MUNICH, GERMANY - JCB has unveiled a new generation of backhoe-loaders (featured on the Equipment Today April 2010 cover) that offer customers more versatility, productivity, cost efficiency and comfort.
JCB's proven past in backhoe-loaders stretches back to 1953 when the company first pioneered the machine. Over those six decades, the company has pushed the boundaries in backhoe development and now two in every five of these machines sold anywhere in the world are made by JCB.
At the Bauma show in Munich, the wraps came off the most efficient JCB backhoe-loader ever, offering customers average fuel savings ranging from 6% to 16% at typical daily work rates, largely achieved through the introduction of a new EcoDig system incorporating three hydraulic pumps.
The striking new design of the machine features a re-styled counterweight and new vertical grille design offering an even more aggressive feel. The sharper lines on the excavator and loader profiles contribute to the robust look, while the sloping hood retains excellent forward visibility.
In addition, the machines benefit from a host of new features including an improved cab for greater comfort, and power brakes providing proportional braking and fuel economy improvements. Optional features include:
- New heated front windshield - an industry first for backhoe-loaders
- An in-cab hot beverage machine
- Combined hammer and bi-directional circuit for excellent versatility in attachment use
- A 9-metre factory-fitted hose reel for improved productivity and versatility
Tim Burnhope, JCB Group Managing Director for Product Development and Commercial Operations, 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 loaders represent 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."
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%. Operators are able to select from two working modes, either Eco mode or low flow, to optimize productivity and improve machine control.
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 further. TorqueLock reduces fuel consumption by up to 25% while increasing speed by up to 10% and the Smooth Ride System maximizes load retention around the job site for increased productivity and operator comfort.
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 has also redesigned the pedal position 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 per cent 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 operator.