28 February 1997

Curvy JCBs a real looker

Side-mounted, sensuous and at Sima – JCBs latest entrant into the telescopic loader market comes in the form of the 530-70 Loadall Farm Special. Andy Collings reports

CURVY is perhaps the first word which comes to mind when seeing the new JCB 530-70 telescopic loader for the first time. Curved windscreen, curved cab, curved bodywork.

But looks apart, the 530, which now replaces the 527-58 and 527-67 Farm Special Plus models, represents a significant departure from JCBs previous builds.

Main difference is to be found in the placement of the engine compartment. Like several other telescopic loader manufacturers, JCB has discovered that positioning the engine to the side of the machine allows room for the boom to be lowered into a gap between its housing and the cab.

The result? A much lower boom pivot point and improved visibility for the operator – at least when the boom is down.

But unlike other manufacturers, JCB has chosen to mount the engine crosswise, at right angles to the propshafts – a position which allows servicing access to both sides of the engine and provides ample space for a bank of cooling radiators.

Drive from the engine first enters a bevel box to turn it through 90í. One end of the now longitudinal drive powers the hydraulic motor while the other enters the Powershift transmission unit. Having passed through the transmission, the drive is then split into two – a propshaft to the front axle and another to the rear axle.

One of the limitations of a transversely mounted engine is, of course, the length of the engine block – a six-cylinder engine would make the machine prohibitively wide – but JCB is confident the units 106hp four-cylinder block can be tweaked to provide more power if required in the future.

A longer machine than previous models, the 530 is deemed to offer a greater degree of stability but not, insists the manufacturer, at the expense of manoeuvrability. An improved design of axle means the turning radius of the four-wheel steer machine – four, two and crab – is not compromised.

In the cab, a single joystick working directly into the distribution block controls the main hydraulic functions; forward and back for boom raise and lower, left and right for bucket crowd. Two buttons activate boom extension and retraction while a third button is employed for external hydraulic power operation.

So, what are the vital statistics of this stylish machine? A 106hp Perkins 1000 series engine drives through a 4×4 powershift box. Its two-stage boom has a lift capacity of 3t to a height of 6.65m (21ft 10in) and 2.4t to its maximum height of 7m (23ft). Extended horizontally to 3.7m (12ft 4in) it can handle up to 1.25t.

&#8226 A larger version – the 540-70 – is due to make its appearance during the summer.n

Curved lines of the JCB 530-70 telescopic loader.


JCB 530-70 DETAILS


&#8226 Engine: Perkins, 4-cyl turbo, 106hp.

&#8226 Transmission: 4-speed powershift, shuttle.

&#8226 Max height/lift: 2.4t/7m (23ft).

&#8226 Max reach/lift: 3.75m (12ft 4in)/1.25t.

&#8226 Price: £37,885.