Extreme strength: JCB’s X Series heavy line excavators

JCB CEA’s 220X heavy line excavator has been selected for the Australian Defence Force as part of Project Land 8120.
JCB CEA’s 220X heavy line excavator has been selected for the Australian Defence Force as part of Project Land 8120.

JCB CEA’s 220X heavy line excavator will be among the first batch of equipment supplied to the Australian Defence Force as part of Project Land 8120. Roads & Infrastructure looks at the machine’s capabilities, as well as at JCB’s other military class products.

In August, the Department of Defence, Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG) awarded a $158 million contract to CIMIC Group’s Ventia for the supply of approximately 300 earthmoving and material handling vehicles to the Australian Defence Force.

The contract, part of the Project Land 8120 Phase 1, seeks to provide a replacement capability effect for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to support ADF’s deployments in Australia and abroad for activities such as construction, demolition, development of protective earthworks, route development and maintenance, airfield and port construction and repair, port operations, supply and distribution, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief and beach recovery.

Supporting Ventia on the project are a team of equipment partners, including JCB CEA, other key machinery manufacturers, and systems engineering specialist, QinetiQ, to offer the full breadth of services sought by the ADF over the five-year program.

JCB CEA will supply equipment from across seven JCB product platforms with a diverse range of machines including heavy line excavators, teleskids, wheel loaders, backhoe loaders, mini excavators, wheeled excavators and rollers.

According to JCB CEA Chief Executive Officer Hylton Taylor, this will be the single largest sale of machinery JCB CEA has secured locally, and the largest sale of JCB machinery in Australasia.

“JCB CEA is pleased to supply some of our class leading equipment as part of this large-scale project,” Mr Taylor said.

“We collaborated in a thorough and extensive vetting and tender process with the highly experienced infrastructure service provider, Ventia, who specialise in the long-term operation, maintenance, and management of critical public and private infrastructure”.

JCB CEA will also assist with the development of product specific operating manuals, maintenance specifications and other technical documentation, and where required, deliver operator training programs at Defence sites nationally for optimum use of the supplied machines.

Taking things to the extreme

JCB CEA’s first machine delivery to CASG will be a 220X heavy line excavator from JCB’s new X Series tracked excavator line.

JCB CEA National Product Manager Deon Cope explains why the 220X machine is the perfect excavator for operating in rough terrains.

 The X Series excavator line was four years in the making before being launched in 2020.
The X Series excavator line was four years in the making before being launched in 2020.

“The X Series excavator line was four years in the making before we finally launched it in Australia in 2020. During the development stage, the machine was put through thousands of hours of extreme endurance testing.

“In Australia, the very first 220X excavator was sold to one of our loyal customers and it was fitted with Topcon’s new X-53x auto-grade system from Position Partners rather than relying on a factory-fitted option. It’s a machine well suited to the civil infrastructure space.”

With the ‘X’ in the JCB X Series standing for ‘extreme’ strength, comfort and endurance, the excavator was put through an equivalent of 15,000 hours of tracking and vibration tests on a whole machine shaker rig and completed 1.1 million test cycles on JCB’s latest dig end. This was accompanied by exhaustive testing on purpose-built electronics and electric rigs to prove connections, layout and software.

JCB CEA has also performed over 30,000 window and door operation tests to prove components quality for its X Series excavators, in addition to hot and cold climate testing (55ºC to -30ºC) performed in controlled conditions and locations around the world.

To build the 20-tonne 210X and 220X tracked excavators, JCB also invested heavily in state-of-the-art automotive style production facilities. This included introducing new tooling, Electrophoretic deposition (EPD) coating and robot welding to create a thoughtful design optimised to protect the machine.

Maximum comfort

Operator comfort is also a key consideration in the JCB 210X and 220X machines, where the company received thousands of operator feedback prior to the design. This led to designing a machine with a spacious JCB CommandPlus cab with high quality injection moulded interior. Industry-leading Grammer seat with wide, adjustable arm rests that reclines 145º.

The ergonomic design of the JCB 210X and 220X machines also includes factory fitted Hose Burst Check Valves (HBVCs) and optional HBVCs for fork use so the machines are always ready for lifting operations.

Other design features in the JCB X Series excavators are increased diameters for the hydraulic pipes and hoses, which allow for increased productivity and efficiency. An innovative hydraulic regeneration system means oil is recycled across the cylinders for faster cycle times and reduced fuel consumption.

JCB CEA’s 20-tonne heavy line excavator was put through 15,000 hours of tracking and vibration test.
JCB CEA’s 20-tonne heavy line excavator was put through 15,000 hours of tracking and vibration test.

The 210X and 220X EcoMAX engines have been tested to 110,000 hours in 70 different machines across the toughest applications and environments. Auto-stop and Auto-idle on the JCB’s EcoMAX Tier 4F/IV engine provides fuel saving of up to five per cent. Machine cooling in 55ºC heat with air conditioning running has been achieved with a bigger fan and engine mounted fan cowl for optimum airflow.

For extra versatility, JCB offers a full list of auxiliary pipework options including hammer, merged pump flow, auxiliary, and low flow.

JCB’s government and defence machines

JCB’s involvement with military products dates right back to 1984 when the company supplied nearly 1,000 410M rough terrain forklifts to the UK Ministry of Defence. Since then, JCB has supplied over 50 different armed forces with more than 3,500 JCB machines.

JCB’s commercial range are suitable for military applications, either with or without modification. The company also provides specialised military machines that offer high levels of mobility and protection.

As the world’s number one choice in both backhoe and telescopic handlers as well as a commercial range of over 300 machines, JCB offers a proven solution for excavating, earthmoving and materials handling equipment.

This article was originally published in the October edition of our magazine. To read the magazine, click here.


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