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Customizing Plant to Increase

Safety is a Priority for Utility

Service Company

Morrison Utility Services (MUS) has added a further 60

Volvo EC18Ds and 3 ECR50Ds to its mobile plant fleet,

all of which have been fitted with unique safety features

to prevent the inadvertent operation of controls, thus

significantly cutting out large elements of risk.

Already a significant user of Volvo utility equipment

MUS has been adding EC17s and EC18s to its mobile

plant fleet since 2000 and, in the process, has developed

a strong relationship with Leeds based Chippindale Plant

- Volvo’s utility dealer covering Yorkshire and the north

east of England.

This latest batch of sixty Volvo EC18Ds and three

ECR50Ds has been equipped with unique, factory fitted

safety features to satisfy MUS’ requirements.

“Our aim is always to significantly reduce and

preferably eliminate elements of risk in all areas

of our operations,”

explains Jeremy Harrison, MUS Director of Plant and

Fleet Services.

“One major area of concern is the inadvertent

operation of machine controls by our operatives

working on site. This could be the accidental use

of machine controls such as clothing brushing

against servo levers or even a deliberate

shortcut. We therefore challenged Chippindale

Plant and Volvo Construction Equipment to

devise a system that eliminated these scenarios,”

he continued.

With this remit in mind Volvo’s compact excavator

design engineers came up with a unique solution which

has been fitted to all of the latest 63 machines. The net

result is a system

whereby the operator must be seated and, having low-

ered the left hand control console (which normally ac-

tivates the hydraulic system), must then activate a sep-

arate switch on the dashboard to make the system live.

Each time an operative lifts the left hand console or

leaves the seat, the switch must be depressed again to

re-activate the system. It means, for example, if the

operator stands up to look into the trench being dug,

an accidental, uncontrolled movement of the machine

cannot occur when the operative sits back down.

An additional requirement was to facilitate the safe

use of hydraulically operated hand-held tools. All sixty

EC18Ds have been fitted with additional service lines

and a similar unique safety feature requiring a second

switch on the dash board to be depressed to activate

the hydraulics.

Once depressed this isolates all other hydraulic func-

tions of the machine. Aside from the hand held tool

operation, no other accidental or unauthorised use of

the machine can therefore take place. Conversely, once

the machine is being operated in the normal way, the

hand held tool line is isolated.

“We see these safety features as a significant

improvement towards the safety of our

operatives and the safety of other personnel on


says Jeremy Harrison.

Morrison Utility Services have their

own special trailer to transport mini-

excavators from site to site.

Contractors World UK Ireland Vol 6 No 2