Multiple upgrades aim to reignite backhoe loader market for JCB

JCB has this week unveiled its latest generation of backhoe loaders, with a large number of new features that aim to boost worldwide sales of the machine it launched 70 years ago.

New 4CX Pro backhoe features Dual Drive system New 4CX Pro backhoe features Dual Drive system (Photo: PPI)

Richard Brooks, JCB’s group product and innovation director, said to some extent, the backhoe loader had “fallen out of favour” with some of the company’s European customers.

“Some say it’s old technology,” he said, adding, “But we’ve been busy.”

Books said the engineers at JCB having been heavily focused on backhoe development over the last 12 months, and have introduced new features intended to bring the iconic backhoe loader up to date “with a host of innovations and enhancements, making it once again the most versatile, durable, productive construction machine and relevant for the modern world.”

The 2024 upgrades, applied to the 3CX, 4CX, and 5CX models, are designed to simplify the operator’s tasks and boost productivity.

Key developments include the introduction of Dual Drive, a single loader lever, revised direction control, a return to grade function, a laser level mount, and an upgraded quickhitch with a wider fork carriage.

Dual Drive for greater operator control

Available as standard on 3CX Pro and 4CX Pro machines, with servo controls, Dual Drive enables operators to steer and reposition the machine without turning the seat, enhancing efficiency in tasks such as ditch cleaning, grading, breaking, or patch planning.

Georgina Williams, application and training manager at JCB, explained, “You have a roller switch on your left-hand servo lever, that controls your steering, and the right-hand lever has a forward and reverse selection switch.

“This [feature] sets us further apart from our competition and reinforces our commitment to have the easiest and most comfortable backhoe loader to operate.”

Steamlined operations

A 178mm monitor at the rear of the loader provides a clear view to the front through a bird’s eye camera, enhancing visibility for the operator.

On all manual-control machines, a single-lever 6-in-1 loader control will be standard, allowing for loader and transmission control with one hand and steering with the other.

The return to grade function simplifies angle setting for grading work, providing an automated solution for optimal shovel rotation during grading tasks.

JCB has also incorporated a 2D laser receiver mount to the front loader torsion box, improving grading accuracy and promising reduced time and fuel consumption.

The integrated quick-hitch with forks has been upgraded for stability and ease of use, featuring a wider fork carrier and additional features for improved operator visibility.

JCB has standardised a six-speed Autoshift transmission on the 3CX and 4CX, while TorqueLock is now also a standard feature, designed to reduce travel times and improve fuel efficiency.

The new backhoes now also have improved visibility, with eight standard LED work lights.

Additional upgrades and features

Various smaller upgrades have been incorporated, including simplified excavator quickhitch activation, new tire options, a seat belt warning feature, and a green beacon socket for the UK market.

Key new developments:

  • Dual Drive, allowing machine repositioning without rotating the driver’s seat
  • Single loader lever to reduce operator effort
  • Revised direction control for quicker and easier use
  • Return to grade function for improved performance
  • Laser level mount for simple 2D installation
  • Upgraded quick-hitch with wider fork carriage

Richard Brooks said, “These upgrades and improvements maintain JCB’s position as the world’s leading backhoe loader manufacturer.

“By making life easier for the operator, with increased comfort and control, JCB has ensured that the 3CX, 4CX, and 5CX remain the first choice for operators.”


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Ollie Hodges Publisher Tel: +44 (0)1892 786253 E-mail: [email protected]
Lewis Tyler
Lewis Tyler Editor Tel: 44 (0)1892 786285 E-mail: [email protected]