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Skid steer loaders safe option
Skid steer loaders safe option

JCB's latest skid steer loaders feature a range of industry exclusives.

The features include side door entry and a single loader arm design that combine to radically enhance operator safety, as well as features that help improve productivity.

"As one of the largest heavy equipment manufacturers in the world, we aim to revolutionise the industry and set new standards in safety, while ensuring powerful performance," JCB Construction Equipment Australia product manager Ken Butler said.

"These new machines may look similar to the old ones in design but don't be fooled. The changes to these models go more than skin deep and they combine to make the new skid steers incredibly fuel efficient, safe and productive."

Among the biggest changes is a larger entrance space to the machine. More than double the size of traditional designs, JCB's exclusive side entry means operators don't have to climb over cumbersome buckets and attachments and, in some circumstances, underneath a fully raised attachment, making the skid steers much safer.

"The modular-design, fully-sealed cabin makes the skid steers among the quietest around," Mr Butler said.

"The cabin is up to 46 per cent bigger than competitor models, so operator comfort is assured.

"The exceptional comfort is complemented by 270 degrees of uninterrupted all-round vision, an essential safety feature, particularly when operating in confined environments."

This outstanding visibility is delivered partly via the JCB-exclusive monoboom design - the JCB PowerBoom.

"We adapted the technology from our world-leading telehandlers to develop the single-arm boom," Mr Butler said.

"The PowerBoom design is incredibly stable, with the powertrain components and the cab being offset to provide for a well-balanced machine."

The PowerBoom is available in radial and vertical lift configurations and uses 20 per cent more steel than other conventional double-arm skid steer designs, ensuring durable strength to provide a lifetime of productivity whatever the application.

"The result is a stronger, more durable design that provides more reach at maximum lift height," Mr Butler said.

While safety was a key area of focus for the JCB design team, power and productivity have not been sacrificed.

Mr Butler said the new models were very fuel efficient and had saved customers in the US about $US3000 per year in fuel costs.

"When you consider how much more Australians pay for fuel than their American counterparts, the savings are significant," he said.

"Powerful performance is a given across all new wheeled and tracked models.

"The Dieselmax engine was specifically designed for construction applications, so it gives incredible power at low RPMs.

"It's got enough torque for the toughest jobs and its efficient operation results in a 15 per cent decrease in fuel consumption."

The machines' outstanding breakout force combined with high lift capabilities make the skid steers ideal for digging, loading and lifting.

"The Smooth Ride option hydraulically cushions the power boom minimising bucket bounce, preventing material spillage and maximising operator comfort, making the skid steers perfect for load carry applications," Mr Butler said.

"With a huge range of possible attachments and the optional hydraulic quickhitch, these machines are second to none when it comes to versatility - they're ideal for just about any application."

Across the entire range of wheeled and tracked machines, ease of maintenance is a given.

"All machines are built to ensure maintenance is made easy with the new tilting cab design allowing complete access to the hydraulic pumps, motors and valves," Mr Butler said.

"The swing-out rear door provides fast access to the engine and daily check points and the top-opening hood gives access to the radiator.

"Also, the machine contains 38 per cent fewer grease points than other makes and incorporates the latest design flat face O-ring sealed hydraulic fitting. This means less maintenance and less that can go wrong."

All wheeled and tracked models are built for versatility and are suitable for use with attachments including buckets, brooms, brush cutters, augers, cold planers, rock saws, stump grinders and trenchers.