JCB unveils the 3CX Compact backhoe at ICUEE; packs power into machine 35% smaller than standard 3CX (PHOTOS)

Marcia Doyle Headshot
Updated Oct 8, 2015

At the ICUEE show, JCB has unveiled its 3CX compact backhoe loader, 35 percent smaller than the company’s standard model 3CX, while retaining all the power and speed of the larger model.

It comes standard with JCB’s LiveLink telematics tracking and monitoring system, delivering machine diagnostic information and combating theft. And in a move that runs counter to the U.S. market’s preference to center-mount backhoes, the 3CX compact will be offered in a side-shift backhoe version only.

The target markets for this machine include gas utilities, municipalities and cemeteries. “Gas utilities do a lot of box trenching, typically running a hammer to break through asphalt,” says Rafael Nunez, JCB backhoe loader product manager. “Using a side-shift backhoe, they don’t have to move the machine to do the work. And it’s easier to trailer since the stabilizers are not taking up so much space.”

The Tier 4 Final 3CX compact succeeds JCB’s smallest backhoe, the Tier 3 2CX backhoe, and offers significant upgrades, including a 19-percent increase in hydraulic flow, a one-touch gear shift and redesigned loader arms, features that will shine in machine demonstrations, according to Nunez.

“This is a high performance compact machine,” he says, “offering better cycle times and breakout force than the 2CX,” and priced similarly to the entry level standard 3CX. At 13,382 pounds, the compact machine is around 4,000 pounds less than the standard 3CX.

Just 6 feet 3 inches wide and 9 feet tall, the 3CX can travel 25 mph and has 4-wheel steering and a 19-foot turning radius when brakes are engaged. Compatible with both JCB’s compact excavator and skid steer attachments, the 3CX has a 26-gpm hydraulic flow.

Using standard excavator pilot controls, the machine feels familiar to operators who have operated both compact excavators and backhoe loaders. With the capability of up to 20 gpm bi-directional auxiliary hydraulic flow, a variety of backhoe attachments can be used.

On the back end, two fixed (10-foot and 12-foot) or extended dipper lengths (12-foot and 14-foot) are available. The front end loader comes with a several bucket options, including an optional cutting edge for road stripping applications. Truck loading is made easier with a 9-foot-9 -inch load over height and a 3-foot-8-inch maximum forward reach at full height.

Powered by a 74-horsepower, 2.4-liter Tier 4 Final JCB Diesel by Kohler engine, the machine does not require a diesel particulate filter. A hydrostatic transmission has a top 25 mph speed and also features a creep mode, allowing you to run at high engine rpms to power high-flow attachments with a maximum travel speed of 2 mph. The transmission also eliminates the need for a gearshift lever or clutch. Choose between two- and four-wheel steering.

Inside the cab, standard pilot controls increase operator comfort, also enhanced by an easy-to-reach gear selector. Flat glass permits window replacement and two front and four rear halogen work lights increase visibility in low-light situations.