Review of Volvo ECR88 Plus hydraulic excavator


Review of a Volvo ECR88 Plus hydraulic excavator, by Francis Ward Ltd operator J.R.


There is never a better recommendation of a machine’s capabilities, or indeed the service provided by its suppliers, than one given by someone who sits in the operator’s seat every day of the week for an extended measure of time.

JR Higgins operates a Volvo ECR 88 Plus hydraulic excavator for Francis Ward Ltd in Christchurch, and says that he’s worked for the company for five years, although he has eleven years of operating diggers under his belt.

When talking about the Volvo ECR 88 Plus, JR couldn’t be more enthusiastic about the machine’s capabilities, stating that “it’s a really user-friendly machine to operate”.

JR says the current job he’s working on in Hood Lane, Christchurch is a foundation for a rib-reft floor, and the ECR 88 Plus has a really smooth hydraulic operation, which makes it ideal in getting the best results–especially given that he needs to perform a lot of final trim-work on a daily basis.

Prior to his tenure with Francis Ward, JR operated a wheeled excavator for six years and says although he enjoyed his time on the wheeled machine, reckons he’s now an ardent fan of his Volvo tracked excavator; citing it’s exceptional stability to operate courtesy of the factory-fitted additional counterweight which still gives the machine an almost zero tail swing capability.

Having a comfortable cab to work in for an eight to ten-hour stint on a daily basis is always at the top of any operator’s list of must-haves, and JR says he couldn’t be more pleased with the comfort and visibility offered from the ECR 88’s workstation.

He adds the machine’s air-con and stereo system are also very good reasons to be a fan of the excavator’s in-cab features.

Speaking of the ECR’s in-cab niceties, JR says he seldom has any reason to leave the comfort of the cabin, as the machine’s power-tilt/quick coupler affords him the ability to change buckets without leaving his seat; which by its labour saving nature, reduces dirt and grit getting tracked into the cab.

Aside from the fact JR finds his Volvo excavator good to operate; he also finds carrying out daily checks on the machine is made easy by way of good access to its mechanical components; and thanks to lengthy service intervals of 500 hours, downtime is minimised.

Having heaped praise on the machine’s performance and reliability over its two-year, 1900hr lifetime in the Francis Ward Ltd fleet, JR is happy to endorse not only the excavator’s performance but also the backup the company has received from TDX, a service he says is second to none.


Volvo ECR 88 Plus specifications

·         Gross power                            43 kW 58hp)@2,000rpm

·         Operating weight                   8450 - 8650kg

·         Bucket capacity                       0.08 - 0.33m³

·         Travel speed, low/high           2.6/4.9km/h

·         Slewing speed                         8 rpm

·         Breakout force                                    59kN

·         Arm breakout force                41kN

·         Overall width                          2300mm

·         Overall length                                    6410mm

·         Main hydr pump max. flow   166l/min

·         Boom swing angle, left/right 70/60 degrees