Product Report: Totally tubular

The first thing JCB wants you to notice about its 1.5-metric-ton 8018 compact excavator is the tubular boom. Its use acheives two things, says Dan Rafferty, product manager, compact and utility equipment division, JCB. “With the tubular boom we can accomplish the same strength as a square boom with 15 percent less weight,” he says. “This allows weight to be transferred from the front of the machine to the back, giving the machine more stability and lifting power. And it gives you better visibility to where you’re digging.”

The 8018, which replaces JCB’s 8017 model, also has a two-piece cast slew frame, which allowed the longitudinal positioning of the engine. This in turn gave designers the ability to situate the fuel and hydraulic tanks at the rear of the machine instead of in the center, shifting even more weight rearward. And, while not a zero-tail-swing machine, the 8018’s design has kept its tail swing to a compact 40.5 inches.

Speedy service
The excavator’s cab can be tipped up from the rear in five minutes, revealing the slew motor, valve block, hydraulic hoses, engine and hydraulic pump. “It really opens things up,” Rafferty says. This easy maintenance access is especially important to one of the primary markets targeted for this machine, rental companies.

Compared to the previous 8017 model, the machine’s hydraulics have fewer hoses and 20 percent fewer joints, reducing the chance of leaks. JCB has routed all hoses inside the tubular boom for increased protection.

The 8018 also has a two-speed kick down switch, typically found on larger excavators. The system automatically changes between high and low gears as site conditions demand with no input from the operator. “This makes the machine easier for novice operators to use and be truly productive,” Rafferty says.

The larger excavator end, higher capacity hydraulic pump, greater pump flow and larger hydraulic rams give the machine a 20 percent increase in breakout forces as well as 8 additional inches of dump height compared to the previous model.

Quick Specs
Weight* 3,664 lbs.
Rated engine power 19 hp
Dig depth (standard dipper) 101″
Dump height (standard dipper) 103.7″
Bucket breakout 3,642 ft.-lbs.
Width over tracks (extending undercarriage) 38.5″ to 52.8″

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* Transport weight with canopy, rubber tracks and 12-inch bucket.