JCB hosted North American dealers and both U.S. and international press Nov. 5 at the launch of its new line of skid steer loaders and compact track loaders. The company invested 40 million dollars into these products, which are “representative of one year of thinking and two years in the making,” according to the manufacturer.
These “New Generation” machines are the first to not only be manufactured but also designed and engineered at the company’s North American headquarters in Savannah, Ga., which is “the skid steer capital of the world,” according to Larry Ashley, sales support manager.
John Patterson, deputy chairman of JCB, said, “North America generates 60 percent of the worldwide demand for skid steers and compact track loaders, so developing and producing the new generation of machines in Savannah makes perfect sense and has enabled us not only to meet the unique needs of the North American market but also develop a machine range that will have universal appeal.”
JCB has introduced a range of seven new skid steers — four wheeled and three tracked — in a range that will eventually grow to 18 models. All seven machines are vertical lift, which allows for increased capacity and more reach at maximum lift height. The models now available — the 260, 280, 300 and 330 wheeled skid steers and 260T, 300T, 320T compact track loaders — are large platform machines with rated operating capacities (ROC) of 2,600 lbs. (1,179 kg) and above.
With the introduction of the New Generation machines, JCB will be able to offer a complete range of wheeled and tracked machines, both radial and vertical lift, ranging from 1,300 to 3,500 lbs. (589 to 1,587 kg).
The new generation machines benefit from a number of new features, including:
• A tilting cab with increased service access
• Multi-function joysticks
• A hydraulic quick hitch
• Isolated cab that is sealed and pressurized with reduced noise levels
• Heated air-suspension seat with adjustable armrests
• O-ring face seals for all hydraulic connections
• A new range of more than 30 types of JCB attachments.
The new vertical lift machines showcase JCB’s “PowerBoom” design, which uses a single arm, rather than the conventional two arm skid steer design. The JCB models do not require a torque tube across the back of the machine providing operators with an unobstructed rear view and better all around visibility for increased job site safety and driver confidence.
To further enhance visibility JCB has eliminated the mesh screen on the cab machines and replaced it with laminated glass.
With O-ring face seal hydraulic fittings and a simplified design resulting in 38 percent fewer parts, JCB’s new machines are even easier to service, according to the manufacturer.
A new tilting cab design gives technicians improved access to the machine’s power train and hydraulic components. The new models also feature a rear service door for easy access to the engine and daily checkpoints, a top-opening hood for radiator access and a hinged radiator for improved engine access.
Outstanding Operator Comfort
The new generation machines have a larger entry door and a 17 percent larger cab than previous models. JCB also has introduced multifunction joystick controls and an optional heated air-suspension seat with adjustable armrests. Redesigned control panels have been relocated from the lower console to the panels at the top of the cab to be within the operator’s line of sight.
Other available creature comforts include cup holders, MP3 player compartment with charging outlet and auxiliary plug, optional stereo package and an electronic throttle.
Operators also will enjoy a quieter cab with noise levels at a very low 76dBa, an 85 percent improvement.
Versatility and Performance
Switching to any of the machine’s 30 attachment families is a snap due to a standard universal mechanical hitch or an optional hydraulic quick hitch. Parallel lift and 2-speeds make it easy to maneuver around the job site and complete more tasks in less time, and with the introduction of an optional Smooth Ride System (SRS) transporting materials over rough terrain has been made easier, according to the manufacturer.
As in previous models, the New Generation skid steers and compact track loaders feature a left side entry door that allows the operator to enter and exit the machine clear of the attachment and loader arm.
Owning a JCB skid steer or tracked loader costs less due to increased productivity and serviceability. Overall fuel consumption has been reduced 15 percent equating to an estimated annual savings of more than $3,000 versus competitive machines (based on an off-road diesel price of $2.90).
“JCB has never shied away from innovation,” Patterson said. “Back in 1993, we introduced the industry’s first single-arm, or ’monoboom’ skid steer, a safer, more productive machine that was based upon the same engineering principles as a telescopic handler, which also operates with a single boom. What seemed uncommon to others, JCB saw as common sense, and took the intelligent design of telescopic handlers and applied it to skid steer loaders. Our New Generation skid steers and track loaders embody this same spirit of innovation while taking performance, productivity and safety to an even higher level.”
For more information, visit www.JCBVision.com.
JCB has 19 plants on four continents: 11 in the UK, three in India and others in the United States, China, Germany and Brazil and employs around more than 7,000 people worldwide.
JCB is privately owned by the Bamford family and the Chairman, Sir Anthony Bamford, is the son of the company’s late founder, Joseph Cyril Bamford.
The company manufactures more than 300 different machines including: backhoe loaders; telescopic handlers; tracked and wheeled excavators; wheel loaders; articulated dump trucks; rough terrain fork lifts; mini excavators; skid steers loaders; JCB Vibromax compaction equipment.
In addition, for agricultural markets, the company produces a range of telescopic handlers and the unique Fastrac Tractor. JCB also manufactures the Teletruk forklift for the industrial sector.
In 2005, JCB secured one of the largest orders in its history when it won a $290 million deal to supply the U.S. Government with high mobility engineer excavators (HMEEs). Full-scale production of the HMEE is now under way at JCB’s plant in Savannah, Ga.
The HMEE fulfills a need from the military for rapid deployment high mobility products. To further meet these requirements; JCB also has developed a range of other high mobility products from the high mobility Fastrac tractor, through to the high mobility rough terrain forklift and the high mobility utility vehicle.
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