Walsh Equipment recently welcomed guests to its facility to witness the unveiling of JCB’s newest generation wheel and track skid steer loaders.
Despite a snowy day, current JCB and Walsh Equipment customers and prospective customers participated in the mid-morning walk-around and catered lunch.
“As a company we believe the new generation of JCB’s are the safest, most operator friendly, and most productive skid loaders available. They’ve created a machine that challenges the old way of doing things, and they’ve come up with a better design. As a manufacturer, they always seem to be on the cutting edge. We’re pleased to sell JCB, because we know they’ve thought about our customers’ safety, comfort, and ownership costs before they build a new unit,” said Charlie Walsh, Walsh Equipment vice president.
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.
JCB Deputy Chairman John Patterson 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’s seven new skid steers — four wheeled and three tracked — will eventually grow to 18 models. All seven machines introduced 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 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. (590 to 1,587 kg).
The new generation machines benefit from a number of new features, including:
• A tilting cab with increased service access
• Multifunction joysticks with an attachment control harness
• A hydraulic quick hitch
• Isolated cab that is sealed and pressurized and 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. Thus, operators can enjoy an unobstructed rear view and nearly 360-degree total visibility for increased job site safety and driver confidence. To further enhance visibility JCB has eliminated the mesh screen around the cab 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. 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.
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 optional smooth ride system. Operators will also 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.
As in previous models, the New Generation skid steers and 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 by 15 percent equating to an estimated annual savings of more than $3,000 (based on an off-road diesel price of $2.90), according to the manufacturer.
“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 arm. 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.”
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