Despite its ever-expanding product range, JCB is still defined by the backhoe loader with which it made its name.
The updated 3CX has a revised Command Plus cab with integrated LED beacons and step lighting. It also comes with auto-levelling, auto seat select and auto-two-wheel-drive.
There are four LED beacons integrated into the cab roof as standard, removing the need for magnetic beacons or drilling of the machine.
The Command Plus cab has yellow grab handles, larger mirrors and revised square work lights with increased adjustment. And the LED option now includes up to 10 lights for illuminating the working area.
There is a new look inside the cab, with a split colour line: darker grey for the lower half and a lighter grey in the upper half. This apparently “adds to the airy, spacious feel, providing the operator with a calm, comfortable working environment”, the publicity material says.
A revised three-spoke steering wheel makes it easier to see the new front display screen, which comes as standard in the latest version. The screen shows the speedometer, warning lights and the selected gear on Powershift models. For the first time JCB is also supplying a factory-fitted radio with Bluetooth telephone compatibility and USB, AUX and SD card capabilities. The radio is integrated into the headliner, but can be controlled by a rotary switch in the side console. Audio and telephone functions are also displayed in the 7-inch side screen.
The 55kW Stage V 3CX introduces a few advanced automation features, designed to reduce operator fatigue and to boost productivity. This includes Auto Stop, which detects when the machine is no longer in use and shuts the engine down to eliminate engine idling. The shut-down delay can be set or adjusted by the operator through the side screen in the cab.
Auto Seat Select is available on machines with servo lever control and automatically recognises which direction the seat is facing, eliminating the need to select functions as the operator changes from front to rear facing positions. Also available on servo models, automatic stabilisers now offer not just an auto-raise function, but also an automatic extend setting, stopping as the feet make contact with the ground.
Auto Drive has been improved, allowing the operator to select a chosen engine speed when travelling on the road. There is now an operating lever mounted beneath the direction selection control.
Auto 2WD switches the transmission from four-to two-wheel-drive when additional traction is no longer required. The driver can select 4WD to dig into a face, where maximum tractive effort is required, and then when the machine backs away and starts to travel at speed, the transmission automatically changes to 2WD. The speed at which this change occurs can be set by the operator through the side screen menus.
The 55kW 3CX is powered by JCB’s Stage V 3.0-litre diesel engine, replacing the previous generation 4.4-litre. The 55kW of power and 440Nm of torque is an increase of 10% over the previous model despite being smaller. This results in up to a 7% fuel saving over the Stage IV 55kW engine in general use, JCB says.
The engine has a combined diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) and diesel particulate filter (DPF), with an 8,000-hour operating life. Regeneration is automatically controlled and can be monitored through the standard LiveLink telematics system.