Something for everyone

17 April 2008

The 535-140 Loadall is one of two new ‘HiViz’ telehandlers.

The 535-140 Loadall is one of two new ‘HiViz’ telehandlers.

Buoyed by selling more than 70000 machines in 2007, JCB has started this year in bullish spirits, with new mini and large-sized excavators, telehandlers and wheeled loaders. Chris Sleight reports.

JCB chief operating officer, Mathew Taylor was in up-beat mood, when the company launched a series of new products to press and customers in Jerez, Spain at the start of the year.

"It will come as no surprise to you that 2007 was JCB's best ever year," he said. "We sold more than 70000 machines around the world, and this was +30% higher than in 2006," he said.

Mr Taylor continued, "Despite weakening in North America, the total world market is anticipated to have grown between +12% and +13% in 2007. There are a number of factors behind this, but the most important has been the growth in emerging markets.

"Perhaps more surprisingly there has been continued growth in some of our more mature markets to. The UK was up +19% in 2007, and there was growth in Western Europe as a whole. In these markets it was fuelled by growth in the rental markets, relatively low interest rates and, until very recently, the return of business confidence."

The buoyancy of the market is encouraging JCB to invest in its factories and expand its range of equipment. Besides the on-going UK£ 36 million (€ 53 million) programme to expand its backhoe loader plant in New Delhi, India, JCB plans to spend UK 7 million (€ 10 million) on a new attachments factory near its existing facilities in Uttoxeter, UK.

As far as machines go, there is something for everyone in the new products being launched early this year. At the heavy end of the market is the JS 290, a 29 tonne tracked excavator that fills a gap between the 26 tonne and 33 tonne machines in the range.

Explaining the need for this new model in the range, Max Jeffery of JCB's Heavy Products division said, "If we consider the tracked excavator market from 8 tonnes upwards, there are 145000 units sold every year. Some 10% of that is the popular 28 to 33 tonne sector. There are two key classes of machine in this sector - below 30 tonnes and above 30 tonnes."

Power comes from a six-cylinder Isuzu engine, and JCB says the JS 290 offers +11% more dipper tear out force than the average in the class. The machine comes with JCB's ‘Auto' electronic control system, and options include a choice of three arms and various undercarriages, including long tracks and a heavy-duty ‘XD' option.

Coming later this year is the 36 tonne JS 360, which, like the JS 290, plugs a gap in the JCB range between above the JS 330. This year will also see the launch of JCB's largest ever machine, the 50 tonne class JS 520, which will be shown as a concept machine at this month's ConExpo show in Las Vegas.


At the other end of the excavator scale are three new mini excavators. The 2 tonne 8020 is an important model in Europe, and features a reduced tail swing design. Its weight means it is the largest machine that can be towed behind pick-up trucks in many European countries.

JCB says the boom and dipper on the machine offer the best performance in the 2 tonne class, providing 19 kN of breakout force and a 2,6 m dig depth. The variable width undercarriage is a standard feature.

Further up the range is the 8055, a 5,5 tonne class machine that is available as either a reduced or zero tail swing version. Replacing the 8052, the new machine offers higher breakout forces and, at 5,5 km/h, a higher travel speed.

Also new in JCB's compact range are two small wheeled loaders. The 403 is a 27 kW, 0,3 m3 bucket machine aimed at agriculture and landscape markets. The larger 56 kW 409, with its 1 m3 bucket as standard, will be of more interest in the construction industry. It has a straight tipping load of just less than 5 tonnes and the maximum travel speed is 20 km/h.

One of the smallest machines JCB makes is the new HTD5, a 500 kg capacity walk-behind dumper. It comes with a 0,3 m3 skip, but despite its diminutive size, the machine offers a tipping height of 1,45 m.


Last year's Bauma's exhibition saw JCB unveil its new ‘HiViz' range of ‘Loadall' telescopic handlers, and this line has just gone into full production. As the name suggests, visibility is the key selling point with these machines, and the new 535-125 and 535-145 illustrate this well.

At the rear, the boom pivot point is 235 mm lower, while a shorter chassis has made the rear overhang a little smaller too. This improves the rear visibility as well as making the new models more manoeuvrable than their predecessors.

Both offer a lift capacity of 3,5 tonnes. The 535-125 offers a lift height of 12,3 m, while the 535-145 can reach up to 13,8 m high. Power for both comes from JCB's own Stage IIIA diesel engine, rated at 63 kW as standard, with the option of a 74,2 kW version.

On show

Many of these new machines will be on show at this year's major construction equipment exhibitions. Given that this year's step of the Stage IIIA engine emissions laws affect 37 kW to 75 kW units, events like Samoter, Smopyc and ConExpo could well see more new equipment from JCB.


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Andy Brown Editor, Editorial, UK - Wadhurst Tel: +44 (0) 1892 786224 E-mail: [email protected]
Neil Gerrard Senior Editor, Editorial, UK - Wadhurst Tel: +44 (0) 7355 092 771 E-mail: [email protected]
Catrin Jones Deputy Editor, Editorial, UK – Wadhurst Tel: +44 (0) 791 2298 133 E-mail: [email protected]
Eleanor Shefford Brand Manager Tel: +44 (0) 1892 786 236 E-mail: [email protected]