Addressing the fact that 60% of the worldwide demand for skid steers and compact track loaders is in North America, JCB has launched a new line of skid steer loaders and compact track loaders that are its first to not only be manufactured but also designed and engineered at the company’s North American headquarters in Savannah, GA.
Seven new skid steers are included in the recent launch—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 of 2600 lb (1180 kg) and above. With the introduction of what JCB is referring to as its "New Generation" machines, it will be able to offer a complete range of wheeled and tracked machines, both radial and vertical lift, ranging from 1300 to 3500 lb (590 to 1590 kg).
The new vertical lift machines make use of 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 an unobstructed rear view and better all-around visibility for job site safety. JCB has also eliminated the mesh screen on the cab machines and replaced it with laminated glass.
O-ring face seal hydraulic fittings and a simplified design resulting in 38% fewer parts contribute to the machines being 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% larger cab than previous models. JCB has also 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. The cabs are sealed and pressurized for a quieter operator environment, with noise levels at 76 dBa, an 85% improvement.
Switching to any of the machine’s 30 attachment families is said to be easy due to a standard universal mechanical hitch or an optional hydraulic quick hitch. Parallel lift and two speeds make it easy to maneuver around the job site and complete more tasks in less time. The introduction of an optional Smooth Ride System makes transporting materials over rough terrain a bit easier.
As in previous models, the New Generation skid steers and compact track loaders feature a unique left-side entry door that allows the operator to enter and exit the machine clear of the attachment and loader arm.
JCB says the overall fuel consumption of the new skid steer or tracked loaders has been reduced 15%, equating to an estimated annual savings of more than $3000 vs. competitive machines (based on an off-highway price of $2.90).