Hybrid excavators boost environmental aims for earthworks contractor

HAVING taken delivery of the UK’s first Volvo EC750E and EC950E excavators and L25 Electric wheeled loader from SMT GB, Collins Earthworks has now added two more machines to its fleet in the form of Volvo EC300E Hybrid excavators.

Featuring Volvo’s hydraulic-hybrid technology, SMT GB explained these machines harvest ‘free’ energy generated by the downward movement of the boom to achieve 17% greater fuel efficiency than conventional models.

To further reduce their environmental impact, Collins is running the EC300E Hybrid excavators on HVO fuel.

“Sustainability is an integral part of our company ethos and profile, and so it is important to us to invest in hybrid and fully electric solutions,” said Nathan Warner, site supervisor at Collins. “We want to be the company paving the way for other contractors towards carbon neutral construction.”

Collins has put one of its EC300E Hybrids to work in a team of 10 Volvo crawler excavators and 23 articulated haulers – with more to come – on the SEGRO Logistics Park Northampton Gateway project. Over three years, Collins will move 4,500,0003 of earth around the 480-acre site to create plots for distribution buildings and a lorry park, a strategic rail freight interchange, acoustic bunds, and landscaped areas.

The project also involves widening the dual carriageway and the construction of a by-pass around the village of Roade to minimise traffic congestion, along with the planting of 60,000 trees.

“We have a lot of work to do, and everything has been precisely calculated at the tender stage, so productivity and fuel efficiency are crucial to us,” Nathan Warner added. “Any small gains that we make cumulatively add up to a lot helping us to keep on schedule and within budget and to minimise our impact on local residents and the environment.”

In this repetitive dig and dump application, where excavators are operating 11 hours a day for five days a week, SMT GB said the EC300E Hybrid offers a ‘straightforward solution with a big payback’.

“The fuel efficiency is amazing, and I can’t feel any difference compared to a traditional digger,” said operator Jack Sewell. “It’s also really comfortable and easy to use and the controllability is fantastic.

“We are really impressed with how the EC300E Hybrids have been performing so far and we plan to invest in more Volvo hybrid and electric solutions from SMT GB. This will help us limit our fuel usage and carbon footprint for the benefit of both clients and wider society.”