At a site outside of London, JCB unveiled its new line of backhoe loaders to the international media in February. The series includes models 212S through 217S, which will be produced in Savannah, the United Kingdom and Brazil for sale around the world.
Francois Rausch, managing director of JCB sales and service, summed up the company's goals to be met by 2005: 10 percent share of world market; JCB in world's top three; and best customer support. The new series of backhoe loaders will lead this pursuit with features such as 20 percent increase in cab glass surface area, deluxe seat with seven modes adjustment, optional air suspension and lumbar with heat, quieter cab at 72 dBA, improved ventilation and electrical routing, improved ergonomics, 15 percent greater storage, improved heater and A/C performance, infinitely adjustable tilt steering wheel, and more.
“The one thing that hasn't changed is our permanent commitment to change,” says Paul Black, backhoe operations director. “I hope our customers enjoy using these machines as much as we've enjoyed giving them what they want.”
Other features include a curved opening rear window with 18 percent increase in surface area, lowered hoodline by 5 inches for increased visibility, new loader Q-fit and larger loader torque tube. New transmissions are the 4-speed Synchroshuttle, 4-speed Powershift, and 6-speed Autoshift. Serviceability is made easier with tilt hood, removable side panels, 500-hour service intervals and single key access to all locks on machine.
The 212S, which Adrian Hall, product marketing manager for backhoe loaders, described as “a lean mean digging machine,” has improved backhoe performance by 37 percent with a redesigned 12-foot dipper, which increases dipper tear-out by 25 percent and improves lift capacity to 3,260 pounds at 4 feet. Widening of the sideshift frame from 72 to 78 inches provides greater stability for digging. Redesigned sideshift rails create smoother movement of the backhoe across the rear frame. Loader bucket breakout has increased by 7 percent and lift capacity by 9 percent. The machine's increased loadover height of 9 feet 9 inches and reach of 2 feet 1 inch offer improved truck loading and increased cycle times. “They're [customers] looking for a machine that can do a whole host of jobs,” Hall states. “This machine has gone through true evolution.”