Construction Equipment Great Britain

Another Volvo in the log book at Woodgate Sawmills

Family-run Woodgate Sawmills of Coleford, Gloucestershire, continues a tradition of owning and operating Volvo loading shovels since way back in 1963 with the addition of a new L50H loading shovel.


Situated in the Forest of Dean, Woodgate Sawmills has been run as a family business since it was set up in 1953 by Directors, Brian and Ken Humphries’ late father. At that time, the sawmill’s main activity was supplying the NCB with pit props. In those early days, the company operated a Fordson Major and other ex-army 4x4’s but in 1963, Woodgate Sawmills purchased a BM Volvo 620 from the then dealer in Essex.

Since then, the sawmill has owned a succession of Volvo loading shovels, upgrading from the old style 621 and 622 models ten years ago with the addition of a new L50E and a second hand L50D. “Ten years ago, it became time to stand our old 621 and 622 loaders down in favour of the latest models in the Volvo range,” says Andrew. “It was quite a big change for us, but both L50s have performed well which is why we’ve come back to purchase the latest version of the machine for the mill.”

The L50H benefits from excellent all-round visibility due to the design of the rear chassis and its sloping engine hood. This is facilitated by the transverse mounted Stage-IV final engine and hydrostatic motor. The operator’s environment has been recognised as a key factor in achieving high productivity and the Volvo Care Cab is at the forefront of delivering a high level of operator comfort.

All the machine’s controls and functions come easily to hand and air-conditioning is, of course, standard. The engine’s output of 116hp is superbly matched to the hydrostatic transmission, allowing full power-shift under load when changing direction and between speed ranges. The Torque Parallel (TP) loader linkage provides smooth, parallel lift, high rollback torque and good lifting power throughout the lift cycle - and the Volvo hydraulic attachment bracket facilitates the easy change-over of attachments for a range of duties and applications around the mill.

The Volvo L50H wheeled loader features separate power steering and load-sensing hydraulic pumps. The advantage of this is that separate pumps ensure full steering power is achieved, regardless of the load on the main hydraulic pumps. Oil flow on the load-sensing pump automatically adjusts to match work demand. The result is lower fuel consumption during lighter work – along with no compromise in performance when operating in tough conditions or demanding applications.

The new L50H replaces the older L50D and takes over as the prime mover around the facility with a range of duties but mainly feeding logs into the mill. It joins the ten-year old L50E which has been relegated to secondary duties but, with relatively low hours for its age, still has plenty of life left in it. Both machines can interchange implements thanks to them both having compatible hydraulic attachment brackets which include log-grabs, hi-tip buckets, pallet forks and a bespoke set of hydraulic forks that can rotate 360°.

Woodgate Sawmills of Mile End, Coleford, Gloucestershire, has been trading for the last sixty years, specialising in cross-cut timber for fencing, feather edge, waney and gravel boards, posts rails, timber for pallet making and cut-and-dried logs for wood-burning stoves. The family-run business continues to be run by brothers, Ken and Brian Humphries, along with their sons, Andrew and Darryl.

SMT GB markets Volvo Construction Equipment products which include wheeled loaders, articulated haulers, hydraulic excavators, Volvo utility equipment and Volvo road equipment products in Great Britain. There are eight strategically placed customer support centres, a dedicated National Used Equipment Centre and a network of utility equipment dealers to ensure high quality customer support is maintained throughout the country.

For more information contact; 
Amy Metcalfe 
Marketing Director
01223 836636


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Volvo L50H Wheeled Loader
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