Customizing Plant to Increase
Safety is a Priority for Utility
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
“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,”
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
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