Signalling changing times, the construction and agricultural machinery maker JCB has begun producing the world’s first fully electric mini excavator.
The 1CX-T in reality combines the nimble compact dimensions of a typical skid steer loader with that of a tracked mini-excavator in a machine much more versatile, and should prove a hit with many industries including agriculture.
The Tier3, naturally aspirated engine from the Perkins stable delivers 49hp and couples to the Danfoss/Rexroth hydrostatic transmission via a power management system (PMS) that controls output while maintaining fuel economy.
In practice the system acts as a cruise control by setting a fixed forward speed at low engine revs for minimum fuel usage; or alternatively engine revs can be set to maximum and forward speed adjusted to give the best pushing or break-out forces without spinning the tracks or stalling the engine. The 320mm wide tracks ensure easy movement over difficult terrain, and are carried by a solid under-carriage with four triple flanged rollers.
With the power of a typical 2.5 tonne excavator, the backhoe can be specified with the Extradig, extendable dipper arm to allow up to 36% deeper digging depths of over 3m, so it easily outperforms a skid steer with a clip-on digger attachment. This is achievable because the backhoe was always designed to be an integral part of the machine while maintaining compact dimensions.
The frontloader uses a standard skid steer hitch so will be compatible with a wide range of attachments, and also features parallel lift for maximum load retention and safety. With a maximum capacity of 1000kg, and a break-out force of around 2500kg its performance is high, and combines with a lift height of around 2.65m to easily load over the side of road trucks.
Unlike the layout of conventional skid steers the JCB uses a full height, side-entry door to allow the operator easy access to the seat without the need to climb over often dangerous attachments. Full cab or canopy options are offered, both meeting FOPS and ROPS certification.
As with any machine of this type hydraulic power is king: the open centre system delivers 45L/min as standard, with the option to upgrade to 100L/min for flow intensive jobs.
The introduction of the 1CXT should provide a useful machine for many industries, and the peace of mind of buying a backhoe loader from a manufacturer that sells nearly half of all this type of machines produced in the world today.