Manufacturers & Procurement

JCB unveils new models of its popular backhoe

The 3CX in action during the Dubai media event.

JCB, one of the world’s top construction equipment manufacturers,  announced the launch of the updated version of its popular 3CX range of backhoe loaders and a new heavy-duty tracked excavator on the Middle East market at a major regional media event in Dubai last month.

Unveiling three new models during the event held at Jebel Ali Resort, JCB said it is building on its global leadership of the backhoe loader market with the update to its “world-beating” 3CX range.

The revised range includes three models – the 3CX, 3CX Plus and the 3CX PRO. The 3CX is powered by a 55kW naturally-aspirated diesel engine, has a fixed dipper arm, and comes with manual controls. The 3CX can be equipped with a general-purpose (GP) or a six-in-one front shovel.

The 3CX Plus, powered by a 68kW turbocharged engine, comes with a fixed or an extending dipper arm and a GP or six-in-one front shovel with the option of flip-over forks. At the rear, a 600-mm bucket comes as standard. An optional 300-mm bucket and a grading bucket, as well as optional hammer pipework or bucket-to-grab changeover, are also available. The 3CX Plus has a new integrated HVAC system as standard and comes with manual excavator controls.

Topping the range is the 3CX PRO, which gets the same engine, shovel, dipper, and rear bucket options as the 3CX Plus. For the first time, the 3CX PRO comes with seat-mounted servo controls as standard, providing effortless control of the excavator and loader and unobscured visibility to the rear of the machine when excavating. The machine also comes with a hammer/bi-directional auxiliary circuit as standard.

“The JCB backhoe loader is celebrating 70 years in production and it continues to be one of the most popular machines in the global construction industry,” says Richard Brooks, Group Product Innovation Director. “Bringing together the capabilities of a loading shovel, a forklift, an excavator, and a tool carrier in a single versatile machine, the JCB backhoe loader remains the ultimate master of all trades.”

According to JCB, key new developments on these models include:

•  New ROPS/FOPS cab as standard, with a new interior and HVAC system;

•  Single loader lever with integral directional control;

•  Seat-mounted joystick controls standard on PRO models;

•  Variable flow pump, auto idle, auto stop and work modes leading to 24 per cent fuel saving compared to leading competitors;

•  EasyShift transmission as standard and Smooth Ride System for improved roading performance; and

•  JCB LiveLink telematics reporting of fuel levels.

A new cab and an extensive range of new features and options for 2024 will help customers to reduce costs and increase efficiency, with improved operator comfort, versatility and productivity when loading, roading and excavating, he adds.

Brooks continues: “This new range of machines represents a huge investment by JCB and shows our commitment to the future of the backhoe loader. This will maintain JCB’s position as the world’s leading manufacturer of backhoe loaders, by making life much easier for the operator. Through increased comfort and by significantly improving efficiency and productivity, JCB has ensured that the JCB 3CX backhoe loader remains the first choice for customers and operators. What better way to celebrate 70 years of the JCB backhoe loader than the launch of this new machine range purposely designed for the non-legislated markets?”

 All models benefit from a new cab interior, with high quality moulded plastics and a light grey roof and pillar colour that gives a spacious, airy feel to the cab.

The seat rotation within the new ROPS/FOPS-compliant cab has been made easier with the introduction of a tilting steering column and increased space for the operator, providing effortless transition between loader and excavator working positions, Brooks points out. Improved cab sealing helps to keep the operator clean and comfortable even in the most arduous working environments.

There is plenty of storage in the cab, while Bluetooth connectivity and a USB charging port are standard features. There are screens to the front and the side of the cab, providing all necessary operating information. A new HVAC system is standard on 3CX Plus and 3CX PRO, delivering improved cooling and heating performance through 12 adjustable air vents and a further nine demisting vents positioned around the cab. The air-conditioning filter housing has been redesigned to prevent water ingress while washing down the machine.

The loader lever has been simplified to work like a wheeled loader. The single lever allows one-handed control of the loader and the transmission, with a forward-neutral-reverse switch as standard with a front auxiliary control roller switch on six-in-one variants built into the head of the lever.

“All models benefit from a high flow piston pump, delivering 150 litres/minute. This allows the engine to run at lower rpm while maintaining productivity. The variable flow pump only provides flow on demand, reducing fuel consumption when the hydraulics are not in use. The machines have Eco, Standard and Power working modes, allowing the operator to tailor performance to the task,” he says.

Auto idle and auto stop functions also reduce unnecessary fuel use, by returning the engine to idle rpm when the machine is not being used and switching off the engine after a pre-determined period of inactivity. The combined impact of these efficiency improvements result in a 24 per cent lower fuel consumption, and reduced emissions compared to leading competitors, JCB claims.

“This represents an 8,800-litre fuel saving over three years, which will reduce running costs significantly compared to competitor machine offerings,” Brooks explains. “These efficiency improvements do not come at the expense of productivity as the new machine can load 20 tonnes into a lorry in less than five minutes, move material up to 20 per cent faster than a 13-tonne excavator and grade in less than half the time of a 13-tonne excavator. It can also excavate 150 tonnes per hour and travel 40 km in an hour.”

Meanwhile, JCB also unveiled the JS385LC HD, a heavy-duty tracked excavator that has been purpose-built for the mining, quarrying and civil engineering sectors.

Key features include:

•  Proven, efficient Tier 2 JCB Dieselmax six-cylinder engine

•  Heavy-duty track frame with reinforced idlers and strengthened frame

•  Heavy-duty dig end for maximum durability

•  Reinforced side members protect upper structure from impacts

•  Deluxe air-conditioned operator cab mounted on six viscous mounts to cut vibration

•  Up to 2.3 cu m bucket capacity for maximum productivity

The new JS385LC HD is said to build on the success of JCB’s popular JS370, with a host of strengthened and reinforced features, designed to maximise durability and reliability in the toughest operating conditions. It weighs in at 37.3-38 tonnes, with a maximum digging reach of 10.58 m and a digging depth of 6.82 m from the longer 2.63 m dipper. A shorter 2.21-m mass excavation dipper arm is also available.