Yanmar Celebrates 30 Years of ViO

The launch 30 years ago of the Yanmar CE ViO range of compact excavators changed the equipment workplace. The ViO allowed operators to work in tight spaces without fear of a rear collision with nearby buildings, vehicles or people.

Although zero tail swing excavators are now a dominant part of the compact equipment market – the ViO is still leading the way 30 years on. Collectively, many thousands of collisions and accidents have been avoided, and work in the tightest of spots been made possible.

Yanmar compact excavator
Yanmar began making the ViO compact excavator in 1993.

In traditional excavators having a protruding counterweight at the rear of the excavator is useful in balancing loads at the front, when lifting or digging, for example. But with this removed, the engineers at Yanmar CE needed to create similar counterweight forces by other means, while still maintaining impressive lift capacity.

The ViO is able to work in tight and narrow of jobsites. Now in its 7th generation, the range has expanded and is still going strong. Recently the designed-for-Japan ViO80-7 was declared a winner in this year’s prestigious Japan Institute of Design Promotion’s 2023 Good Design Award.

The ViO zero tail swing concept has consistently developed over the last 30 years. The ViO17 (pictured top) is a good example of the current breed. Neither the counterweight, nor the front part of the upper frame extend beyond the track width. This gives the 4,023-pound (1.8-metric ton) model an extremely tight turning radius. And yet, thanks to its 4-foot, 2-inch (1,280-mm wide) undercarriage, large counterweight and good weight distribution, it equals or surpasses conventional machines, as well as having great lifting capabilities.

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