A company which runs one of the biggest fleets of JCB wheeled loaders in the world is increasing its size further with the addition of six newly-launched 417 models.
Online salvage and non-salvage vehicle auction company Copart UK Ltd already has 64 JCB wheeled loaders across its 15 UK locations. Now the company has ordered a further six new generation 417 models from JCB dealer Watling JCB in Leicestershire.
The new machines – launched earlier this year – feature the CommandPlus cab with increased space, new controls and lower noise levels. They are powered by the JCB EcoMAX engine delivering 93kW (125hp), achieving EU Stage IV / US Tier 4 Final emissions levels without the need for a costly diesel particulate filter (DPF). The loaders have a four metre long fork attachment, allowing Copart operators to lift and move badly damaged cars, which can’t be moved in any other way, around its sites efficiently and without incurring any further damage.
Fred Houghton, Transport Operations Manager at Copart said: “We are delighted to be ordering six new JCB 417 wheeled loaders. We have been using JCB wheeled loaders since 2009 and are very pleased with what they do. They are very cost effective to run, make our job a lot easier, save a lot of time and reduce the risk of damaging the cars. JCB’s wheeled loader offered the best means of moving badly damaged cars about our sites without incurring further damage, which other types of machine risk.
“We haven’t found anything out there of a similar size that offers their combination of power and lift. When buyers arrive on site to collect their cars, the JCB wheeled loaders make loading their delivery vehicles a quick and easy job. Their compact width and manoeuvrability allows them to get in and out of the tight rows easily so we can maximise car storage space in the yard. The fork attachment and its smooth ride suspension help protect the cars being moved, while the good cab visibility, assisted by reversing cameras, helps keep our staff safe. We also get excellent support from Watling JCB.”
Founded in California in 1982, Copart sells vehicles for a variety of customers including finance companies, banks, dealers, fleets, rental car companies and the insurance industry. Buyers include franchised, independent and wholesale motor traders as well as the general public. The company has over 166 locations throughout the world and arrived in the UK ten years ago.
Copart UK Limited sells more than 300,000 vehicles annually through online auctions. It has grown into the biggest operator in the sector, receiving cars from 80% of the major insurance companies, which means it handles eight out of every ten insurance write-off vehicles. Copart also receives or picks up vehicles from body shops, police compounds, home addresses – wherever a car has been taken after an accident or found after a theft.
More than 5,000 salvage and non-salvage vehicles including agricultural plant, HGVs, commercial vehicles and motorcycles, are available for bidding through Copart’s weekly online auctions by resellers, car breakers, and the general public from around the world. The cars are purchased mostly for repair.
Copart’s 30-acre show site in Sandy, Bedfordshire, which is closest to the company’s head office near Bedford, operates six JCB wheeled loaders. When badly damaged salvage vehicles arrive at the site on delivery trucks, they are unloaded by the wheeled loaders and checked to see if any work is necessary. They are then put away into the storage rows in the yard by the loaders and not moved again until they are sold.
After the auction, the loaders are used to pick up the badly damaged cars from the rows and transport them to the loading area, where they are placed on the delivery vehicles.
Each wheeled loader is responsible for about 100 movements a day, depending on how busy the operation is – it’s particularly busy for the first couple of days after the auction.
Protecting the cars is paramount for Copart. “When we started buying JCBs, we conducted trials, which involved lifting a large SUV, says Houghton. “The JCB wheeled loader proved to be the only machine in the UK that could do what we wanted.”
The rows of cars are tightly packed in the yard and this called for a compact machine with the required capacity. In fact Copart calculated the angle at which the cars are stored by how the JCB wheeled loader turns. As the operator moves in to pick up the car, the back of the loader turns. The four metre long forks pick the vehicle up lengthways on its front and back suspension arms, thus avoiding contact with the car’s bodywork or its exhaust and subsequent risk of any damage.
The car stays parallel with the cars either side of it. When reversing out, the back end of the JCB wheeled loader turns, allowing it to bring the car out straight until it gets on full lock by which time it will be clear of the other cars, avoiding the risk of lifting one car over another.
Smooth ride suspension on the fork attachment’s hydraulic cylinders activates when the loader is travelling above 3-kph, preventing the car from bouncing and keeping it perfectly still on the long forks. The attachment, designed for Copart is now a JCB option.