Editor at Large: JCB Skid Steer and Track Loader Launch Pictorial

Last Friday, the English equipment magnate JCB launched seven new skid steers and track loaders to the global market. All will be made at the company’s North American manufacturing facility in Savannah, Ga. These compact loaders are something unique for the industry – they are one-armed tool carriers and loaders – based on the DNA of JCB’s telehandler range (every other skid steer or track loader utilizes a two boom configuration). These unique single boom units make entry and exit safe and easy, as well as allow the operator the best visibility in the industry. JCB invited Compact Equipment down to test out the new units and we were more than impressed. We listened to presentations, we toured the factory floor and then we jumped in the cab to see how these one-armed bandits compared to the competition. To say the least, they were powerful, comfortable, efficient and nimble. And we’re excited to say this is only the first round of 18 new models that will be released over the next two years. Here’s a pictorial of the event last week. Wave your cursor over photos to read their captions (works best in a Windows Explorer browser). – Keith Gribbins, managing editor, Compact Equipment

CE managing editor Keith Gribbins gets behind the joysticks of a JCB track loader.  There are four new skid steer models (the 260, 280, 300 and 330) and three new track loader units (the 260T, 300T and 320T).

Switching to any of JCB’s impressive 30 attachment families is a snap thanks to a standard universal mechanical hitch or an optional hydraulic quick hitch on these loaders. Parallel lift and two-speeds make it easy to maneuver around the jobsite and complete more tasks in less time.

Larry Ashley, JCB business development manager, unveiled the new JCB skid steers and track loaders to journalists at the company’s posh indoor theater. “From now on, and you can print this, Savannah is the skid steer capital of the world,” he said.

As in previous models, the new generation JCB 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, making it the industry’s safest skid steer.

When touring the expansive JCB manufacturing facility in Savannah, Ga., I photographed this enormous banner on the back wall. Besides making skid steers and track loaders, this manufacturing facility also makes JCB’s famed military-grade backhoe the HMEE (the High Mobility Engineer Excavator).

JCB focuses on quality control manufacturing. Here a factory employ runs this new loader through its paces, testing the powertrain.

Now owning a JCB skid steer or track loader costs less due to increased productivity and serviceability. Overall fuel consumption has been reduced 15 percent equating to an estimated annual savings of more than $3,000 vs. competitive machines. So now you can spend that extra money on this silage tiller attachment.

Journalists from all over the world (from Russia to Canada) crowded around the seven new units as they were launched to the public last week. Note: All of these new units are vertical lift loaders (as opposed to the old style of radial lift machines).

Did you know that 31 percent of all skid steers go into landscape applications? Twenty percent also goes in general farming. Those are two huge markets and JCB is really targeting those industries with its new skid steer and track loader launch.

JCB claims best-in-class visibility and here’s the view they’re talking about. JCB’s unique “PowerBoom” design uses a single arm, rather than the conventional two arm skid steer design. Thus, operators can enjoy an unobstructed rear view and better all around visibility for unmatched jobsite safety and driver confidence.

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