The latest addition to Volvo Construction Equipment’s revolutionary family of pipelayers is the excavator-based PL4808D. Offering excellent stability with a 90-ton lifting capacity, the PL4808D is highly productive while also being one of the safest and most stable machines in the industry.
With its 360 degree swing capability, the PL4808D can handle large, heavy pipes with ease and place them anywhere around the machine – an ability that isn’t possible with traditional side boom pipelayers. The patented design of the PL4808D marks other significant technical advances over traditional side boom pipelayers — not just its superior stability but, if needed, also its ability to swap booms and convert into a standard excavator configuration. A digging kit is available and the hydraulics are optimized for both pipelayer and excavator operations. With up to 80% common parts with its sibling Volvo excavator, the servicing, wear parts replacement and maintenance requirements of having a PL4808D in the fleet is considerably eased. And the PL4808D comes equipped with a Volvo D13H engine, for even greater power.
Safe and secure
Volvo pipelayers are built for safety and flexibility. Not only can the PL4808D lay pipes all around the machine, it can also operate on slopes of up to 30 degrees and rugged terrain. A heavy-duty mechanical slew lock firmly fixes the superstructure at any angle in relation to the undercarriage, protecting the transmission, and is useful when securing the load in a fixed position or during tie-in operations. The undercarriage has a high ground clearance, allowing operation in rugged conditions. A solid footing is secured, thanks to 30 in. (750 mm) tracks – which can be upgraded to wider 42 in. (1,050 mm) tracks for added stability and lower ground pressure. The extra wide undercarriage is hydraulically retractable, decreasing the pipelayer’s width to make road transportation easier.
Volvo pipelayers feature long booms that offer higher hook heights and longer reach, allowing the machine to lift and lower pipes at a safe distance from the trench. If needed, a boom extension is also available, offering additional reach and hook height. The PL4808D’s newly designed counterweight is situated to the side for a lower center of gravity and greater stability — as well as easy cleaning. A mechanical anti two-block with wireless sensor prevents the winch blocks from coming in contact during lifting. Inside the cab, the high pull winch can be operated using the operator’s preferred joystick. A mode switch boosts performance, using split pump flow for better load controllability during simultaneous travel/lift operations – or combined flow for maximum performance speed when travelling or in stationary pipe laying operations. A fine work mode gives high pressure and low flow for maximum lifting power but minimal fuel use.
Nice and easy
The PL4808D’s exclusive load management system (LMS) makes operation even safer and easier. The LMS enables the operator to see what weight can be safely lifted at any position relative to the slope. Using inputs from the hook, boom and base machine-mounted sensors enables the system to monitor boom angle, machine orientation and inclination. The computer uses this information to constantly calculate and display actual loads and related working loads, all in real time. The operator receives relevant information, together with graphic displays, on an in-cab monitor. There are also visible and audible warning signals that notify when the safe load limit is reached, including green/yellow/red light bars on both sides of the boom.
Operators work in a clean, low-vibration and low-noise environment, thanks to Volvo’s latest generation cab. Controls that fall easily to hand and filtered, managed air handling systems help reduce fatigue and stress – and consequently improve productivity. Good all-round visibility is provided thanks to large glazed areas and also to the elevated riser system fitted to the cab. This hydraulic four-bar cab riser gives operators excellent visibility of the load and worksite and into the trench. (The lowest position is ideal when transporting the pipelayer.) Visibility is further improved via standard-fit rear and side-view cameras, projected via the color monitor inside the cab.
The PL4808D has other important features fitted as standard, not least Volvo’s state-of-the-art CareTrack telematics system. CareTrack manages a machine’s productivity and maximizes its availability for work. Using a GPRS mobile network or satellite technology, the system reads information on a wide range of machine data, such as location, fuel consumption and service reminders. That data is then made available securely to any remote online connection. In addition, Volvo provides a three-year CareTrack service subscription at no additional cost.
Other notables are the attachment management system, which stores up to 18 presets and allows hydraulic flow (standard) and pressure (as an option) to be adjusted, enabling the easy use of a variety of attachments. Maintenance is aided by grouped filters and service points, accessed at ground level via large, wide opening doors.
*The PL4808D will be available in North America and Europe.