As part of its continued drive towards zero accidents, Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) is introducing an industry-first safety feature designed to eliminate machine movement linked to unintentional activation of the left joystick.
Reports of workers being hurt by a sudden lurch of a bucket or a swinging excavator boom are unfortunately a common occurrence on construction sites – and the cause is more often than not an accidental nudge of the left joystick. Even a slight touch can be enough to cause unexpected movement and the joystick’s position by the cab door makes it especially easy for both operators and bystanders alike to accidentally trigger it.
But thanks to a new Hand Sensing Joystick option – now available on Volvo CE’s range of compact excavators and the first of its kind within the construction equipment industry – the control will only respond if properly held by the operator’s left hand. If the joystick is bumped when an operator gets in or out of the seat, if someone leans on it from outside the cab or if it gets caught in a person’s clothing, everyone on site can have peace of mind knowing there will be no unintentional movement.
It works via a smart sensor system on the left joystick which detects if the operator is holding it and intentionally wanting to maneuver it. If not, related hydraulic functions remain disabled, eliminating situations that can cause serious accidents.
Michal Saczuk, Strategic Marketing Manager for Volvo Compact Excavators at Volvo CE, says: “Safety is a number one priority for us at Volvo CE and our purpose with this new feature is to keep everyone on site safe from preventable accidents. With our latest innovation we are building on our reputation for safety and our continued efforts towards zero accidents on the job site. This feature is just one example of how Volvo CE compact excavators contribute to a safer workplace and is a direct result of our valued customer feedback.”
This is the company’s most advanced innovation as part of its existing ‘control locks’ features, available on compact excavators. As standard machine controls are disabled when the left console is raised. But for additional safety assurance, customers can choose:
- a control lock switch, which ensures hydraulics are operational only when the switch is intentionally pressed,
- a control lock belt, which ensures hydraulics are operational only if the belt is fastened,
- a control lock seat and switch, which ensures hydraulics are operational only if the driver is firmly seated (detected via seat sensors) and a switch on the right side panel is pressed.
Furthermore, for larger job sites, a green beacon feature has also been created to encourage best safety practice and increase overall site safety. A green LED flashing beacon activates when the engine is running and the seatbelt is buckled, allowing bystanders to recognize that the machine is in operation. Its aim is to not only remind operators to fasten their seatbelt at all times, but also highlight to site managers or anyone else in the vicinity whether or not the operator is fastened in their seat.
Volvo CE compact excavators also benefit from built-in features such as bright handrails and anti-slip steps to make access to the cab safe and easy, ergonomic controls and all-round visibility to ensure the safest and most comfortable operation and conveniently positioned tow points to provide easy transportation.
With its continually evolving range of safety features, Volvo CE is commited to reducing the risk of accidents, interruptions and unexpected costs allowing everyone to remain safe. As an additional benefit, these solutions also contribute to enhanced productivity.