JCB mini digger is perfect for ground works

The 1.7 tonne JCB 18Z-1 - a tracked excavator that can be deployed quickly and easily - is a new addition to the comprehensive range of mini excavators manufactured by JCB.

Like its counterparts, the machine is small enough to work in and around buildings and light enough to be transported on a trailer by a pick-up truck or any 4x4 vehicle with at least 3.5 tonne towing capability.

The newcomer is part of JCB’s next-generation excavator range, which unusually in this class, have all-steel bodywork to fully protect components from accidental knocks, and also a choice of safety frame or fully enclosed cab for most models.

The JCB 18Z-1 - on display for the first time on JCB’s SIMA show stand - shares a number of features with all other models in the line-up, including its 11.7kW (15.6hp) diesel engine and graphite-impregnated bushes for all front-end pins – these require greasing only every 500 hours so minimise downtime and lifetime ownership costs.

The new machine has a 32-litre/min piston pump hydraulics package and 1.57m steel or rubber track undercarriage, with adjustable spacing for maximum stability in work and minimum overall width of 980mm for access and transport – features its shares with the 1.6 tonne 16C-1 and 1.8 tonne 19C-1.

However, as a zero tail-swing design, the new 18Z-1 is specifically built to access and work in very confined spaces or alongside walls and fences, having a counter-weight design that trims 418mm off the tail-swing radius for really close-in working.

The JCB 18Z-1 has a choice of 950mm and 1100mm dippers, which provide maximum digging depths of 2.42m and 2.57m, respectively, and ground level reach of 3.83m and 3.98m.

The 20.5 litre fuel tank enables the machine to work longer between refills but its ultra-compact dimensions mean it is available only with a canopied open operator platform when all the other models can have a fully-glazed cab.

The operator is provided with twin joystick controls, each with a wrist-rest, in an arrangement that will be familiar to users of JCB’s telehandlers, skid steers and wheeled loaders. To save time, the slew and digging controls can be used while the two-speed lever-operated traction drive moves the digger from one position to the next.

For safety, all controls are isolated unless activated by pressing JCB’s unique 2GO button, while JCB LiveLink telematics provides useful operational data, fault-warning and service scheduling alerts, as well as programmable geo-fence and curfew restrictions to discourage theft and unauthorised use.

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