While most motive industries are focused on hybrid or EV power plants, JCB has developed the construction industry’s first hydrogen-powered excavator.
Comprising six models, the Series III offers lift capacities from 3.2 to 5.6 tonnes and a maximum reach of 6 to 9 m. Obviously a centre point of the machine, the cabin is said to be 12% larger than the previous version but has the same layout and function-grouped switches, making it easier for JCB-familiar operators to switch easily between different machines.
A wide door opening and adjustable push-away steering column with working position memory make it easy for operators to enter and exit the cab. A lack of bare metal within the cabin is said to reduce noise by 50% to a best in class 69dBA rating.
Further design changes see the removal of the front cross-member from the roof area and a 14% larger glazed area, allowing operators a better view of the raised boom and implements. The large front wiper and two roof-mounted wipers sweep 92% of the curved windscreen glass.
Improved airflows improve the demisting and defrosting functions, and storage includes a lift-out bin behind the seat for documents, tools, food and drinks.
A larger, tablet-like digital display is attached to the windscreen glass and this has a mobile phone holder, Bluetooth, integrated microphone and speakers for hands-free calls and entertainment.
On the operational front, a new sway control levelling system enables the operator to level the machine before boom lift when working on sloping or rough terrain. This is effected by a double-acting hydraulic cylinder attached to the chassis and front axle and electro-hydraulic cab control. The system is available on Agri Plus and Agri Super versions of the 542-70 and high-lift 536-95 (3.6 t lift, 9.5 m reach).
Models are powered by the 4.4 L JCB EcoMAX engine delivering 109 hp or 125 hp, while high spec units are fitted with a 4.8 L version delivering 145 hp. All engines meet Stage IV emission levels using SCR and a diesel oxidation catalyst.
Transmission choices include a 33 km/h 4-speed JCB Powershift manual, the 40 km/h TorqueLock4 transmission with direct-drive torque converter lock-up in top gear and the 40 km/h 6-speed JCB Autoshift transmission. The unique JCB DualTech VT unit combines hydrostatic and powershift elements in one transmission.
Options include twin-line air trailer braking with electrics and an ABS socket, or a combination of twin-line air and single-line hydraulic braking for trailed equipment.