On The Cover

Volvo ECR145E Excavator

How do you equally impress a wide range of customers with vastly different requirements? Volvo’s answer to the question is simple to say, but significantly more challenging to achieve: “Just do everything extremely well.”

Finding the sweet spot for operators and owners has been the key to success for most manufacturers – finding the balance between machine power, productivity, low running/ maintenance costs built into a comfortable and durable machine. Ensuring the said machine is exceptionally maintained through a polished and approachable after-sales team is the holy grail for owners/operators and is something Volvo and CJD Equipment have gotten down to a fine art nationwide. With the new ECR145E Excavator’s introduction, the holy grail is getting closer and closer with every new machine.

What has impressed across the vast Volvo range is their dedication to evolving every machine. Problem-solving and improvement in all aspects have been the focus for over 180 years with the result arriving at where we stand today. During our test the machine effortlessly ripped into the hard ground on our site. Our operator enjoyed low noise and significant power from Volvo’s robust stage V engine (122hp), along with impressive visibility, space, comfort and exceptionally well laid-out precise controls. I have to admit that Volvo’s ECR range in general – and in particular the ECR145E – feature very polished machines indeed.

The thing I love about this short radius 14.5-tonne machine, apart from the creature comforts like improved legroom, spacious interior and new ergonomic controls, is its muscle and features including an advanced hydraulics system optimised for this model. Combined with a fully electronic control system and advanced ECO mode, the engine power cleverly matches the system, improving controllability and response time. The end result of this powerful combination is better fuel efficiency and improved productivity, which for business owners is one of the impressive feathers in the hat of this machine.

When climbing mounds and stockpiles, the ECR145E has been designed with a durable undercarriage to ensure impressive tractive force, particularly on soft or rough ground.

There are several working modes to select to achieve optimum results depending on the work you are completing. With choices comprising of I (idle), F (Fine) G (general) H (heavy) and P* (power max) – this user-friendly integrated working model system now also includes the G4 mode to enhance productivity and reduced running costs.

Faster cycle times have also been enhanced to improve the hydraulic system through increased pump power for quicker and smoother operation, resulting in quicker cycle times and higher productivity.

For operators who need a small footprint matched with plenty of power, the design of the ECR145E has been optimised to offer a compact design with a short swing radius, which allows for safer operation in confined spaces – making this machine an excellent choice for operators needing to manoeuvre in and out of narrow areas with ease. Operators needing to navigate tight residential sites, commercial spaces, or roadside projects will appreciate this compact design.


  • High Tractive Force
  • Stage V engine
  • Multiple Work Modes
  • Faster cycle time
  • Short swing radius
  • Newly designed ROPS-certified cab
  • Improved front and side visibility
  • Wider cab entrance
  • Greater legroom and spacious interior

Enhancing operator safety has always been a massive factor for Volvo, so it wasn’t an enormous surprise that they decided to design a new ROPS-certified cab with even more glass and improved vision from the front and sides. They are providing even more confidence to the operator, which results in higher productivity as well as enhanced sight; both space and sound have been revisited for this 14.5-tonne machine. The overarching goal of reducing operator fatigue, creating a wider entrance for easier access, providing more legroom, and generally creating a more spacious interior that sits within a more compact machine is an awe-inspiring achievement. The inclusion of a well-suited climate control system for the Australian environment means you can work anywhere in Australia totally at ease in the work environment from inside the cab. To simplify using the improved climate control system, it’s displayed on the 8” LCD monitor.

The industry-leading air circulation and defrosting system speed up heating and cooling the cab for a more comfortable environment. Other features easily controlled through by the 8” LCD monitor include the camera function and lights, which can be customised to saved for added convenience. Bluetooth and a hands-free function have also been added so the operator can connect to wireless functions.

Another very cool function we appreciated was the shortcut button on the joystick, allowing the windscreen wipers, camera, audio mute and max power function to be assigned to the shortcut button so the operator can control the selected function by simply pressing a button.

From the machine itself to the buckets and other accessories, Volvo has set out to provide solutions. On the bucket front, Volvo’s buckets range from the durable general-purpose or heavy-duty buckets, providing maximum productivity by being perfectly matched to the machine for digging and rehandling in all working conditions. Optional accessories like quick couplers, hydraulic breakers, tilt rotators and attachment management system flexibility and versatility also rate high on this machine.

But above and beyond all else, the pairing of power, safety, reduced running costs, enhanced hydraulics and operator comfort
are the standout features we have experienced testing the Volvo ECR145E Excavator. When such a high-quality machine is equally matched with the sales, service and maintenance team of CJD Equipment, the life span and resale value of your excavator are always going to add to the overall value of the experience significantly.

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