5 July 2022

Collins Earthworks cuts emissions with UK’s first HVO Volvo EC300E Hybrid excavators

Having taken delivery of the UK’s first Volvo EC750E and EC950E excavators and L25 Electric wheeled loader from SMT GB, Collins Earthworks has added two more pioneering machines to its fleet, a pair of Volvo EC300E Hybrid excavators

Featuring Volvo’s novel hydraulic-hybrid technology, these machines harvest ‘free’ energy generated by the downward movement of the boom to achieve 17% greater fuel efficiency than conventional models – with no trade-offs in controllability or performance.

 
The boom down motion charges the accumulator, which drives the assist motor to power the engine system

To further reduce their environmental impact, Collins is running the EC300E Hybrid excavators – the first of their kind in the UK – on hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) fuel, which decreases net CO2 emissions by up to 90%. No modifications were required for the excavators to accept this alternative fuel and they behave the same as if they were powered by diesel. 

“Sustainability is an integral part of our company ethos and profile, and so it is important to us to invest in hybrid and fully electric solutions. We want to be the company paving the way for other contractors towards carbon neutral construction,” said Nathan Warner, site supervisor at Collins. 

 
Nathan Warner, site supervisor at Collins Earthworks

A relationship of trust and close collaboration 

Collins works nationally on some of the country’s largest contracts, operating more than 1,000 items of plant. Around 85% of this equipment is Volvo as the earthmoving specialist runs exclusively Volvo crawler and wheeled excavators, articulated haulers, and wheeled loaders, supplied by the brand’s distribution and service partner in Great Britain SMT GB. 

SMT GB’s commitment to industry-leading products and service support has enabled the dealer to earn Collins’ loyalty along with the company’s trust in the new Volvo technology. 

“The team at SMT GB have given us a professional service for many years, ensuring high uptime and productivity from our Volvo equipment, and in effect helping to keep the company running. We want to stay at the forefront of the industry and so it means a lot to us to be the first in the UK to have the new Volvo EC300E Hybrids,” Warner said. 

 
Volvo excavators and articulated haulers working on the SEGRO Logistics Park Northampton Gateway project

A straightforward solution with a big payback 

Collins has put one of its EC300E Hybrids to work in a team of 10 Volvo crawler excavators and 23 articulated haulers – with more to come – on the SEGRO Logistics Park Northampton Gatewayproject next to the M1 Junction 15. 

Over three years, Collins will move 4,500,0003 of earth around the 480 acre site at a rate of 100,0003 per week in peak times to create plots for distribution buildings and a lorry park, a strategic rail freight interchange, acoustic bunds, and landscaped areas. 

The project also involves widening the dual carriageway and the construction of a by-pass around the village of Roade to minimise traffic congestion, along with the planting of 60,000 trees. 

“We have a lot of work to do, and everything has been precisely calculated at the tender stage, so productivity and fuel efficiency are crucial to us. Any small gains that we make cumulatively add up to a lot helping us to keep on schedule and within budget and to minimise our impact on local residents and the environment,” Warner explained. 

 
Collins Earthworks operator Jack Sewell behind the controls of one of the new Volvo EC300E Hybrids

In this repetitive dig and dump application, where excavators are operating 11 hours a day for five days a week, the EC300E Hybrid offers a straightforward solution with a big payback. 

“The fuel efficiency is amazing, and I can’t feel any difference compared to a traditional digger. It’s also really comfortable and easy to use and the controllability is fantastic. It’s great to be operating such a state-of-the-art machine,” said operator Jack Sewell. 

“We are really impressed with how the EC300E Hybrids have been performing so far and we plan to invest in more Volvo hybrid and electric solutions from SMT GB. This will help us limit our fuel usage and carbon footprint for the benefit of both clients and wider society,” Warner concluded. 


The UK’s first Volvo L25 Electric wheel loader performing general site duties for Collins Earthworks on the SEGRO Logistics Park Northampton Gateway project