JCB has announced the launch of a backhoe loader specifically configured for the piling market, which is believes could be a “paradigm shift” in the way piling work is undertaken at the smaller end of the market.
The 4CX Piling Master is capable of constructing piles up to 600mm in diameter and to up to 14m depth.
The road legal machine weighs 11t and JCB has said that it does not need a piling mat to operate on site. The machine has an 81kW engine and a 165l/min hydraulic system that creates 13kNm of torque to construct piles with diameters of between 350mm and 600mm. Working at the maximum depth of 14m, the 4CX is capable of constructing 450mm diameter piles.
The mast verticality is controlled by inclinometers with displays both inside and outside the cab and depth gauges also display the working depth to the operator. JCB worked with Tescar on the initial stages of developing the telescopic Kelly bar design and operating systems in order to ensure the way the machine operates is familiar to the market.
The piling version of the 4CX features the Powerslide - standard on other backhoe loaders in the range - which will allow the machine to construct several piles without the need to relocate.
Speaking at the launch at JCB’s visitors centre in Rocester last night, chief innovation and growth officer Tim Burnhope said that customer feedback for the new machine has been “fantastic”.
“We have worked with a number of piling companies during the development stages,” he added. “There is real growth in the piling market at the moment, especially at the smaller end of the scale, and we see this new machine as a real benefit for the house building and groundworker market.”
JCB has said that it has recruited former ESG geotechnical services regional manager Paul McIntyre to support its move into the foundations market.
JCB backhoe loader global business growth managing director Yvette Henshall-Bell said: “The machine has its limitations in terms of the size of piles and ground conditions that it can operate under, but we believe that it could be a paradigm shift in the piling market.”
Henshall-Bell has not ruled out larger versions or launch of equipment for the ground investigation market in the future but said that although the concept is now right, further development is needed. The new JCB 4CX Piling Master is is expected to be commercially available in the second quarter of 2016.
Follow @GE_magazine for the first look at images of the new JCB machine later today.