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ISSN 1416-300X Volume 9, Issue 2, July/Aug 2006

Details of new machines:

HIGH MOBILITY VARIABLE LIFT TRUCK (HMVRT)

The HMVRT combines 50mph speed with an ability to lift 4500kg; the machine has a reach of 8.5m. The operator can efficiently stuff and de-stuff standard 20ft ISO containers either on the ground or while mounted on trucks.

The four-wheel drive machine is air transportable in a Hercules C-130 aircraft. Because the HMVRT is based on the HMEE, providing technical support is eased by the commonality of components. The HMVRT has been developed in only three months in stark contrast to industry’s reputation for slow design and development of many military products.

HIGH MOBILITY UTILITY VEHICLE (HMUV)

JCB’s HMUV has been developed around the military requirement for vehicles capable of transporting four tonne payloads or a combination of payload and personnel. This makes the HMUV a completely new type of vehicle for JCB.

Underlining the capability of the HMUV, it is capable of towing up to 4,000kg in addition to its own payload. Its top speed is an impressive 68mph. The final concept will be determined in conjunction with the MoD.

THE HIGH MOBILITY ENGINEER EXCAVATOR (HMEE)

JCB HMEE

The Fastrac tractor, launched in 1989, was the first agricultural tractor that could cope with rough terrain and travel on roads at speeds of up to 50mph because it had a full suspension chassis and ABS anti-lock brakes. Using this proven technology, JCB designed and developed the HMME to the specification of the US Army’s Tank, Automotive and Armament Command procurement organisation (TACOM) , who wanted a machine capable of road speeds of up to 55mph (80kph) coupled with the versatility of a backhoe loader, four wheel drive and four wheel steer.

Following the development of the machine, JCB was last year awarded a contract, expected to be worth up to $140m, to supply the US Army with this high-speed backhoe loader for military engineering tasks. The award of the contract followed a three-year programme of design, development and testing to produce a military machine to meet stringent performance criteria. This week the first six production machines were delivered from JCB’s USA plant in Savannah, Georgia, for validation tests. Full production will commence in 2007 and deliveries are scheduled to continue until 2012.

The HMEE combines the capabilities of the world-renowned JCB backhoe loader and the innovative high-speed JCB Fastrac agricultural tractor. The objective of the HMEE concept is to have a machine capable of being part of a high speed military convoy without the need for transportation by a truck and low-loader trailer.

The 12 tonne HMEE boasts a 6.7 litre diesel engine, four-wheel drive, four-wheel steer, lift more than 2,000kg and dig to a depth of almost 4m. It is designed to be air-transportable by Hercules C-130 aircraft.

JCB HIGH MOBILITY ROUGH TERRAIN FORKLIFT (HMRTF)

The only dedicated telescopic handler capable of convoy speed, the High Mobility Rough Terrain Forklift (HMRTF) has been developed specifically for military use to British Army specifications. The HMRTF provides excellent cross-country capability at high speed and achieves an impressive 50mph (80kph) on the road.

Ideal for moving logistical supplies rapidly and safely, the HMRTF has a lift capacity of 2,300 kg up to a height of 5.3m. Its low-profile design enables it to corner and manoeuvre on all terrains smoothly and swiftly. Its three operating modes and the JCB Quickhitch system – which enables rapid interchange between attachments - combine to give maximum versatility.

The machine features a 6-speed fully automatic and programmable gearbox, selectable two or four wheel drive, power assisted front-wheel steering, hydraulic rear-wheel steering and tailor-made ABS, all fitted as standard.

Unlike conventional unsprung telescopic handlers, the HMRTF boasts all-round suspension with three operating modes: in travel mode the machine is fully suspended for on and off-roading; in work raised mode the front suspension is raised and locked for load handling and in work lowered mode the suspension is lowered and locked for accessing standard ISO containers, where the 0.62m front centre side-shift fork frame allows you to place or recover loads from either side.

The machine is easily transportable without preparation in a C-130 Hercules, can be underslung under a Chinook and moved in a 20ft ISO container.

JCB HIGH MOBILITY FASTRAC (HMF)

The revolutionary JCB High Mobility Fastrac (HMF) is a full suspension, highly capable tractor unit. Capable of safe travel at high speeds both on and off-road, it can achieve road speeds of over 50 mph (80kph) and yet still be as effective as a conventional tractor in the field.

The RAF uses the HMF to tow Harriers and other aircraft from hides for operations. It can also be used for high-speed snow clearance of runways, store yards and depots, salt spreading and de-icing and, thanks to the special ‘easy-ride’ suspension system, for towing sensitive loads such as bombs and munitions.

Using its power take-offs the HMF is able to operate a variety of systems from backhoes to pumps for fuel or water. Its 4 tonne rear deck capacity enables a wide range of kit to be carried. The HMF is able to tow trailers up to a legal limit of 25 tonnes GTW in the UK with ease.

Every HMF model can haul up to 24-tonnes gross train weight at 50kph, significantly faster and safer than any competitive machine. There is ABS braking, so these machines can stop safely with no risk of jack-knifing. A two-man, low-profile cab offers excellent all-round visibility and ancillary equipment can be front, rear-deck or rear mounted.

These machines are part of the world’s first high speed, high mobility and logistically compatible family of military vehicles. Last October JCB announced the biggest order in its history when it secured a $140 million contract to supply the US Army with the High Mobility Engineer Excavator (HMEE). The new machines share the HMEE’s all-important capability to travel at high speed.

As military organisations increasingly focus on the need for logistics vehicles to be capable of convoy speeds of over 50mph, JCB has been able to put to use years of experience with the Fastrac tractor, which was the first agricultural tractor to be capable of road speeds of more than 50mph due to its advanced full suspension design and anti-lock braking system.

The HMVRT combines 50mph speed with an ability to lift 4500kg; the machine has a reach of 8.5m. The operator can efficiently stuff and de-stuff standard 20ft ISO containers either on the ground or while mounted on trucks.

The four-wheel drive machine is air transportable in a Hercules C-130 aircraft. Because the HMVRT is based on the HMEE, providing technical support is eased by the commonality of components. The HMVRT has been developed in only three months in stark contrast to industry’s reputation for slow design and development of many military products.

JCB’s HMUV has been developed around the military requirement for vehicles capable of transporting four tonne payloads or a combination of payload and personnel. This makes the HMUV a completely new type of vehicle for JCB.

Underlining the capability of the HMUV, it is capable of towing up to 4,000kg in addition to its own payload. Its top speed is an impressive 68mph. The final concept will be determined in conjunction with the MOD.

The new machines join an impressive military machine line-up from JCB. This week the first six HMEE production machines were delivered from JCB’s USA plant in Savannah, Georgia, for validation tests. Full production will commence in 2007 and deliveries are scheduled to continue until 2012.

Both the High Mobility Variable Reach Truck (HMVRT) and High Mobility Utility Vehicle (HMUV) will make their debuts at the UK’s Defence Vehicle Dynamics exhibition on 28/29 June. The company also showed its new Robotic Skid-steer loader. All will be shown at DVD next week.

As we left JCB, it felt proud to be British and feel that the industrial decline so evident on this Government’s agenda is such a short-sighted policy and that U.K. engineers can compete with the best and beat the best and remain in private hands!

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