History of Volvo Excavators

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    Apr 05, 2013
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History of Volvo Excavators Photo by Chris Martin

It was the industrial revolution in the mid-1800’s when the foundations were laid for the Volvo Construction Equipment. Johan TheofronMunktell, and brothers Jean and Carl Gerhard Bolinder. The three founders were all talented entrepreneurs, and their thinking back then, and dedication to do something different is one of the reasons why Volvo Construction Equipment are as successful as they are today.

In 1832 Johan was commissioned to start an engineering workshop for the purpose of developing local mechanical machinery.

It was in 1950 when AB Volvo bought the machine manufacturer Bolinder-Munktell. This company was a tractor manufacturer, which was founded in Sweden in 1932.

In 1954 Volvo launch their first wheel loader. They had simply turned an ordinary tractor back to front and placing the loader unit over the bigger wheels, made the possibility for heavier loads and higher breakout forces.  In the late 1950’s Volvo invented to articulated hauler concept. Although there were some major issues, such as its ability to move around.However, this was eventually sorted and the company sketched the ideas of a tractor without wheels, with articulated steering and drive to the loads unit wheels. Within a few years the world saw the very first DR 631 roll off the production line. The worlds first series manufactured articulated hauler with all-wheel drive.

In 1973 the name was changed to Volvo BM. Over the following years, the company purchased a number of other companies across the globe to help build their brand and grow the business.

In 1985 Volvo make a very clever move, whichopened the American market to the company’s products in a whole new way.  Volvo allied itself with the American manufacturer Clark Equipment.  In the following years Volvo expanded their range and started to introduce excavators and compact machines.

In 1995 Volvo BM was changed to Volvo Construction Equipment to create a more meaningful business name that would take them into the new millennium.

In 1998 Volvo Construction Equipment once again sought new exciting opportunities. Volvo became the first foreign company every to invest in Korea.

Since the 1800’s lots of changes have taken place with this successful company. Below is a review of its progress from start to present day:

1832-1957 – Tools and machine tools

1840-1973 – Foundry products
1846-1921 – Steam Engines
1847-1891-Threshing machines and combine harvesters
1878-1957-Woodworking machinery
1893-1993- Compression ignition and diesel engines
1906-1939-Road Rollers/Compactors 1906-1939
1913-1984 –Tractors
1924-1981-Motor graders
1954-Wheel Loaders
1966-Articulated haulers
1965-1997-Backshoe/Excavator loaders then 2002 onwards
1973-1978-Harvesters/Processors then 2007 onwards
1982-1998-Ridge Haulers
1985-1987-Wheel Dozers
1991- Excavators
2001-Skid steer loaders
2007-Milling equipment

Nowadays Volvo has a range of products, not to mention their very well respected car range. Their excavator model range include a diverse specification including the EC140D, EC220 and EC460C which has a maximum digging depth of 9.2m and an impressive digging reach of 13.3m.  Volvo excavators are used all over the world nowadays, and are designed to take the most extremes of hot and cold weather. The huge amount of research and development Volvo put into their products is one of the reasons why they are so reliable.

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