No tail, all the frills

01 May 2008

JCB will be unveiling its new 14 tonne zero tail swing hydraulic excavator, the JZ140, at ConExpo later this month. The most striking feature of the new machine is the full size operator's cab, which is also used on the company's standard excavators from the JS130 13 tonne model up to the JS260 26 tonne unit. Traditionally, zero tail swing machines have been fitted with smaller, less refined cabs. As a result, JCB claims that the JZ140 is the first zero tail swing machine to provide its operators with the comfort and performance of its bigger brothers.

The cab on the JZ140 has been designed to provide a spacious and flexible environment, and is complete with a number of functional accessories. The suspension seat and engine management monitor are fully adjustable to allow operators to set up their ideal working position in relation to the controls of the machine. In-cab noise levels are low and a full HVAC package is fitted as standard to ensure an optimum in-cab working environment, irrespective of outside conditions.

In addition to the cab, JCB has designed the new excavator for compactness, with a rear tail swing of 1420mm (the smallest in its class, the company claims) and a front radius of 2050mm. Compactness is the name of the game, and these dimensions allow the JZ140 to operate in confined spaces where a conventional excavator cannot go. This means that it is ideally suited for a wide range of applications where space is at a premium, such as housing and highway construction or maintenance projects in built-up areas.

Power is supplied by a 72,8 kW Perkins diesel engine that allows the machine to travel over the roughest ground conditions at a maximum travel speed of 5,4 km/h. Lift capacity with a 2,5 m dipper stick at ground level across the tracks is an impressive 5550 kg and drawbar pull is 130 kN. The machine can be programmed to operate in one of four working modes, linking the operator control movements with both the engine and the hydraulic systems, to maximise productivity, while lowering operating costs by reducing fuel consumption.

There is one demand that almost every manufacturer is striving to meet – improved serviceability. JCB is no exception, and as a result has expended considerable design effort to provide its customers with an optimised solution. The JZ140 features curved side sheets and high clearance over the tracks to minimise the risk of damage, and the undercarriage hydraulics are protected from damage by guards. Cushion control on the boom and dipper services reduces parts wear and also provides a smoother ride.

Access to the various service points is at one location, as are the remote test points. All daily checks are carried out from ground level, and all access panels are designed to provide easy access to all machine elements. Indeed, the JZ140 has been awarded an SAE rating of 8266 for the quality of this access – one of the highest possible scores. Service intervals have also been optimised, with engine oil and filter changes being required every 500 hours. A Plexus oil filtration system is fitted to maximise hydraulic oil service life.

JCB's Sales managing director Françoise Rausch said, “Traditionally, choosing zero tail swing excavators has meant sacrificing the refinements and performance levels found in larger machines.

“The new JCB JZ140 challenges this concept by delivering a class-leading excavator in terms of performance, serviceability and operator environment – with the added benefit of zero tail swing.”

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