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JCB Eco Backhoe Loader Cuts Fuel Costs

Thu June 02, 2011 - National Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

JCB has unveiled its most efficient backhoe loader, offering customers average fuel savings ranging from six to 16 percent over a typical workday — and saving customers more than $2,000 in fuel costs over a year, according to the manufacturer.

The savings are largely achieved through the introduction of a new EcoDig system incorporating three hydraulic pumps.

The new design of the machine features a re-styled counterweight and new vertical grill pressings. The sharper lines on the excavator and loader profiles contribute to the look, while the sloping engine hood retains excellent forward visibility.

In addition, the machines benefit from a host of new features including:

• Improved cab for greater comfort

• New heated front shield

• An in-cab hot drinks machine

• Power brakes providing proportional braking and fuel economy improvements

• Combined hammer and bi-directional circuit for versatility in attachment use

• A 30 ft. factory-fitted hose reel for improved productivity and versatility

JCB Group Managing Director of Product Development and Commercial Operations Tim Burnhope said: “JCB has been at the forefront of backhoe design for almost 60 years and through innovation we continue to raise the bar and offer our customers machines which have superior performance and are more cost efficient and comfortable to operate.

“The new generation of JCB backhoe loader represents a significant investment and the result is JCB’s most efficient backhoe loader ever which has been designed with fuel economy firmly in mind. Whether loading, roading or digging JCB’s latest generation of backhoe offers the customer a machine that works harder but uses less fuel.

“We believe the new JCB backhoe will cement our position as the world’s best selling brand in a market which we expect to grow significantly over the next five years.”

Increased Productivity

The biggest changes are under the skin. A new EcoDig hydraulic system now utilizes three hydraulic pumps to provide the same hydraulic output but at lower engine speeds, itself delivering average fuel savings of up to 15 per cent.

A secondary benefit of the three pump design is faster performance of the extradig (extending dipper stick), further boosting productivity. The new hydraulic system and lower engine speeds also contribute to a cut in exhaust emissions and a reduction in overall machine noise levels, both inside the cab and externally.

The new backhoes come with the existing EcoRoad options of smooth ride system (SRS) and TorqueLock to help boost productivity still further. TorqueLock reduces fuel consumption by up to 25 percent while increasing speed by up to 10 percent and the smooth ride system maximizes load retention around site for increased productivity and operator comfort, according to the manufacturer.

Power brakes are to be introduced on both 3CX and 4CX models. The system provides proportional braking throughout the pedal travel, providing operators with improved braking and reduced effort.

JCB also has redesigned the pedal box in the backhoe loader cab, with an automotive style position, which improves ergonomics. The power brake design ensures that there is full brake pad release when the driver comes off the pedal. This enables operators to better maintain roading speeds and contributes to a further one percent saving in fuel consumption.

By using the machine’s hydraulic system to supply oil for the power brakes, there is no requirement for separate brake reservoirs. This simplifies service and reduces the number of daily checks for the driver.

JCB’s EcoLoad package of options adds to the enhanced productivity. The return-to-dig feature automatically resets the shovel to dig position, saving time and effort while the transmission disconnect diverts hydraulic power to the loader for faster lifting. In addition, high engine torque at low revs provides excellent pushing and hill climbing performance and limited slip differentials (LSD) provide extra traction in challenging conditions.

A New Design and a New Cab

The 3CX and 4CX ranges benefit from the redesign, incorporating sharper lines in the counterweight, grill and front hood. The cab adopts a similar style to the JCB Fastrac, with improved run-off channels to prevent rainwater collecting on the roof. The machines also benefit from independently adjustable working lights at the front and rear of the roof, providing improved visibility all around the working area in poor light conditions.

The cab is refreshed internally too, with a move to a black interior in the lower half of the cab, including the seat, which has new material to provide increased comfort and less wear. The pillars and roof lining adopt a lighter gray color, making the cab feel even more light and spacious, according to the manufacturer.

JCB engineers found a new material to cover the redesigned steering wheel, offering improved grip for the driver. The backhoes also benefit from new switches, activating consoles which provide light definition. The switches have laser etched images that are clearly backlit, enabling clear visibility of switches at night.

Available in time for winter 2011, an optional automatic heated windshield rapidly clears ice and misting in cold conditions, allowing the operator to get to work without delay in the morning.

Attachment Availability

A new combined hammer and bidirectional auxiliary circuit makes the fitting of attachment power circuits easier. The circuit has been designed to provide low flow and high flow across all 3CX and 4CX models, including all fixed and extending dipper variants. This increases versatility for the customer as the machines are compatible with an increased number of optional attachments.

There also is the option of a new 30 ft. hose reel on the hand held tool circuit, that allows contractors to use hydraulic power tools alongside the backhoe loader, removing the need for separate power packs.

Taking A Break

In the 1970’s JCB supplied a kettle as an option with each machine so that the driver could make a hot drink even when away from the site facilities.

Now JCB is to revive this link with the past. All 3CX and 4CX models will be available with an optional hot drinks machine, capable of producing tea or coffee, which will lock securely into an area at the side of the cab. The machine uses the 12V supply directly from the machine and has been designed to fit into the existing cab layout.

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