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Volvo PL4809D rotating pipelayer lifts productivity to new heights

One of Volvo’s revolutionary excavator-based pipelayers, the PL4809D, has been enhanced with a whole host of new productivity-enhancing features, including a unique load management system.
Volvo PL4809D rotating pipelayer lifts productivity to new heights

Already available with a Volvo Tier 4i/Stage lllB- compliant engine, the PL4809D is now also available with a powerful Tier 3/Stage IIIA engine for lesser regulated markets.

The PL4809D rotating pipelayer is the latest member of Volvo CE’s revolutionary family of excavator-based pipelayers. Offering excellent stability with a 90-ton or 102-ton tipping load capacity, the PL4809D is highly productive while also being one of the safest and most stable machines in the industry. Volvo pipelayers also offer unsurpassed fuel efficiency, making them the most fuel efficient pipelayers currently available.

Featuring Volvo’s patented 360° swing capability, the PL4809D can handle large, heavy pipes with ease and place them anywhere around the machine – a task unthinkable with traditional side boom pipelayers. The PL4809D’s innovative excavator-based design also allows the machine to be converted into a high-performance excavator, simply by swapping the pipelayer boom for the excavator boom and arm included in the optional digging kit (Boom 7.0 m, arm 3.35 m with auxiliary hydraulics). Hydraulics are optimized for both pipelayer and excavator applications as standard and with over 80% of parts in common with its sibling Volvo excavator, service and maintenance has never been easier.

Superior stability

The PL4809D rotating pipelayer is designed to offer superior safety and flexibility, even on rugged terrain and inclines of up to 30°. When holding a load on a slope or during tie-ins, a heavy-duty mechanical slew lock fixes the superstructure at every 10th degree in relation to the undercarriage, protecting the transmission and providing excellent precision and security. A70% improvement in tractive force, compared to its previous version PL4608, further facilitates work on rough terrain and in slope work while also increases machine speed over flat ground

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 mechanically/hydraulically retractable, enabling the pipelayer’s width to be decreased for road transportation; a factor that can result in considerable cost savings for the pipeline contractor.

The Volvo range of pipelayers features long booms that offer higher hook heights and longer reach than many competitor models – important for maintaining a safe distance from the trench. If needed, a 2 m boom extension is available, offering additional reach and hook height. The PL4809D’s newly designed undercarriage counterweights are located to the side of the machine 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 into 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 handling operations. A fine work mode gives high pressure and low flow for maximum lifting power but minimal fuel use.

Advanced operator environment

The PL4809D’s exclusive load management system (LMS) makes operation even safer and easier. 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 and displays actual loads and related working loads, all in real time. 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 fall easily to hand and 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 (elevated by 500 mm). 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 and site safety are further improved via standard-fit rear and side-view cameras, projecting images to the in-cab monitor.

The PL4809D has other important features fitted as standard, for example, CareTrack, a telematics system to help owners reduce fuel costs and optimize performance. CareTrack works together with the machine’s own diagnostics system. In addition to monitoring the machine’s location, you can remotely track usage, productivity, fuel consumption, maximize update through important service reminders, and even prevent unauthorized machine use.

Other important features include the attachment management system, which stores up to 18 pre-sets 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.


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

Key specs:

Model PL4809D
Engine Volvo D13F Certified
EU Stage IIIA / EPA Tier 3
Rated output at 30 r/s (1800 r/min)
.... SAE J1995 gross 265 kW (360 hp)
.... ISO 9249, SAE J1349, net 256 kW (348 hp)
Max. Operating Weight 64.5 t
Max. Tipping Capacity 90 / 102 t
Max. Rated Capacity 50 t