JCB Powered Access

JCB Powered Access

JCB is finding a head for heights with a major entry into the powered access platform market.

Most product launches, despite the protestations of their makers to the contrary are evolutionary rather than revolutionary.

That’s not to say that the variations on an existing theme are not of interest or use to the end user, of course, but it is rare that even the major plant manufacturers plunge headlong into an entirely new sector – and with good reason.

Product development is in itself an expensive business, and add to that the infrastructure required to satisfy a market with full customer and service support, all whilst muscling for elbow room amongst the established players, and it quickly becomes apparent that only the giants of the industry could dare to make the move.

With the Backhoe and the Loadall amongst its achievements JCB is one company that has had the courage to strike out in entirely new directions and its entrance into the access market follows in that tradition.

Access solutions are big business, worth over $8 billion worldwide, and JCB has already dipped a tentative toe into the waters with the accessories on its Loadall range.

Telescopic handlers with man baskets as a factory fitted option are already available in the iconic yellow and black, for instance, and customers can already by Loadalls that are man basket ready. In fact, the company has designed its very own range of man baskets for the 14-20 metre machines.

With over 130,000 access equipment units sold every year, however, the real revenue potential lies in a dedicated range of powered access platforms and JCB is already well placed to supply it.

It is, for instance, a market serviced by large rental companies, customers with which JCB and its dealers already have good relations thanks to the 300+ products presently on its portfolio.

It is those hire companies who have been telling JCB that the access market can well accommodate and sustain a credible alternative to its existing incumbents, and that’s what this British manufacturer has delivered.

JCB has genuine ambitions to become a leading player in the global access market, and over the course of 2017 a brand new range of MEWPs will emerge from the drawing board, with some 27 products due to be introduced. In development for more than two years, first up is a collection of nine electric scissors, with articulated and telescopic booms to follow.

All models are benchmarked against the highest TUV safety standard, the most credible authority in the world for product certification. Weights range from 1.3 tonne to 3.4 tonne, with platform heights from 15ft or 4.5metres to 45ft or 13.7metres.

All nine are electrically powered by hydraulic motors, which are protected by heavy duty steel plates. The electric scissors are powered by four 6V or 12V batteries, with hydraulic drive and three diesel models will be introduced later in 2017.

In addition, in a feature rarely seen on powered access equipment, all the metal componentry has been EPD dipped, which provides automotive grade protection against corrosion.

Basket capacities range from 230-550kg so that two people with tools can work safely and effectively at height. Platform widths are between 0.76-1.27 metres and lengths from 1.64 – to 2.64 metres.

“Easy to operate, robust and built to last,” is how Managing Director of JCB Access, Richard Butler describes the new products, and that’s a statement which is demonstrated in the details of the design.

For added rigidity the bottom pin on all models is mounted into the chassis while the sliding pin is supported by wear pads, which is technology shared with the Loadall. Similarly, in another borrowing from the telehandler range, the scissor pack has been designed using full pivot bosses.

This increases the surface bearing area for the pin, which in turn improves the stress disruption throughout the structure. Furthermore, all external limit switches have metal covers, which makes the tamper-proof and fully protected from falling objects.

Operator access into and out of the basket has been simplified and there are up to six harness securing points. The unique design of the platform controller cradle allows the operator to position the controller anywhere on the guard rail, and can also be placed on the side of the frame for easy and effective ground operation.

Another JCB first is that it can be fitted to either side of the machine, for both right and left hand operation and, by simply removing retaining pins, rails fold away easily, which means the machine can be transported through a standard doorway.

Throughout the design consideration for the operator has been the watchword and often it is the detail that can make a difference to the working day.

There’s an automotive style foot pedal for platform extension, for instance, and one handed operation of the entry gate latch – small but important design details that greatly improve the end user experience.

Articulated Booms

JCB will introduce four articulated booms in 2017, with platform heights of 14.9m through to 24.6m. All four models will be offered with four wheel drive and two-wheel steer, delivering up to 40 per cent gradeability and a maximum stowed driving speed of up to 7 kmh.

These will be joined by a 13.7m platform height AJ45E electric powered articulating boom model in quarter 3. The electric model has two wheel drive and two wheel steering, with up to 30 per cent gradeability.

A range of 10 diesel-powered telescopic booms will also be added throughout 2017. These will offer platform heights from 20.6m to 45.6m.

JCB Access

By the end of 2017 JCB’s range of access platforms will include:

• Nine electric and three diesel scissor lifts from 4.6m to 13.8m
• Five articulating booms – four diesel and one electric – from 14.9m to 24.6m
• 10 diesel telescopic booms from 20.6m to 41.6m

For further information on JCB Access click here.

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