"But the real beauty of these low-emission engines is that they can deliver high torque at very low RPMs."
Frank said that the fuel efficiency of the Volvo B-Series is a result of engines being perfectly matched to the excavator's hydraulics.
"These Volvo engines are manufactured custom for the hydraulics on our machines," he said. "You take a Volvo engine, specifically matched to our hydraulic system - and add an Advanced Mode Control System - and what do you get? You get really fast cycle times, with low fuel consumption, and with less long-term wear on that machine. And that's a great mix."
The Ohio River Valley utility contractor purchased its first Volvo excavator - a Volvo EC360B - in December 2003. Until then, this contractor had been a Cat customer almost exclusively.
Based on the results of its independent fuel consumption study, which revealed the Volvo unit using about half the fuel of its similarly sized Cat 330C, that allegiance to Cat might be waning.
"It appears that with our next purchase we'll definitely be looking to Volvo over Cat because of the fuel savings," a spokesman said.
This utility contractor reports that the 36-ton EC360B has been using between 50 to 55 gallons of fuel per day, compared to between the 90 to 95 gallons used by the Cat 330C.
Using those averages - which break down to 6.5 and 11.5 gallons per hour respectively for Volvo and Cat - this single EC360B would provide savings of about $72,000 over an 8,000-hour cycle.
"We compared the production of the two units, too, and there is no appreciable difference between the Volvo and the Cat," he said.
"That's what's most amazing," he added. "We don't have to trade performance to get the fuel savings with the Volvo EC360B."
In the Northeast, a contractor running a Volvo EC460B and EC290B offers a similar story.
The dealer salesman who services this Volvo customer said the contractor ran the EC460B against a comparable Deere unit in demo and was impressed by both the Volvo's power and its fuel efficiency.
"In fact, the fuel service was upset because he refueled all the units on the jobsite everyday and the Volvo only every-other-day," the salesman said.
A principal with the Northeast utility contractor said that the firm also runs a Volvo EC290B, which like the EC460B, has turned in incredible numbers with regard to fuel efficiency.
"I'd say we use on average about 20 gallons less (of fuel) per day with the Volvo," he said.
"Assume we save $25 a day on fuel," he said. "Add it up: $25 a day becomes $125 a week, which in turn is $600 a month. That's cash that goes directly to the machine payments. I'd say it's important."
Said Tim Frank, "These numbers are real and the fuel savings are substantial. I challenge you to check it out for yourself, and I'm confident you'll be as amazed and pleased as these customers are."
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