Signalling changing times, the construction and agricultural machinery maker JCB has begun producing the world’s first fully electric mini excavator.
The JCB 403 Agri joins two larger models -- the 0.8m3 JCB 407 and the 1.0m3 JCB 409 -- which have proven the durability and smooth operation of the Rexroth hydrostatic driveline fitted also to the new machine.
The 1498cc Kubota V1505 diesel engine has 26.5kW power and 92Nm torque, teamed with a transmission using two speed ranges to suit different applications. The main characteristics of the low speed range are high torque and precise speed control, essential for digging into materials and for precision control and placement. Brisk acceleration to 20km/h, or 30km/h as an option, is the strength of the high setting -- ideal for moving around yards, or from site to site.
Inching control via the brake pedal allows the operator to use the loader’s hydraulic power to breakout and lift materials without stress or wear to the braking system or transmission.
Once moving, power and torque are applied through heavy duty ZF axles with open, or optional manually operated, diff locks front and rear for machines used in off road situations.
The JCB 403 has a tight turning circle and excellent placement imparted by the articulated chassis design; the oversized articulation joint provides generous oscillation of the front and rear chassis over rough or undulating ground.
A choice of loader arms sees the standard layout provide a good mix of breakout force, lift capacity and a load-over height of 2.6m; an extended version lifts to 2.8m for stacking and loading over high-sided vehicles.
Both designs dissipate stress throughout the chassis and offer true parallel lifting – ideal for handling with pallet forks and reducing spillage from buckets.
The loader arm cylinders are supplied by a 40.5L/min gear pump package with quick response and adjustable constant flow of oil to powered attachments such as bucket feeders or bedding dispensers.
While JCB 403 Agri loaders for operation mainly indoors are supplied with an open canopy platform and a ROPS/FOPS protection frame, a new cab is available -- a first on a compact JCB wheeled loader -- for all-round protection from the elements.
Uniquely, the 403 with cab is no bigger than 2.2m tall and only 1.1m wide, subject to tyre size, allowing access to tight places.
A new control panel to the right side carries rocker switches, an oddments storage tray and a new joystick controller. The joystick controls the lift arms and attachments, and allows selection of forward-reverse and the high-low transmission speeds – truly a one handed operation.
Daily checks are carried out via a one-piece, rearward hinging hood that gives clear access to either side of the engine bay; all components are protected by a cast rear counterweight.