  • Tail swing radius: 11’ 10”


Designed with a strong undercarriage for tough conditions, such as quarries and construction sites.

  • Operating weight: 86,800 – 91,600 lbs.
  • Gross power: 339 hp @ 1,600 rpm
  • Bucket capacity: 1.14 – 3.79 cu. yd.
  • Max dig depth: 24’ 11”
  • Max dig reach: 36’ 10”
  • Max breakout force: 48,559 lbf
  • Lift capacity: 25,010 lbs. @ 15’ reach/20’ height
  • Tail swing radius: 11’ 10”


One of Volvo’s most popular models gets bigger and more fuel efficient. It is designed for mining sites, quarries and heavy construction sites.

  • Operating weight: 106,110 – 116,400 lbs.
  • Gross power: 424 hp @ 1,300 rpm
  • Bucket capacity: 1.5 – 4.33 cu. yd.
  • Max dig depth: 24’ 6”
  • Max dig reach: 38’ 9”
  • Max breakout force: 56,427 lbf
  • Lift capacity: 32,407 lbs. @ 15’ reach/20’ height
  • Tail swing radius: 12’ 9”