Ceannacroc Estates, located to the north west of Fort Augustus in the Highlands of Scotland, has just taken delivery of a new Volvo ECR88D reduced-swing compact excavator for its road building and estate maintenance programme
Replacing a Volvo ECR88 Plus that was delivered 10 years ago and an EC55B before that, the new ECR88D was chosen thanks to the reliability and good availability of its predecessors. “I’ve been delighted with both the EC55B and the ECR88 Plus which has proved to be the right size machine for our work here on the estate,” explains proprietor, Martin Girvan.
“This time though I decided to opt for the latest ECR88D version with steel tracks instead of rubber for better traction on rougher ground and a better degree of flotation when working on peat. It’s also advantageous when we are mounding new trees in our plantations – the rubber tracks used to get a bit of a pounding in this way! ”
Besides opting for steel tracks, Martin Girvan was keen to take the optional ‘thumb’ device which is hydraulically operated and mounted on the underside of the machine’s dipper arm. The ‘thumb’ works off of the hammer/shear hydraulic circuit and works independently from the bucket cylinder. The ‘thumb’ is also designed to clamp to the bucket’s cutting edge without interfering with the bucket teeth. “The combination of the machine and this attachment has proved to be very versatile – picking large stones and small boulders as well as handling fallen trees in our woodlands,” says Martin.
The new ECR88D which was displayed at this year’s ScotPlant event takes over the building and maintenance of the roads and tracks on Mr Girvan’s 14,500 acre estate. Working as far away as 10 miles from the estate’s headquarters, the machine is used to construct new access roads on virgin ground besides maintaining the roads installed by previous machines.
“Some of the terrain is quite tricky to deal with ranging from shale and rock to boggy peat,” continued Mr Girvan. “Our new ECR88D on steel tracks with the addition of the ‘thumb’ will easily tackle the jobs that need to get done with ease as we get further and higher into the estate. The Volvo product is well specified and I’ve had a good overall experience of owning and operating them for the last fourteen years,” says Martin. “Both the reliability and the aftersales service when we’ve needed it, has been excellent even in this remote part of the country along with strong residual values when it has been time to trade out.”
The Volvo ECR88D is powered by a Volvo 2.6-litre low-emission engine producing 56 hp coupled to a load-sensing hydraulic system for fast cycle times and smooth control. The machine offers a generous horizontal reach of 7.3m, a dig depth of 4.5m and a lift capacity of 1,020kg at full reach across the carriage. The ECR88D has a comfortable, spacious cab with a wide, uncluttered floor. The instrument panel provides operators with at-a-glance monitoring of all key functions and operator fatigue is reduced through easy-grip, high response joystick control levers. The rubber-mounted cabs reduce whole-body vibration and external noise, minimizing the rigours of the jobsite whilst airconditioning with well-positioned vents is a standard feature.
Martin Girvan’s new ECR88D was supplied by CSM Sales Ltd headed up by Managing Director, Calum Shaw, based at Longman Industrial Estate, Inverness, and is SMT GB’s utility dealer for the whole of the north of Scotland.
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.