By Jeff Griffin, Contributing Editor
Volvo Construction Equipment North America has introduced a new PL pipelayer model scheduled to be available in the first quarter of 2012.
The PL3005 was featured at the 2011 ConExpo/Conag show last March. It is powered by a 192 net horsepower, 4-cylinder, liquid-cooled diesel engine that meets EPA Tier 4 emission standards, has an operating weight of 78,852 pounds and maximum tipping capacity of 112,000 pounds.
The PL3005 incorporates the excavator design features of Volvo PL pipelayers which allow a 360-degree boom swing and full lifting capacity performance and functionality at all radius positions, said Lewis Long, Volvo segment director, energy related industry — oil and gas.
“The PL range of pipelayers from Volvo is quite different from traditional track-type tractors with sidebooms that the industry currently uses,” said Long. “Those original designs date back to the 1930s while Volvo’s patented adaptations of excavator-based machines are integrated with the latest technology.”
Long said the PL3005 size fits the needs of the leading market demands in the utility, oil and gas segments.
In addition to 360-degree swing, key features include :
A load management system that uses wireless communications to monitor machine conditions and communicate via boom-mounted light bar and in-cab warning systems;
A new standard cab elevator that improves visibility over the job site and into the trench, improving operator comfort, confidence, safety and efficiency;
Ergonomically-positioned controls that are easy to access and reduce operator fatigue and improve productivity; and
Side- and rear mounted video cameras that increase visibility around the machine and job site.
The machine’s high-pull planetary winch provides precise control and smooth lifting, and an anti two-block device automatically prevents the hook and load block from making hard contact. Digging kit plumbing is standard for easily converting the machine to a conventional excavator.
Optional features include a six-foot boom extension to provide greater hook height and lateral reach, a cab guard with removable front and top grills, work light packages for boom and cab front and hydraulic plumbing for pipe facing.
There are two other pipelayer models in the Volvo PL line: the PL 4608 with 176,400 pounds of tipping weight and 126,700 pounds of operating weight; and the PL4611 with 250,000 pounds of tipping weight and 150,000 pounds of operating weight. Both models are powered by 315 net horsepower diesel engines.
“Volvo pipelayers,” said Long, “offer the highest lift capacities and lowest centers of gravities.”