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Press release

Volvo’s PL3005D rotating pipelayer raises the bar in safety, productivity and versatility

The PL3005D from Volvo Construction Equipment is one of the industry’s safest and most productive pipelayers, thanks to its world-class load management system, 360° reach and excavator-conversion capability.

Volvo’s innovative PL3005D pipelayer combines a 51 ton lifting capacity with a host of industry-leading safety and productivity-enhancing features – to produce one of the highest performing machines in the sector. The excavator-based PL3005D achieves this enviable position by fusing high-tech load monitoring and telematics systems with simple, intelligent design. Already available with a Volvo Tier 4i/Stage lllB- compliant engine, the PL3005 is now also available with a powerful Tier 3/Stage IIIA engine for lesser regulated markets.

Superior safety 

The Volvo PL3005D features a 7.3 m long boom that has been strategically positioned to achieve excellent hook height and reach. This increased working range allows the operator to maintain a safe distance from the trench at all times while the extra heavy counterweight (6 800kg) – fitted as standard – ensures superb stability even when using a boom extension. A mechanical anti two-block system, enhanced by a wireless sensor, further improves safety when lifting by preventing winch blocks from coming into contact with each other. When holding a load on a slope or during tie-ins, a heavy-duty mechanical slew lock secures the superstructure at any angle in relation to the undercarriage, for increased precision and security. A flag block, mounted at the end of the boom, pivots to the left and right to enable load self-centering and prevent damage to the wire rope when in motion.

Safety and ease of operation are also facilitated by Volvo’s unique Load Management System. Wireless sensors on the hook, boom and base machine feed data concerning the boom angle, machine orientation and inclination to an in-cab computer, which calculates actual load and related working loads in real time. This information is then displayed on an ergonomically-positioned monitor that allows the operator to see at a glance what the machine can safely pick up relative to the position on the slope. Visible and audible warning signals alert the operator when the load limit has been reached, while red, yellow and green LED lights on either side of the boom indicate the load status to other operators and the lowering-in foreman.

The hydraulically-elevated cab, constructed of large glazed areas and slim cab pillars, provides a commanding view of the trench and surrounding worksite, helping the operator stay safe and in control. Meanwhile, the reverse mounted cylinder, with optimized diameter and length, greatly improves lateral visibility. Blind spots are minimized by the rear view and side view cameras, which feed images to a color HECU monitor inside the cab. ROPS (Roll Over Protective Structure) is increasingly in demand to ensure operator safety and, in some markets, now a legal requirement to ensure pipelayers can be granted access to the site. To ensure ROPS certification, both the FOG and the front screen protection are required. Where required, these are factory-fitted to ensure the integrity of the cab in the unlikely event of tipping.

Achieve more

The Volvo PL3005D’s clever, excavator-based design provides unrivalled maneuverability amongst pipelayers, allowing work to be completed quickly and efficiently. The operator can rotate the superstructure of the pipelayer through an impressive 360° to lift and place large, heavy pipes anywhere around the machine – a task unthinkable with traditional side boom pipelayers. In addition, none of the components need to be dissembled before transportation, meaning operators can get to work on the site without delay, generating considerable savings in transportation costs for the pipeline contractor. Operators can maintain better control of the load by using the split pump flow option during travel and lifting operations, or the combined pump flow for maximum speed when travelling or in stationary pipe laying operations. The Fine (F) work mode allows the operator to achieve a combination of high pressure and low flow for maximum lifting power and fuel efficiency.

A comfortable operator is a productive operator – and the PL3005D features one of the most comfortable cabs on the market. Operators work in a spacious, noise and climate-controlled environment with controls that fall easily to hand. There’s even a choice of winch joystick to suit left and right-handed operators.

Productivity is further increased by the ease of service and machine management, helping to maximize machine uptime. Service checks are quick and simple to carry out, thanks to the grouped filters and service points that are accessed via large compartment doors at ground level. Filters are separate from the engine to allow for easier cleaning. Meanwhile, the machine’s productivity and availability for work are carefully monitored via Volvo’s state-of-the-art telematics system, CareTrack. Using a GPRS mobile network or satellite technology, CareTrack reads information on a wide range of machine data, including location, fuel consumption and service requirements. This information is then made available via an online subscription that is free of charge for the first three years. 

Two machines in one

Not just a pipelayer, the Volvo PL3005D can be converted into a high-performance excavator within a matter of hours, by swapping the pipelayer boom for the excavator alternative included in the optional digging kit. The hydraulics of the PL3005D are optimized for both pipelaying and digging operations, so there is no loss in performance when compared with a standard excavator. An in-cab, Attachment Management System stores up to 18 presets for a wide variety of applications. This unique versatility allows owners to ensure maximum uptime and value for money from their machine. Owners also see the benefit of the high commonality between Volvo pipelayer and excavator wear and maintenance parts. With as much as 80% of parts in common and high availability, it is never long before a PL3005D is back on the job.


Tiffany Cheng

Head of Brand, Marketing and Corporate Communication
Regions Asia and China
Volvo Construction Equipment

Åsa Alström

Head of Strategic Communications
Volvo Construction Equipment


Model PL3005D
Engine Volvo D7 Certified Tier 3 /Stage IIIA*
Max. Operating Weight 37,245 kg (82,110 lb)
Max. Tipping Capacity 51,000 kg (112,000 lb)
Max. Rated Capacity 31,000 kg (68,340 lb)

*The PL3005D is also available for Tier 4i/Stage lllB regulated markets (Europe, North America and other selected international markets).