Volvo unveils ‘best-in-class’ compact wheeled excavator


Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) has unveiled for the first time its new EWR130E excavator. With the shortest swing radius, class-leading stability and an operator-renowned cab, the EWR130E offers a new standard for wheeled excavator performance in the 12-13 tonne class.

So tight are its dimensions that its rear, at just 1.55m, and front swing, at only 1.81m, give the shortest swing in its weight class. The closely packaged machine is a first on many levels and has been designed from a clean sheet of paper, with extensive customer input. The result is a machine that is extremely manoeuvrable yet offers excellent lifting performance, digging force, application flexibility and operator visibility – not to mention spacious comfort and ease of use.

Confined worksites welcomed

With such modest dimensions, the Volvo EWR130E wheeled excavator allows the operator to work in even the most confined jobsites the urban world can throw at it. And it’s not just in town the EWR130E makes sense, but on roads where traffic safety is paramount and – such is its performance – even on larger infrastructure projects. It’s also so light-footed that it can even be used on landscaping projects. But it’s the ability to get into a tight corner that is its real ace card – a hand improved still further thanks to its two-piece boom and inline outriggers. These new outriggers help position and stabilise the machine when there’s not an inch to spare either side of the machine.

The Volvo EWR130E is instantly recognisable as the confident little brother of the EWR150E and EWR170E wheeled excavators. However, its clever positioning sets it apart from any other machine in the market. This is because it benefits from the compactness of a smaller 10t machine yet provides the performance of a 13t+ model.

The Volvo EWR130E wheeled excavator boasts a considerably lower center of gravity compared to equivalent machines, resulting in unbeatable stability. The two-piece, non-pivoting boom enables lifting up to 4.3t at a 6m reach. This smartly designed digging equipment, combined with the respected D4 Volvo engine, delivers best-in-class breakout force and superior tear-out force.

New features add to machine flexibility and maneuverability

Two exciting new options on the Volvo EWR130E wheeled excavator are the four-wheel steering and divided blades. The four-wheel steering improves maneuverability still further by reducing the turning radius. This, and a range of other steering modes are selected from the cab using a rotary dial. The divided blades, meanwhile, offer more options for leveling the machine on uneven ground or around curbs etc.

The Volvo EWR130E wheeled excavator is an exceptionally versatile machine, helped by the easy attachment setup. The pressure and flow for up to 32 attachments can be pre-programmed without the need for a service technician. Connecting to hydraulic attachments can also be carried out from the cab, thanks to the Steelwrist Auto Connect Coupler. Steelwrist tiltrotators offer much improved tool flexibility at a wide range of angles, while the factory-fitted preparation system enables the Steelwrist tiltrotator to be controlled using the original joysticks and operator profiles set up on the main display.

Like all wheeled excavators, the Volvo EWR130E can drive independently from one jobsite to another. With travel speeds up to 35km/hr (22 mph) it is no slowcoach, and its Boom Suspension System engages at speeds above 5km/hr (3 mph) to absorb shocks and reduce bouncing over rough or bumpy terrain. While the optional axle-mounted mudguards help keep the machine clean, the Comfort Drive Control function allows the excavator to be steered while on jobsites using just the joystick, at speeds up to 20km/hr (12mph). And thanks to a TÜV- approved tow hitch, the EWR130E can pull a trailer weighing 3t – or 8t when fitted with additional overrun brakes.

When driving is not practical, the low machine height of the EWR130E, combined with optimized tie-down points on the lower frame, makes machine transportation fast and easy.

When the operator arrives at the work area, the machine is ready for action right away, with the automatic digging brake engaging whenever the machine’s speed is zero. Help is at hand digitally too, with the optional Dig Assist machine control system offering 2D, In-Field Design, 3D excavation software and new On-Board Weighing apps, all displayed on the 10 inch Volvo Co-Pilot tablet, and making digging more accurate and faster.

A room with a (great) view

Just because the machine is compact, that doesn’t mean the cab is. The Volvo EWR130E boasts an operator work environment that is just as spacious as in full-sized excavators. Controls are laid out ergonomically, while comfort levels and most crucially – visibility – are outstanding. This is due to the low superstructure and design of the counterweight, hood and doors, which enhance visibility to the rear of the machine. Visibility to the right of the machine is best in class, as no parts block the view out of the right-side window, a design concept unique to Volvo. And if you want complete 360 degree visibility, then opt for Volvo Smart View – three cameras attached to the frame that combine to create a bird’s eye view of the machine, visible on the in-cab color monitor.

Joysticks can handle nearly all functions, from steering to window wiper operation. Programmable buttons allow operators to switch functions at the flick of a switch. As an option, the advanced L8 joystick is fully adjustable to any angle, thanks to a special ball joint, to offer the best ergonomic fit.


EPA Tier 4 Final /EU Stage V
Volvo D4J
Operating weight
4.85 fixed two-piece boom with 2.1m arm, Camso single tires 500/45-20 and standard parallel blade rear
12 900 kg
4.85 m fixed two-piece boom with 2.4m arm, 9” Mitas twin tires front divide blade and rear outriggers and four-wheel steering 14 400 kg
Gross power
at engine speed
90 kW / 120 Hp 2 000 rpm
Max reach (2.1m-2.4m arm) 8.44-8.67m
Max speed 20/20/35 km/hr 12.4/18.6/21.7 mph

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About Author


Saul Wordsworth is deputy editor of the iVT brand - which includes digital and print editions of a quarterly magazine and Off-Highway Annual, as well as He is a keen cyclist and lives in north London.

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