Signalling changing times, the construction and agricultural machinery maker JCB has begun producing the world’s first fully electric mini excavator.
But in the words of her song “I should be so lucky”, the JCB 516-40 telehandler is probably going to be more productive and require a lot less maintenance, while keeping the same nickname.
Compact in dimensions – measuring only 1.56m wide and 1.8m tall – the 516-40 is big of heart, lifting 1.6 tonnes to 4m, as well as being able to lift 1000kg at 2m forward reach. This makes the machine particularly suitable to the likes of poultry farms, horticultural enterprises or agricultural situations where access is limited and high-end lift capacities are not required.
A one-piece, single spine, fully welded chassis is durable and reliable and, like other key components, such as the boom and cabin, is dipped in an electrophoretic alloy solution, for superior protection against corrosion, before being powder coated for chip resistance and a long service life.
Motive power is delivered by a 2.2L, Tier 3 emission spec, Kohler engine making 47hp at 800rpm and 130Nm torque at 1600rpm, while a 2-stage hydrostatic transmission offers a maximum speed of 26km/h, and features a transmission dump system on the brake pedal to allow multi-functioning during loading and re-handling without sapping engine power.
The main boom is a heavy duty construction with a minimum of 0.5m overlap between sections and hydraulic pipework routed through the boom section for protection and superior load visibility.
Control is by single lever joystick for all functions, including forward and reverse, as well as flow rates for the auxiliary circuit, which has a maximum output of 56L/min. An adaptive load control system also serves to prevent overloading, while lock-out check valves ensure all main hydraulic cylinders lock out if there are any catastrophic hose failures.
The cabin is mounted low, and offers easy access through a ‘stable door’ layout, leading to an air suspended seat and an area of about 0.9m wide. The upper door can be pinned back to promote air-flow or the machine can be specified with air conditioning.
Ergonomically laid out controls help during long hours, while back-lit instruments take care of late nights or early winter mornings. A large forward windscreen, large side windows and oversize roof screen promote visibility for all loading functions, while the cabin is fully certified for ROPS and FOPS protection, ensuring the operator is protected at all times; bystanders should hear the reversing alarm.
The manufacturer claims that the 500hr service interval for engine oils and boom wear pads is double that of competitors, that all daily checks and grease points can be accessed from ground level, and radiator hygiene can be taken care of by an optional hydraulically driven reversible cooling fan.
As would be expected, a wide range of options can be specified including road and work lights, front screen guards and sun blinds, safety beacons, battery isolation and a fire extinguisher.