Full production is getting underway this month of a brand new JCB machine – a product innovation which has created around 85 new jobs.
The innovative JCB Hydradig is taking the construction industry by storm after making its international debut at an equipment trade fair in Munich attended by more than half a million people.
Now hundreds of orders for the new 10-tonne machine have been placed and production has started at the JCB Heavy Products plant in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire. Around 85 people have been recruited as result of the launch of the new machine. The roles include engineers, welders and assembly line employees.
The JCB Hydradig was developed in complete secrecy over a three-year period, under the codename ‘Project 710’. The vision from the outset of the project was to design and engineer the most innovative solution in response to five key challenges facing customers in today’s construction sector. The machine had to have the best visibility, stability, manoeuvrability, mobility and serviceability.
JCB Chairman Lord Bamford, who initiated the project, said: “The Hydradig really does have innovation running right through the heart of it. In fact Hydradig will transform the industry and I am certain customers will quickly appreciate its benefits.”
JCB CEO Graeme Macdonald said: “The launch of the JCB Hyradig is not only one of the most significant launches in the company’s history, it is also one of the most successful. The response has been unprecedented and we have very high hopes for this revolutionary new product.
“The JCB Hydradig is the third product revolution we have brought to market in the past six months. We’ve launched a backhoe loader which is 35% smaller than the standard model which is opening up new sales opportunities around the world. For our farming customers we have just introduced a brand new dual technology transmission for JCB’s Loadall telehandler products which makes them 25% more productive than competitive models. This is a very exciting time to be part of the JCB team.”
Working closely with a range of customers, JCB conducted in-depth analysis of the potential applications for the JCB Hydradig, including utilities, highways, municipalities, general construction and landscaping, assessing the suitability of current machinery solutions. With job sites becoming increasingly congested, whether in an urban environment or on busy road carriageways, it became clear that a new and better solution could be achieved by rethinking machine design conventions, a JCB speciality.
Chief Innovation and Growth Officer Tim Burnhope said: “Visibility from the cab was the main customer consideration because of on-site safety concerns. Stability was next on the list, as machines are now being called upon to do an increasing amount of heavy lifting, not just excavating. As job sites become tighter many customers are demanding improved manoeuvrability, while others need increased mobility to allow machines to move between sites more quickly.
“Finally, customers now expect excellent ground-level serviceability. So our design challenge was to develop a single machine solution that would deliver against all five customer challenges.”