JCB has launched a new telescopic handler that claims to combine the size and agility to work efficiently in and around farm buildings with the ultimate in transmissions technology for top performance and productivity. The Loadall 532-60 Agri Super features JCB’s DualTech VT transmission, which claims to exploit the best characteristics of hydrostatic and powershift drives, and a new 130hp (97kW) JCB DieselMax engine with fuel-saving auto shut-down feature.
The newcomer also has a 140-litre/min, 240 bar load-sensing hydraulics package as standard, which together with fast lowering regenerative hydraulics for the telescopic boom, delivers the quickest loading and handling cycle times of any model in the Loadall range.
John Smith, JCB Agriculture Managing Director, said: “Early in 2020 we introduced the 532-60 to Agri specification with a four-speed powershift transmission to give small- to medium-size livestock farms a more sophisticated and capable 3.2 tonne, 6m telehandler option with all the attractions of our new high visibility Command Plus cab. With the 532-60 Agri Super featuring the unique DualTech VT, we now have a machine that outperforms hydrostatic-only telehandlers and provides all the productivity, ease of control and economy characteristics of the best transmission you can have in any telescopic handler.”
Like the 532-60 Agri, the new Agri Super model has selectable four-wheel steering giving a tight turning circle and a compact footprint with short front and rear overhangs for confident operation within and around livestock buildings. An extra 400kg takes the weight of the machine to 7740kg, which helps keep it planted with good traction on rough ground and smooth, slippery surfaces alike.
Lift capacity is 3200kg to a full-height lift of 6.22m and the boom supports a 1400kg load at a horizontal forward reach of 3.33m from the front tyres. As standard, 460/70 R24 tyres are fitted but 380/75 R20 tyres can be chosen to trim 70mm from the overall height and bring it down from 2.49m to 2.42m while also slicing a few millimetres off the 2.28m overall width.
Despite these reduced dimensions relative to other Loadall telehandlers, operators of the new 532-60 Agri Super still enjoy the full-size Command Plus cab with its generous space, elbow room and storage options, as well as class-leading low noise levels. They also get the cab’s first-class view forwards past a ‘floating’ digital instrument display and upwards to a raised boom through a large one-piece curved windscreen that sweeps up from a low position at the front of the cab to beyond the operator’s head, where a specially-shaped internal safety grille and multiple windscreen wipers contribute to the outstanding visibility.
From the deluxe air suspension seat, the operator has all controls within easy reach, including the seat armrest-mounted servo joystick that operates a suite of JCB Smart Hydraulics features, including the auto-engage Smooth Ride System boom suspension and Bucket Control System, which provides low-effort shaking of attachments to regulate discharge of loose materials from a bucket or dislodge sticky manure from a fork and grab.
The regenerative system that allows fast return flow of oil through the hydraulic lift cylinders allows the boom to be lowered faster than usual but still under complete control for speedier, more productive loading and re-handling cycles.
Housed in the end of the seat armrest are fingertip paddle switches for setting engine revs and maximum hydrostatic drive ground speed as part of the DualTech VT transmission’s Flexi mode, which is commonly used for bulk handling or loading a diet feeder or manure spreader.
The operator can use this function to set the ideal engine speed for optimum boom hydraulics performance and then focus on ground speed control using the accelerator pedal; limiting the hydrostatic drive speed is ideal for controlled short loading cycles, especially when working in the confines of a cattle shed or grain store.
Flexi mode can also be used to set a fixed ground speed and the revs required for a hydraulic drive bucket sweeper, straw shredder or feed bucket, with a ‘memory’ feature ensuring the operator can quickly resume these settings.
In Drive mode, the machine is driven conventionally by pressing the accelerator pedal for engine revs and transmission response, with precision inching available by lightly pressing the brake pedal but not actually applying the brakes. Beyond 19kph (11mph), the DualTech VT transmission automatically switches to powershift drive, with electronically modulated clutch packs making barely noticeable shifts between three mechanical gears up to the 40kph (25mph) top speed.
With no torque converter involved, direct drive in each gear makes the most of available torque to deliver quick acceleration, strong climbing ability and the impetus to maintain speed on road inclines.
The transmission will skip-shift and short-shift as appropriate and upshifts can be restricted to gears one, two or three when handling and loading in the field. A ‘power’ setting exploits full engine revs and power output for more demanding applications, and an ‘economy’ setting restricts engine speed to a 1700rpm ceiling, changes the engine’s power delivery characteristics and initiates earlier up-shifts to optimise fuel economy.
This cost-reducing strategy is complemented by a new feature introduced on all ‘Stage V’ versions of the JCB Loadall telescopic handlers that can be engaged to automatically shut down the DieselMax engine after a period standing at idling speed.