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JCB to supply more high-speed backhoes to US Army

JCB wins $50mn US Army contract for high-speed backhoe loaders

The JCB HMEE-1 boasts a top speed of almost 100km/h.
The JCB HMEE-1 boasts a top speed of almost 100km/h.

JCB has won a $50mn contract to supply high-speed backhoe loaders to the United States Army.

In 2005, the US Army became the first military organisation to purchase High Mobility Engineer Excavators (HMEEs) from JCB with an order for 636 machines.

Although this $206mn contract remains the biggest single order in the British manufacturer’s history, HMEE customers have since included armed forces in the UAE, the UK, Sweden, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand.

“Over the past 30 years, JCB has supplied armies in 57 countries with over 4,000 machines, and we are delighted to build on that success by securing this latest contract with the United States Army,” said Graeme Macdonald, chief executive of JCB.

Arjun Mirdha, president and CEO of JCB North America, added: “The fact that the US Army has once again chosen JCB to produce this extraordinary piece of equipment is testament to the quality and innovation of the JCB HMEE. We are very proud to manufacture a machine that protects the lives of our servicemen and women in the course of their military duties.”

Engineered in Britain and manufactured in JCB’s North American plant in Savannah, Georgia, the 16-tonne HMEE is capable of speeds of almost 100km/h. The JCB Fastrac tractor is the only tractor in the world with full suspension and anti-lock brakes. This means that the backhoes are able to keep up with military convoys on the road, eliminating the need to transport the machine using a truck and low-loader.

The HMEEs feature blast protection systems that have already proven to be effective against improvised explosive devices (IEDs) whilst on duty in conflict zones. The model to be supplied under the latest contract is the HMEE-1, which is deliverable by C-17 aircraft and transportable by C130 Hercules aircraft. The model boasts 6.7-litre diesel engine and offers four-wheel drive with four-wheel steer. It can lift 1.8 tonnes and can dig to a depth of approximately 4m.

The HMEE-1 is available in a base model, a full-crew protection model, and an enhanced-protection NATO Theatre Entry Standard model.

The UK-headquartered manufacturer will deliver the latest machines to the US Army by 2017.


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Construction Week - Issue 749
Sep 15, 2019