Signalling changing times, the construction and agricultural machinery maker JCB has begun producing the world’s first fully electric mini excavator.
With an all-black livery, silver fern motifs and a signature by JCB chairman Sir Anthony Bamford, the 435 will cut a dash in any contractors’ machinery lineup
The machine has a number of features that make it a popular choice for many of NZ silage makers, not least the 6.7L Cummins QSB engine that develops 230hp and 945Nm of torque at 1500rpm. It meets Tier4i emission regulations by using diesel particulate filter (DPF) and diesel oxidisation catalyst (DOC) and removes the need to use Ad-Blue.
Interestingly, with fuel being a major input after wages, added functions include an automatic idle function that returns the engine to 700 rpm after 30 seconds of inactivity, and an eco mode that restricts maximum speed to 1800rpm; these play their part in keeping fuel consumption as low as possible. And the cooling system has a variable rate fan that looks at ambient and vehicle temperatures and adjusts its speed accordingly.
Engine power is transmitted to a six-speed, ZF torque convertor transmission with close ratios, again to improve fuel consumption; it has a 100% torque lock function to transmit all useable power to the driveline to maximise pushing power.
The output of the loader is also aided by electronic control of the ‘clutch-out’ function, allowing progressive take up and control of tractive effort via the transmission, while pushing maximum power to the hydraulic circuits. The driveline is completed with the inclusion of HD axles from ZF that have a service interval of 1500 hours.
Hydraulic function is by twin closed-centre, variable displacement pumps with a combined capacity of 264L/min that cycle rapidly, and the machine’s 14t operating weight should ensure traction is not a problem.
Operator comfort is assured in the large panoramic cab, sited high up on the machine: its three-piece windscreen gives excellent forward visibility and a sloping engine hood gives the best view rearward at all times. Other features helping daily output include air conditioning and climate control, and additional loader functions to set detents for maximum lift height and ‘return to dig’.
The loader boom also has the ‘Smoothride’ suspension system that reduces spillage and shock loads on the machine and improves driver comfort.
“The special edition 435S celebrates our distribution agreement with JCB covering 25 years,” says JCB product manager for Landpower, Dave Knowles.
“Notwithstanding the special livery, these machines are purpose built for high performance and easy operation. With high output foragers producing huge tonnages for ensiling it’s important to have a machine at the clamp that can deal with the loads, and accurately place and consolidate at the same time.”