Volvo launches ECR18E, EC20E excavators on redesigned variable width platform

Updated Feb 2, 2019
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At World of Concrete in Las Vegas, Volvo Construction Equipment has unveiled a new compact, ultra short-swing excavator model in the ECR18E, alongside an update to the EC20.

The ECR18E represents Volvo’s first 1.8-ton model for the U.S. Product manager for compact excavators, John Comrie, says though a 1.5-ton model introduced several years ago was short-lived, Volvo has seen growing demand for a short-swing excavator in the ECR18E’s size class.

”This is a huge market back in Europe, the rental market and we know there’s a demand here not just in rental but in other segments as well,” Comrie says.

Compact Excavator Under the Hood

Compact Excavator Engine and Oil

With only half-an-inch of overhang with the variable width tracks fully extended, the ECR18E is powered by a 16.1-horsepower Volvo D.9A engine that Comrie says meets Tier 5 emissions standards in Europe as well as Tier 4 Final standards here in the U.S. Due to its small size, no aftertreatment is required.

Break-out force is rated at 2,900 lb.-ft. with a tear-out force of 1,787 lb.-ft. Max digging depth is 7 feet, 12 inches while max dumping height is 8 feet, 6 inches.

The machine’s tracks, Comrie says can extend from 3 feet, 3 inches, to 5 feet, 3 inches.

Available only in a ROPS canopy, the ECR18E was designed to offer operators plenty of room and comfortable controls. For instance, Comrie says that while competing machines are either doing away with or reducing the size of foot pedals on the machine’s hand levers, the ECR18E retains full size pedals. “When guys are operating and they’re moving back and forth, they’re using their feet, they’re not using the levers. These big pedals allow your to control the travel much better,” he says.

Interior of Compact Excavator

Volvo has also simplified tasks like changing control patterns and extending or retracting the tracks through dedicated switches along the right side of the cab.


New platform designCompact Excavator in Operation

A few design highlights of this new machine platform, which is shared with the new EC20E, include:

  • Engine compartment door with space-saving integrated fuel tank.
  • Three-piece counterweight.
  • Durable sheet metal metal body panels.
  • New cooling package with side-by-side cooler. “That way we get an even flow of air through the hydraulics and through the engine. On previous models we had a fold-out hydraulic cooler like most of the competition, where the air first goes through the hydraulic cooler and then it goes through the engine cooler, and by the time gets to the engine cooler the air is warmer. Having the even flow of the side-by-side helps us cool the air better and more efficiently.”
  • Volvo patented return filter. “All the oil from the drive motor, the pumps, all the leakage oil, low pressure, comes back and gets pushed through the filter and back through the tank. The idea is that we’re going to catch any pieces of metal or anything that starts to accumulate in the pumps or the motors,” Comrie explains of the filter which includes a clear tank. “When you do your servicing you can see the contamination in the tank and call the mechanic and say ‘Hey, I think something is going to go wrong,’ and figure out what the problem is before you have a catastrophic failure.”
  • Dozer blade with folding extensions.



Revamped EC20E

Measurements of Volvo Compact Excavator

Volvo says the EC20E increases tractive force by 13 percent over its predecessor, the EC20D, while increasing lifting capacity at the front by 22 percent. Side lifting capacity has been improved by 7 percent.

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The EC20E features a break-out force of 4,107 lb.-ft., and a tear-out force of 2,763 lb.-ft. Max dig depth is 8 feet, 6 inches, while max dump height is 9 feet, 2 inches.