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Volvo Construction Equipment begins production and delivery of its new class of Pipelayers

The first Volvo Pipelayers (Volvo PL) have arrived in North America. The Volvo PL4611, one of five models in the new product class of pipelaying machines developed by Volvo Construction Equipment, is in full production and available now for the North America market. The second model in this innovative class of heavy-duty, purpose-built equipment, the Volvo PL4608, will go into production in November with first delivery dates set for December 2008.
Volvo Pipelayers

Volvo began the development of a new product class of pipelaying machines in 2007, and the new Volvo PL4611 and its fellow-machines represent a revolutionary advancement over traditional pipelaying dozers with a side-based boom.  The new patented-design Volvo PL class was given the BP Special Award for Innovation of Significant Merit in 2008 for its major contribution to innovation related to cross-country onshore pipeline construction.

Based on the Volvo excavator design, configuration and engineering, the new Pipelayer provides a 360-degree swing with full lifting performance and functionality at all radius positions – a function unattainable with conventional side-boom pipelayers.  The Volvo PL has a wide gauge, lower center of gravity, and a lifting platform where the boom is mounted inboard of the track frame and closer to the machine’s centerline for extraordinary stability and much higher lift capacities – up to 29% higher – than conventional equipment. Lift capacities range from 20 metric tons to 150 metric tons, originating from a patented adaptation of Volvo excavator-machines combined with modern lifting technology. (The largest Volvo PL model, the Volvo PL7015 that will be on the market early in 2009, has a 150 metric ton maximum lift capacity, a capacity 41% higher than the largest pipelaying side-based dozer.) 

Volvo Pipelayers also have significantly longer booms that offer higher hook height for better work positioning – or in working further away from the trench to avoid caving in side walls.  Boom lengths range from 30 feet to 38 feet, depending on model size.

The Volvo PL4611

The new Volvo PL4611 Pipelayer is powered by a Volvo D12D 329 hp EPA Tier 3 compliant engine engineered with the Volvo Advanced Combustion Technology (V-ACT) system to produce low emissions, superior performance and productivity, and industry-leading fuel efficiency.  This machine has a maximum tipping capacity of 242,500 lbs, a boom length of 30 feet, an operating weight of 150,220 lbs, and a lift capacity through 360 - degree rotation of 155,000 lbs.

Safety and Load Management

The Volvo Pipelayers are fitted with an on-board Load Management System (LMS) designed to enable the operator to determine what he can safely pick up depending upon the angle of the boom, the cab’s position relative to the tracks, and the incline on which the machine is operating.