Yanmar Celebrates 30 Years of Zero Tail Swing Excavators

Published: 28/12, 2023

The launch 30 years ago of the Yanmar CE ViO range of compact excavators caused a sensation. Unlike other excavators of its kind at the time, ViO could fully rotate without the rear of the cab/superstructure extending beyond its tracks. This meant that the machines could operate in the tightest of spaces without fear of a rear collision with nearby buildings, vehicles, or people. The concept was embraced by the global industry and soon displaced as much as 70% of the standard models on worksites. 

Collectively, many thousands of collisions and accidents have been avoided, and work in the tightest of spots been made possible – all thanks to the launch of Yanmar CE’s ViO range.

The zero tail swing concept is much cleverer than just shrinking the size of the superstructure. 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, engineers at Yanmar CE needed to create similar counterweight forces by other means, while still maintaining impressive lift capacity. 

The result is an incredibly versatile machine that is able to work in the tightest and narrowest of jobsites. Now in its 7th generation, the ViO range has both consistently evolved over the last 30 years. The ViO17 is a good example of the current breed. Neither the counterweight, nor the front part of the upper frame extend beyond the track width, giving the 2t model an extremely tight turning radius. And yet, thanks to its 4.16-ft (128cm) wide undercarriage, large counterweight, and good weight distribution, it equals or surpasses conventional machines, as well as having great lifting capabilities. 

As proof of the ViO range’s continual improvement, the ViO80-7 model (distributed exclusively in Japan) received the prestigious Good Design Award for 2023 from the Japan Institute of Design Promotion.    


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