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Executive Report : Versatile performer
JCB continues to expand its range. Alan Guthrie attended the manufacturer's latest product launch at its World Headquarters in Rocester.
A focus on Health & Safety requirements and other customer needs are behind the development of the Hydradig, a new wheeled loader from JCB. While the 10-tonne class machine probably lies outside the scope of many hirers of compact plant, it is noteworthy because of its innovative design.
The company says
the Hydradig has taken over three years to develop, to address five particular customer priorities, namely visibility, stability, manoeuvrability, mobility and servicing. Drawing on telescopic handler design principles,
the driveline is mounted in the lower chassis, within the machine’s wheelbase. This enables the cab and upper structure to provide 360° visibility, with no engine covers or fluid tanks to obstruct the view.
The operator can see within 1m of the machine’s footprint at ground level from within the cab and, as the engine is not located in the upper bodywork, JCB says there is no requirement for additional hand rails, mirrors or a rear-view camera.
The upper structure has a reduced tail swing of 120mm, facilitating work in confined spaces and single motorway lanes. Power comes from a JCB Ecomax Stage IIIB/Tier 4 Interim engine delivering 81kW, and it does not need a diesel particulate filter. The manufacturer says that the side-mounted engine configuration places the centre of gravity up to 1.5m below that of some similar machines. The twin articulating boom offers a 1000kg lift capacity through 360°.
The engine has a wide-opening canopy for service access,
and daily maintenance checks can be carried out from the ground.
Hydrostatic drive is incorporated and the Hydradig’s maximum travel speed is 25mph. Three steering modes can be selected, comprising two-wheel steer, four-wheel steer and crab steering. The front axle can oscillate through 16° to improve manoeuvrability on rough terrain.
Speaking at the launch, JCB Chairman Lord Bamford explained that his late mother, Marjorie, had initially suggested the Hydradig name, derived from the many-headed serpent from Greek mythology,
for the company’s first backhoe, to reflect its versatility. He also hinted that other models might be introduced in the future.
JCB’s Power Products Division announced a forthcoming range of ‘hire specification’ generators, following the acquisition last September of Broadcrown, a manufacturer based in Stafford. MD Jonathan Garnham told EHN that JCB’s focus has hitherto been on machines below 200kVA, while Broadcrown specialises in sets providing up to 3mW. The new RS line-up will span 20kVA to 2000kVA and will complement the existing QS range encompassing 20kVA to 220kVA.
As standard, RS machines will have heavy duty skid bases with bunded fuel tanks giving up to 12 hours’ running time, together with powder-coated steel canopies, single point lifting and fork lift pockets, Mecc Alte alternators and Deep Sea controllers for synchronisation. Three-way fuel valves and oil sump pumps are incorporated, as well as JCB’s LiveLink telematics for remote monitoring and management of the generators, and for long-term analysis of usage.
RS models of 20kVA to 45kVA will be powered by Kohler engines, while 60kVA to 131kVA machines and 160kVA to 200kVA sets will incorporate JCB Dieselmax power units. Volvo engines will be fitted to models in the 200kVA to 500kVA band, while 800kVA to 2000kVA generators will have Cummins engines.
New from JCB Attachments is a budget range of hydraulic hammers for excavators, under the Contractor brand name, complementing the existing Professional line-up. There are 13 Contractor models, the smallest being the HM012DT that weighs 100kg and is designed to suit micro and mini excavators.•
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