A new Volvo ECR88D reduced swing compact excavator has been supplied to WoodForFuel.com, located near Balfron in Stirlingshire and is the company’s prime mover in processing firewood and woodchip.
The new nine-tonne ECR88D replaces a competitive model after taking into consideration third party references and evaluating the attributes of the machine itself, according to co-director, Gordon Mair. “We basically got our CHP operation up and running in just three months from a standing in March 2016. However, the nature of our business dictated the need for a thoroughly reliable prime mover which we certainly weren’t getting with the machine we had,” says Gordon. “Our new Volvo is ticking all the boxes so far in terms of reliability, robustness, operator comfort and good all round visibility.”
WoodForFuel.com is a unique operation producing hardwood and softwood logs for woodburning stoves and biomass boilers, along with woodchip for biomass boilers and CHP units. “We don’t just cut up wood and bag it for sale, we chip, screen and dry timber to feed our CHP units which generates 90 kW of electricity to power everything onsite and heat that dries all products on our drying floors to ensure consistent low moisture content,” continues Gordon.
And key to the whole operation is the company’s ECR88D. The majority of its time it feeds 3m softwood lengths into a heavy-duty chipper to produce the fuel to feed two CHP units which are used to dry product sitting on a forced-air, underfloor heating system, as well as a giant drying kiln. Otherwise, the machine is engaged on loading a variety of hard and soft wood from stockpile to the loading table where it is then split, screened and bagged.
The ECR88D is highly regarded in the marketplace for its economical use of fuel – thanks to the combination of its Stage-IV 2.6-litre engine, developing 56 nett horsepower and closed centre load-sensing hydraulic system, for fast cycle times and smooth control. The machine offers a generous horizontal reach of 7.3 metres and a lift capacity of 960kg at full reach across the carriage. Operator comfort and excellent access to all the service points add to the overall appreciation of the machine.
The ECR88 Plus 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 cab reduces whole-body vibration and external noise, minimizing the rigours of the jobsite, whilst air-conditioning with well positioned vents is a standard feature. “The visibility from the cab is a really good feature of the machine and the overall control and responsiveness using the wood clip grab is exceptionally good,” says Gordon.
Capable of producing up to 25-tonnes of chipped fuel for biomass per hour and keeping the log table busy, the ECR88D is proving to be the optimum tool for WoodForFuel.com.
The machine has been supplied by Rockbreakers (UK) Ltd – SMT GB’s utility dealer covering Fife, Argyll, the Central Belt and the whole of the Borders in Southern Scotland.