Above: JCB 's new 427 wheeled loader
JCB claims to be the only leading equipment manufacturer to meet the regulations without relying on diesel particulate filters (DPF), after-treatment or additives such as Ad-Blue. Instead it uses in-cylinder technologies that somehow produce “a more efficient combustion process”, the tech guys say.
It seems handy that the engines can run on standard oils, unlike those with after-treatment that require costlier CJ4 oil. Another benefit is that no extra space is needed around the engine for filters or treatment systems, so machines are no bulkier than before, with no bolt-on bits to obstruct manoeuvrability or block your view.
The JCB Ecomax engine is the result of an £80m investment programme and apparently has been put through 110,000 hours of testing. It’s going into machines spanning the 55Kw (74hp) to 129kW (173hp) range, including backhoe loaders, telehandlers, wheeled loading shovels, the TM telescopic boom wheeled loaders, JS excavators, rough terrain forklifts and skid steer loaders.
According to the pre-show publicity material, the Ecomax will be available on the 3CX and 4CX backhoe loader platform with a 55kW, 68kW or 81kW power rating. In each case, there is more torque than before and claimed fuel savings of 5%, 4% and 2% respectively, JCB says.
Aside from the engine, the backhoe loader range also gets an uprated Powerslide system with a larger hydraulic ram providing increased side shifting capability at lower engine rpm. The previous chain mechanism has been replaced with a steel wire rope that JCB says should last longer. Other new options that are available on the machine include front-shovel street pads, front-shovel ram guards, removable rear light guards and hydraulic quick-hitch.
On Loadall telehandlers, the Ecomax engine will be available in three power ratings depending on machine model and market. The 55kW engine is aimed at plant hire firms, offering broadly comparable performance to before but lower fuel 7 consumption. Larger 81kW or 93kW engine versions are targeted at owner-operators and contractors who are likely to appreciate the more significant performance boost.
The 68kW (91hp) Ecomax engine will initially be installed on three of JCB’s mid-range JS excavators, the JS115, JS130 and JS145. The new engine installation has been coupled with the optimisation of the machine’s hydraulic circuit and pump configuration which, when combined, has resulted in fuel savings of up to 10% and a 3dB(A) reduction of in cab noise.
The introduction of the 93kW Ecomax engine on JCB’s largest telescopic boom wheeled loader has also given the guys there the opportunity to ramp up productivity with a 100kg increased lift capacity. This has been achieved by repositioning the machine’s front axle rather than adding counterweight.