Two machines from JCB caught my attention this week while touring its booth at this year’s Hillhead quarry show in Buxton, England: the new JCB 457 wheel loader and JS300 crawler excavator.
The JCB 457 features a new loader design that incorporates the all-new JCB CommandPlus cab. It is the first machine to use the completely new cab structure, engine cover, and rear counterweight design, all of which are designed to improved visibility, lower noise levels, increased internal space, and an enhanced working environment for the operator.
In addition, the 457 is the first large JCB wheeled loader to meet Tier 4 Final emissions standards, with the adoption of a powerful MTU diesel engine. The engine contributes to fuel savings of approximately 16 percent compared to the previous model. As with other JCB machines, the engine in the 457 meets Tier 4 Final without the need for a diesel particulate filter (DPF), relying on an efficient combustion process, with a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system, and an exhaust fluid additive to meet the regulations.
The 457 is the first machine from JCB to use the company’s next generation JCB CommandPlus cab. This totally new ROPS structure has A pillars that have been moved out to the same width as the rear of the cab, providing a larger interior with a panoramic front windshield. The machine features JCB’s Command Driving Position, with revised pedals, a new adjustable steering column, and seat-mounted hydraulic controls.
All switches and auxiliary controls have been repositioned on the right-hand A pillar, providing the operator with a simplified interior and easy access to all machine controls. The unit has two full colour LCD screens, one in the central console and a second at the top of the right-hand A pillar. This second screen incorporates access to the loader’s operating menus and acts as a monitor for the machine’s rear view camera.
The JCB CommandPlus cab delivers increased internal space as the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system has been repositioned outside the main cab structure. This provides additional storage for the operator, both behind the seat and in pockets in the front and side consoles. The new cab, in combination with the MTU engine, a hydraulically-driven on-demand cooling fan, and the repositioned air conditioning system, contributes to a reduction in internal noise levels, from 71dB(A) to a class-leading 67dB(A), subject to final production tests.
Operators may appreciate LED lighting all round and the option of electrically adjustable and heated mirrors, for maximum visibility in all operating conditions. The rearview mirrors are now mounted in front of the repositioned A pillars, making it easier for the operator to see all around the machine. The cab door is hinged at the front, allowing easier access and exit from the machine for the operator from the steps. This also makes it easier for technicians to access the engine for regular maintenance and service work.
The JCB 457 is powered by a 7.7-liter MTU Tier 4 Final engine, delivering 258 horsepower, up from 250 horsepower on the previous machine, despite the smaller engine capacity. The engine delivers this increased output at lower rated engine revs, cutting fuel consumption, noise, and emissions. JCB has also fine-tuned the match between engine, torque converter, and transmission, to match the engine with both the standard four-speed and optional five-speed transmissions. This has resulted in fuel efficiency gains of up to 16 percent.
The most visible change to the 457, aside from the new cab, is the adoption of a sloping one-piece engine canopy. This engine cover can be electrically raised away from the cab to provide improved access to the engine and drivetrain for regular maintenance. The rear section can also be hinged away from the machine to provide access to the cooling pack, which now features a swing-out hydraulically-driven, on-demand cooling fan situated at the rear of the machine.
The new JCB wheeled loader design will be adopted by smaller models in the line as they move to Tier 4 Final emissions standards over the coming months.
The Tier 4 JCB 457 will come as standard with JCB’s LiveLink telematic system. This provides fleet managers and owners with remote access to real-time fuel consumption and machine working data, including operating hours and fault codes.
JCB LiveLink also allows customers to set working hour curfews, outside of which the machine will not function, along with geofencing. This permits the owner to set a geographical area in which the machine can work. If the loader is taken out of this area it will not start, preventing theft from site.
The 30-ton JCB machine replaces the previous JS290, offering robust build quality, increased operator comfort, and controllability, plus the potential for a 4-percent saving in fuel consumption, cutting operating costs and exhaust emissions.
Power and efficiency
A six-cylinder, Tier 4 interim Isuzu engine delivers 216 horsepower. The engine drives a twin variable displacement pump hydraulic system, controlled by JCB’s SMART Control work mode dial that automatically adjusts the working mode as the operator increases engine rpm. This, along with an on-demand hydraulically-driven cooling fan, results in fuel savings of up to 4 percent, with a drop in exhaust emissions.
The machine retains its class-leading breakout and lifting forces. When equipped with a 8-foot, 2-inch arm and a standard 20-foot, 4-inch monoboom, the JS300 delivers a bucket digging force of up to 253.6kN and a maximum dipper arm crowd force of 173.1kN. However the excavator is equipped with a new tipping link geometry that provides an increased vertical wall digging depth, adding to the versatility of this powerful 30-ton machine.
Comfort in the cab
The JS300 uses the latest cab structure, first seen on other models in the revised JS line-up. This sturdy cab, with increased soundproofing and enhanced structural rigidity, in combination with the on-demand cooling fan, contributes to reduced internal noise levels of just 72dB(A). The excavator features JCB’s latest operator’s seating and a 7-inch full color multi-function LCD display, while revised switchgear makes it easier to operate the machine.
The screen provides a monitor for a standard rear view camera, providing operators with excellent visibility all around the machine. The monitor offers the operator a choice of customizable home screens that display the specific information that they require to work most efficiently.
Selection of the JS300’s various power modes has been simplified with the use of a single rotating SMART control. As this dial is turned, the engine speed increases through four pre-set power bands, from L to H+. The Lifting mode L delivers high hydraulic pressures with reduced pump flow, for maximum lift capacity, and control, while General operating modes deliver the optimum balance of productivity and efficiency.
Heavy mode has been designed to provide the power required for heavy earthmoving duties and Heavy Plus delivers maximum pump and engine output. To select Heavy Plus, the operator must select a + button beside the rotary dial, ensuring that it cannot be activated accidentally. In addition, the operator can access a Power Boost function automatically in the L mode or manually in the remaining power bands.
The JS300 incorporates a stiffened engine housing structure, with a three-piece hood for ease of access. Louvred doors and heavy-duty hood catches contribute to increased durability and reliability. All daily checks can be performed from ground level, with both engine oil and coolant levels accessible through the SMART Control monitor in the cab, reducing downtime for daily maintenance and boosting productivity.
JCB’s LiveLink telematic system has been enhanced, offering fleet managers and owners remote access to fuel consumption and operating data for the machine. This allows the manager to see which operating modes have been used and to determine how the equipment is being used on site. In addition the LiveLink ECU can be matched with the engine’s ECU. In the event that equipment thieves attempt to tamper with or remove the LiveLink system to prevent tracking, the engine ECU will prevent the machine from being started, adding to security.
Editor’s Note: Therese Dunphy is the editor of sister site Aggregates Manager.