7 March 1997

New loaders got stylish looks and performance

Earlier this month JCB introduced the 530-70 Loadall Farm Special.Andy Collings took the road to the companys Rocester headquarters to see how it performs

THE first thing to note about the new JCB 530-70 is that it is not just another telescopic loader from a company which has been producing such machines for the past decade and more.

True, it has all the features one has come to expect on modern telescopic loaders – four-wheel steer, powershift transmission, acceptable lift performance, and so on – but it is the overall build of the machine which will perhaps set it apart from those that have gone before.

For JCB at least, the use of a side positioned, transversely mounted engine is a new concept. It is a design which allows a lower mounting of the boom and, when the boom is in the lowered position, improved visibility for the operator.

The result is a machine which looks much lower and, with the curved lines of the cab, a reasonably stylish product overall.

But looks are not usually everything in this world so, to disprove the "dumb blonde" theory, a hands-on approach is necessary to see if the 530 is worth waking up to each morning.

Climbing into the cab is easy through a wide, two-piece door. One small criticism is to note that, one, the door does not swing back to become flush with the side of the cab and, two, the restraining strap would appear to be a little on the weak side in the event of a strong wind catching the door in an open position.

Seating is comfortably sprung and first glance at the control layout is to feel reasonably in touch with the machine. The right hand falls naturally to the joystick control which offers forward and back for boom height, side to side for attachment crowd and a series of buttons for boom extension and auxiliary hydraulic service. Another button mounted on the side of the joystick can be used to cut out the transmission drive when power is required purely for loader work – without any immediate need for traction.

To the left of the steering wheel on its own console is the machines steering mode selection switch. Normal two-wheel steer for road use is complemented by four-wheel and crab modes. Switching between them is straight forward with the selected mode only being activated when the wheelsare straight – sensors on theaxles automatically control thissystem.

As with other JCB loaders, powershift and shuttle control are combined on a left-hand steering column stalk.

And then there is the expected bank of switches for heating, lights, rear and top windscreen wipers; the front windscreenwiper control is on a separatesteering column stalk sited to theright.

Engine on, the transmission isolating handbrake off, the shuttle lever pushed forwards and we are away. More throttle, a twist up though the ratios and speed begins to climb. Feels stable – the extra length of the machine clearly helping to prevent any tendency for the machine to lurch or sway at speed.

But would this extra length have a penalty when working in confined spaces? On with the muck forks and grab for a chance to perform some real work.

Working on level concrete, first gear is too slow with second or even third being adequate. Lower the boom, tilt the forks downwards slightly and raise the grab. Easy, no doubt, with practice.

A good mouthful of compacted muck provides an opportunity to test the horizontal reach/load performance. So, out with the boom and watch the lights on the cab-mounted boom indicator climb until they activate the red light and the buzzer, which dutifully sounds at nearly full extension. But we are still on four wheels, just.

Back in to the shed for another load and note that the mudguards turn with the wheels providing a useful guide to where the wheels actually are in relation to walls and, in this case, water troughs.

Good visibility yes, but as with all rigid telescopic loaders, not perfect – particularly when the boom is in a semi-raised position near the cab window.

Servicing the 530 on a daily basis appears to be a relatively straightforward operation. Access to both sides of the engine is easy for such things as oil filter changes, oil level checks and fuel pump. The hydraulic reservoir is checked and filled at the rear of the machine just below the booms main pivot point, while the fuel entry point is behind a lockable plate to the side of the cab.

Overall impression. A sound, comfortable machine which should be capable of performing well in most farm conditions.

A blaze of yellow. JCBs new 530-70 telescopic takes over from the firms previous mid-market models, the 527-58 and 527-67. Note side-mounted bonnet which enables the boom to slot in between cab and 106hp motor.

Turbocharged, four-cylinder Perkins diesel pumps out 106hp. Engine mounting is transverse, and drive is through a conventional torque converter, four-speed powershift.

Wide, two-piece door gives good access into comfy cab.


JCB 530-70 LOADALL


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

&#8226 Transmission: 4-speed powershift.

&#8226 Max lift capacity: 3t.

&#8226 Max height: 7m (23ft).

&#8226 Max horizontal extension: 3.7m (12ft 2in).

&#8226 Max lift at full extension: 1.25t.

&#8226 Machine height: 2.49m(8ft 2in).

&#8226 Machine width: 2.29m(7ft 6in).

&#8226 Machine length (to front carriage): 4.99m (16ft 4in).