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A brace of backhoes for York Consortium of Drainage Boards

The York Consortium of Drainage Boards has broken with tradition favouring two Volvo BL61 Plus powershift backhoe loaders for its mobile plant fleet.

“We invited tenders for the replacement of our existing backhoes and having taken into consideration the package, third party recommendations and most importantly, the benefits to health, safety and operator comfort unanimously opted for the BL61’s from Volvo,” says Nathan Culpan, engineering assistant to the Board. The machines are to be deployed throughout the seven separate board area which make up the York Consortium maintaining ditches, sludge removal and bank remediation work. The new backhoe loaders have been sold by Chippindale Plant – Volvo’s compact equipment dealer in Yorkshire.



The BL61 Plus is powered by a Volvo 4 cylinder low emission engine developing 91hp. The carefully matched drive train provides high fuel efficiency and in addition, a fuel tank of 120 litres capacity keeps the BL61 working longer between top ups. The powershift transmission aids productivity with four forward and reverse speeds with automatic mode engaged when 4th speed is selected.

The box-welded front loading arms are shaped to follow the line of the engine cover for good visibility, while its self levelling system (with ‘float’ and ‘return to dig’ modes) allows the operator to concentrate on machine positioning. The centre mounted bucket cylinder also affords the operator a high degree of visibility at the bucket end due to how it is mounted, provides optimum digging power.

The loader arm has a lift capacity of 2922kg while offering a generous bucket breakout force of 49.6kN. At the rear of the machine, the side shifting backacter with extendible dipper gives a maximum reach and dig depth of 5.87 metres and 4.28 metres respectively and a practical load over height of 2.9 metres,. The backhoe cylinders are cushioned to eliminate jolting and the rigid hydraulic lines are cleanly routed inside the boom. For additional safety, the Board specified the fitting of Prolec ‘heightwatch’ systems for use when operating under power lines.

Joining two existing 16 tonne long reach excavators, the two new Volvo backhoe loaders are expected to operate for the next seven years. “We are highly optimistic about our new acquisitions an are confident we will enjoy good support from Chippindale Plant and Volvo in the future,” concludes Nathan.

Chippindale Plant Lid Is Volvo Construction Equipment’s appointed dealer for the range of Volvo compact equipment in Yorkshire.