JCB’s latest X SERIES heavy line excavator, the 245XR, introduces zero tail swing technology to improve safety and efficiency for operators. JCB CEA National Product Manager Deon Cope explains.
The new 245XR excavator is the latest addition to JCB’s highly acclaimed X SERIES and as Deon Cope, JCB CEA’s National Product Manager explains, there’s a key feature that differentiates the machine from the rest of the market.
With an intuitive design, the 245XR offers users a reduced slewing radius, while also ensuring that other features such as cab space are not compromised.
“This is JCB’s latest release on its X SERIES platform. While the excavator platform weighs 20 to 25 tonnes, the weight comes in at 27 tonnes with the blade,” Cope says. “This is a reduced tail swing excavator, which is very popular and widely used in freeway construction projects.”
The 245XR has a tail swing radius of 1.72 metres, which is 40 per cent less than its predecessor, the 220X Excavator. According to Cope, this reduced tail swing provides several benefits for operators.
“One of the main advantages of this feature is the reduced spin, so operators do not need to close off additional freeway lanes when they are working close to live traffic. Operators can also use the machine in tight spaces when working on building and infrastructure projects,” Cope says.
“There is also a safety aspect to the reduced tail swing, as there is less chance of damage to nearby buildings or personnel on site when the machine is in operation. It’s an exciting model for us.”
With a 40 per cent shorter tail swing and supported by a bucket capacity of 1.25 cubic-metres, the 245XR can optimise operations in difficult working applications. The 245XR also features minor changes from the 220X, as Cope explains.
“The 245XR runs on a similar hydraulic pump system as the 220X, but we have gone with a larger pump, a larger control valve and better fluid dynamics throughout the whole machine,” he says. “So, we still maintain that speed and accuracy while also having increased breakout and performance.”
Creating an equilibrium
The 245XR design also has a key focus on maintaining precise and balanced movements during operation, Cope adds
“Some of the earlier zero tail swing models were inherently unbalanced as compared to the standard swing excavators. But zero tail machines have become a lot more balanced, a lot more controllable and just as efficient as some of the standard tail swing excavators,” Cope says.
“The JCB design team has spent a lot of time and resources developing this product, which is why it is one of the heaviest in its class, and also one of the most stable.”
In designing the 245XR, Cope says JCB’s engineers have allocated weight to key areas of the machine to achieve equilibrium.
“JCB is very good at producing chassis and putting weight in the right places. JCB machines often have heavier lower structures and frames to help lower the machines’ centre of gravity in order to improve the machines’ stability,” Cope says.
“Even though the 245XR weighs just under 27 tonnes when equipped with a blade, we still managed to achieve stability in par with a 20 tonne machine.”
But these design changes do not take away from the machine’s comfort level, where Cope says the operator’s cabin remains at full size.
“We have retained a full size cabin, whereas some of our competitors have changed to a reduced size or a three-quarter sized cabin,” he says. “At the end of the day, operators spend eight to ten hours at a time in these machines and they should feel comfortable. That is what operators can get with the new 245XR.”
Operator feedback also contributed to the design of the 245XR’s cabin, which features double cushioned viscous mounts to reduce the noise to 69 decibels. The seat-mounted joystick and switch controls can also move with the operator.
Power and accuracy
The 245XR utilises JCB’s DIESELMAX engine, which was released in 2004 and has been proven to be effective in 70 different machines globally.
Cope says the engine, which has a dedicated off-road design, contributes to reducing running costs for operators.
“An advanced cylinder head design means you can get a more efficient burn at the head of the cylinder. The design also eliminates the need for a diesel particulate filter, which further cuts the maintenance costs.”
The use of AdBlue diesel exhaust fluid further adds to the engine’s performance.
“The 245XR requires approximately three per cent of AdBlue per litre of diesel, which is less than the amount required for comparable excavators,” says Cope.
According to Cope, JCB has also conducted climate testing on the 245XR components to ensure the mechanisms remain robust in temperature between -30°C and 55°C.
Selectable Swing Smoothing is a feature that comes as standard with the 245XR and it enables the operator to customise the performance of the vehicle to suit any given application.
Cope says that the feature can produce sharper, or more gradual movements, depending on what is required from the job at hand.
“Because of the additional weight of the upper revolving frame, we have selected a larger slew motor and a larger slew brake, which helps increase the torque,” Cope says. “Increased slew braking means operators can accurately slew left or right and then come back onto line when working on projects like installing pipes or cutting trenches.”
“We also have the ability to smooth the slew. Where operators may want more speed instead of accuracy, they can switch to softer slew so it doesn’t brake as aggressively and has a smoother action. This is useful for tasks such as loading trucks.”
The first 245XR units have already arrived in Australia, and Cope says operators will have the chance to see it in action.
“The first models have arrived in Melbourne, and we will soon have demonstrator models in every state,”Cope says.
“With the unqiue features it offers the industry, we anticipate a high demand for the machine, so we have a high volume of units on their way to Australia now.”
For more information, visit: www.jcb.com