In March JCB launched three new X Series excavators designed very much with housebuilding in mind. PHPD was on hand to discover more.
JCB has been building machines used by the housebuilding sector for many decades. From telehandlers to dumpers, backhoe loaders to excavators, few contractors won’t have used one during their time on site.
It is the latter category, excavators, where the business has made significant strides in the last few years. Following an investment of around £110m, 2018 saw the introduction of its new X Series of excavators which was launched with the 220X, a new 20-tonne machine which had been in development for four years.
Last month, three new X Series excavators joined the line-up. In the 13-16 tonne sector, these new machines are aimed squarely at ground working and housebuilding – the 131X, 140X and 150X.
JCB Chief Innovation and Growth Officer Tim Burnhope said: “The machine of choice for groundworks has always been the 13-16 tonne excavator. They are quite simply the workhorse of the building site; digging footings, pouring concrete, grading hardcore or gravel and laying asphalt.
“In the UK alone this class of machine accounts for nearly 60% of all tracked excavators sold, so we are hugely excited about the introduction on three new X Series machines which cater directly for the needs of the all-important groundworks sector.”
Key features of the new 131X, 140X and 150X include a wider operator cab for all-day comfort, cab noise reductions of up to 68%, increased diameter high-flow pipework to reduce system losses and boosts efficiency and a 6% tonnes/litre productivity improvement on the 81kW models
Are you sitting comfortably?
Amongst the many eye-catching elements on the new machines, the cab really stands-out. At 2.5 metres wide, the new models are 80mm wider allowing the installation of the much larger CommandPlus cab seen on the 220X, giving the operator an environment which spacious and comfortable. There is even a cool box to store food and drinks. For operators spending long periods in the cab, this is excellent news.
The cab – which is located on four hydraulic cab mounts – is 15% larger, incorporating the ROPS frame within its structure and it has easily replaceable flat glazing all round. In cab noise is reduced by up to 68% compared to the company’s previous JS130 and JS145 – 5dB(A) lower at 67dB(A). JCB explained that in introducing the larger cab, there has been no increase in boom offset, ensuring no increase in stress on the slew bearing, enabling smooth slewing and pinpoint accuracy when digging a trench.
The fully-sealed pressurised cab comes with a choice of Grammer seats, and both heating and cooling options are available. The operator also benefits from seat mounted servo levers. The controls have been designed to be 100% operator-focused, with a new command pod to the right of the seat that brings together all switches and controls in a single seat-mounted unit.
A new 7” monitor with intuitive menus and functionality can be accessed through an automotive-style rotary controller.
Force the issue
The X Series excavators use JCB’s global boom and arm design, although the 140X and 150X have a larger bucket cylinder, which the company says delivers an 11% increase in bucket tearout force. The power boost duration has also been increased from 3 to 9 seconds, giving operators maximum bucket and dipper tearout for longer.
To match these improvements, the hydraulic oil cooler size has been increased by 15% for superior cooling performance wherever the machine is working in the world.
The three new machines also take on the stronger X Series appearance, with fuel and hydraulic tanks now mounted inside secondary body panels. All service access doors are double-skinned with zinc-plated contact surfaces for improved durability.