Volvo Launches Its Biggest Excavators: New 50-Ton-Class EC530E and EC550E

Big jobs require big machines, and Volvo has stepped up to the plate with a pair of its biggest excavators to date, the EC530E and EC550E.

When coupled with large buckets, the EC530E and EC550E are pass-matched to fill articulated haulers in the 30- to 40-ton class, requiring fewer passes to load them and reducing cycle times.

The specs are mostly identical on both machines. The main difference is found in the undercarriage. The EC550E undercarriage has a long, wide lower frame (with an overall width of 12 feet 2 inches retracted and 13 feet 9 inches extended) giving it extra stability when working with heavier loads.

For loading and transportation convenience, the EC530E shares the same 10-foot, 10-inch width as Volvo’s 48-ton EC480E. The end result is an EC530E with 22,884 pounds of lift capacity, while the bigger and wider EC550E raises that to 29,674 pounds at reach height.

There’s also a slight difference in digging depth, with the more compact EC530E going down to 25 feet 8 inches and the EC550E reaching to 25 feet 3 inches. But the 40-foot reach height is identical in both machines.

Power with precision

Both machines put out 456 horsepower and 1,623 foot-pounds of torque. The high-horsepower engine, rigid reinforced undercarriage and sturdy lower and upper frames enable the two machines to claw through tough material with 56,450 foot-pounds of breakout force in the normal mode and 60,500 foot-pounds boosted. Tear-out force measures 49,480 foot-pounds normal and 52,850 foot-pounds boosted.

To assure customers that the excavators’ power-to-weight ratios don’t overly stress the iron, both models are backed by a lifetime frame and structure warranty, which covers the frame, boom and arm for the initial ownership period. 

Volvo cites a 25% improvement in fuel efficiency from the excavators’ electro-hydraulic independent metering valve technology (IMVT). This keeps engine speeds lower while maintaining hydraulic power, which gives you more precise operation and efficiency than a mechanically coupled hydraulic system.

The power is also tempered with high levels of control, including creep mode for precise lift-and-carry work. Adjustable boom-down speeds also enhance precision as does a new boom-and-arm bounce reduction technology to lessen machine shock. An optional feature, comfort drive control (CDC), helps reduce operator fatigue by steering the excavator with joystick rollers instead of pedals.