27 Jun 05. JCB was founded in 1945, when the late Joseph Cyril Bamford, CBE – known universally as Mr JCB – made his first product in a rented lock-up garage in Staffordshire, England. Andrew Maiden
reports on how the company has grown to support the military.
JCB is one of the world’s top five construction equipment manufacturers and has 13 plants on four continents: 10 in UK and others in the USA, Brazil and India. There are also subsidiary companies in France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and Singapore.
The company employs almost 5,000 people and manufactures more than 140 different machines in ten product ranges.
Over the last 20 years, JCB has sold more than 3,000 green militarised versions of its well-known yellow machines to over 50 defence forces around the world. More recently the company has worked together with both the British and the US forces to develop unique military high speed versions of its world leading backhoe loader and telescopic handler products
The workhorse of the modern army, the JCB 4CXM makes light work of levelling, loading and backfilling. The powerful twin-ram slew excavator is fast and accurate when it comes to excavating and loading or when used with a breaker and can lift up to 1.8 tonnes at maximum reach. A wide range of attachments provide added versatility to this machine which is known by the military as a Light
Wheeled Tractor Militarised to meet the UK MoD’s specific requirements, the 4CXM can be waterproofed for wading purposes and winterised for use in temperatures down to -40oC. A version is also in service with special protection for riots and civil disturbance.
In conjunction with the US Army, JCB has developed a high-speed backhoe called a High Speed Engineer Excavator (HMEE) which is currently undergoing trials in the US.
The only dedicated telescopic handler capable of convoy speed, the JCB 523M Loadall has been developed specifically for military use to British Army specifications. The 523M provides excellent cross-country capability at high speed and achieves an impressive 85kph on the road. The machine is fitted with full suspension and ABS brakes.
Ideal for moving logistical supplies rapidly and safely, the 523M has a lift capacity of 2.3 tonnes up to a height of 5.3m. Its low-profile design enables it to operate inside an ISO container and manoeuvre smoothly and swiftly on all terrain. Its three suspension modes and the JCB Quickhitch system – which enables rapid interchange between attachments – combine to give maximum versatility. Joining the 523M are two additional Loadall telescopic handlers – the 525-50M and 540-70M. Both machines are rugged and reliable and able to perform all the materials handling tasks of a conventional forklift with the benefit of forward reach.
The 525-50M is ideal for working inside ISO containers for loading and unloading duties and is in service with the British Army and the Royal Air Force. With its compact dimensions, the 525-50M is also very versatile. The alternative quickhitch mounted 0.6 cu m front shovel is perfect for light construction tasks and moving materials around congested sites. The larger 540-70M in service with the
Royal Navy features 7m lift height, 4 tonne lift capacity and 3.7m forward reach to maximise on-board productivity. Its Category C Zone 2 protection allows safe use in potentially explosive areas and it can also perform in a number of other roles, such as a crane, dozer or as an operator-controlled man platform.
Wheeled Loading Shovels
JCB wheeled loaders provide heavy duty handling machines for the military. Weighing in at over 21 tonnes, the JCB 456M is ideal for bulk handling tasks. Classed by the military as a heavywheeled tractor, the robust machine can be used for back-filling damaged runways, digging anti-tank ditches, demolition, quarrying or leveling duties. JCB wheeled loaders are in service