Volvo EC480E: Unleashing the Power of Productivity

SOURCE: Volvo CE | March 1, 2024

Quarries face the challenge of optimising machinery amidst escalating fuel costs and growing sustainability considerations. Balancing the pursuit of increased productivity without excessive fuel consumption presents a significant dilemma in the quarrying sector in Australia.

Addressing this challenge, Volvo Construction Equipment presents the EC480E as a solution. Exploring the diverse capabilities of the EC480E excavator, Quarry chats to Hayden Grant, the national product manager at CJD Equipment, regarding this versatile excavator and the optional technologies that can be integrated into this machinery positioning the EC480E as a leading choice in the market.


Being the latest generation, the Volvo EC480E, equipped with a D13 Stage V engine and delivering 374 hp, is designed to meet the latest emission standards and improve fuel efficiency without any performance loss in most operating conditions. Its operating weight of around 48 tonnes and bucket capacity of up to 3.5m3 facilitate substantial work in various terrains.

“The D13 Stage V engine boasts more power while allowing operators to reduce fuel consumption and emissions and achieve superior quality, reliability and durability,” he said.

“The engine was designed off proven, advanced technology and built on decades of experience.”

At the heart of the Volvo EC480E is an electro-hydraulic system that can control flow and reduce internal losses in the machine’s hydraulic circuit. This system increases the operator’s controllability and shortens cycle times, which helps improve fuel efficiency and productivity.

The EC480E has two automatic modes. The automatic idling system reduces the engine speed after inactive periods, while the automatic engine shutdown turns the engine off after a long period of inaction.

As part of the machine’s ECO mode, the two features help reduce the excavator’s fuel consumption around the job site. This mode is activated as default, but operators can turn it off at the keypad.

Grant said eco mode and the D13 engine improved fuel efficiency without any performance loss in most operating conditions.

Operators can monitor fuel consumption levels with the improved fuel display, showing real-time and average fuel consumption. This real-time data lets operators make informed decisions about tasks and fleet management.


To get the maximum productivity from the EC480E excavator, Volvo designed it with the operator in mind. Its spacious cab provides a welcoming environment, equipped with adjustable seats and controls tailored to ergonomic ease.

“With ideally placed controls and switches and a user-friendly LCD monitor and keypad, the task at hand becomes easier, and operators will work more efficiently – resulting in more productivity,” Grant said.

The Volvo EC480E LCD monitor serves as the centre for efficiency, not just displaying information but also streamlining operations though customisable shortcuts, features can be hot-keyed to suit the operator’s access to them while working. Features like the windscreen wipers, camera and audio mute can be placed on the EC480E’s shortcut panel for easy access. This innovative interface allows operators to tailor the monitor to their preferences, creating quick-access shortcuts to frequently used functions and settings.

The LCD monitor also provides the operator with machine information, including fuel consumption and service alerts, to enable them and quarry managers to make informed decisions on-site.

The productivity focus extends beyond the operator cabin with several critical features adapted into the EC480E’s build. An optional diesel-driven coolant heater can help start the engine in low temperatures while heating the cab, with the ability to be set to turn on for a future date and time.

The hydraulically driven, electronically controlled cooling fan regulates the temperature of the vital components. It automatically activates only when needed to ensure it cuts down on fuel consumption. The optional reversible functionality – which blows air in the opposite direction – enables self-cleaning of the cooling units to provide less maintenance and more productivity.


Volvo Construction Equipment has embraced the latest technology to provide owners and operators of the EC480E excavator with critical features to optimise their operations.

Volvo Co-Pilot, a 10-inch touch screen display, is an optional extra for the Volvo EC480E, available through Volvo’s Australian dealer CJD Equipment, which opens a world of options for operators.

With Volvo Co-Pilot installed, customers can purchase a dig assist quarry package that combines Dig Assist strategy and On-Board Weighing (OBW).

Through this package, operators can access the basic level of Dig Assist, which provides real-time data feedback for operators. Operators can quickly gauge when they have reached target depths and slopes, eliminating the need for manual grade and level checks. This technology optimises safety and ensures high precision, faster project completion and reduced over/under excavation.

The Dig Assist quarry package also  enables the full use of the OBW with minimum digging functionality, with OBW being the system that links up to external productivity services.

It is also possible to upgrade to Dig Assist In-Field Design and Topcon and Trimble 3D after installing the Volvo Co-Pilot and Dig Assist package on the EC480E excavator.

“The Volvo Co-Pilot is a state-of-the-art technology designed to work seamlessly and simultaneously with Volvo Assist, comprising of Dig Assist, Haul Assist and Load Assist, providing real-time operational data for a responsive, harmonious and efficient operating experience,” Grant said.

“The beauty of Dig Assist is that you can load applications similarly to how you would download an app on a mobile phone. For example, it is possible to have both Trimble and Topcon in Dig Assist; you can switch between them once they have been set up.”

Volvo Co-Pilot serves as the central command hub for all Volvo Assist platforms. It leverages the potential of onboard machine data and high-precision sensors to streamline tasks, which Volvo CE has engaged to reduce completion times substantially. Co-Pilot’s user-friendly interface ensures operators can quickly initiate projects with a few simple taps, selecting the required job parameters.

The strategically placed display minimises operator engagement with fewer on-screen menus, thereby maintaining concentration on the immediate tasks. Volvo Co-Pilot alerts the operator with auditory and visual signs by establishing predetermined operational boundaries. This reduces the need for additional personnel on-site by eliminating physical movement around the machinery.

Grant said CJD Equipment’s team of experts can guide customers through the best options and setup for their needs.

“Volvo is one of the world’s best manufacturers of safe, high-quality, and technologically advanced machinery. Telematics is just one step forward in the transformation towards strategic customer partnerships – with additional productivity services available,” he said.

“CJD Equipment has an extensive national support network to ensure you are well supported, no matter where or when.” 

to comment on this story or for additional details click on related button above.