JCB secures 1,600-unit US Army telehandler order

British equipment manufacturer and backhoe and telehandler pioneer JCB secures the second largest order in its history

JCB’s 1,600-unit order for the US Army will be produced at JCB’s North American headquarters in Savannah, Georgia.
JCB’s 1,600-unit order for the US Army will be produced at JCB’s North American headquarters in Savannah, Georgia.

JCB has secured a $142m deal to supply the US Army with a fleet of 1,600 light-capability rough-terrain telehandlers in the second largest order by value in the British company’s 71-year history.

The specialised 527-58M forklift, or telehandler, is engineered from JCB’s range of commercial Loadall telescopic handlers – a range which this year celebrates 40 years in production.

“This order is fantastic news for JCB and a great way to start the new year,” said Graeme Macdonald, CEO of JCB. “It is the second-highest-value order in the company’s history, and I congratulate everyone who has worked to secure this contract as we mark 40 years of telescopic handler production.”

The largest single deal in JCB’s history also came from the US Army in 2005 when a $206m order was placed to produce hundreds of high-speed military versions of JCB’s backhoe loader.

That machine, the High Mobility Engineer Excavator (HMEE), is capable of speeds of up to 96.5kph and went on to be sold to allied forces around the world, including the UK, Sweden, Germany, Australia and New Zealand.

Like the HMEE, the 527-58M light-capability rough-terrain forklifts will be produced at JCB’s North American headquarters in Savannah, Georgia, though powered by the 84hp (63kW) JCB DieselMax engine produced at JCB Power Systems in Derbyshire, UK.

At two metres wide and 78 inches high, the military spec 527-58M is optimised to work in confined spaces. With a travel speed of 33kph, the machine has a maximum lift capacity of more than 2.26 tonnes and a lift height of 5.8 metres.

The 527-58M is also adapted to the operational needs for wading and fording. To see a video of the machine in action, click here

Arjun Mirdha, CEO and president of JCB North America, said: “Over the past three decades, JCB has supplied more than 4,000 machines to armed forces in 57 countries, and we have acquired a deep understanding of how the Army uses equipment and the unique features needed.”

JCB now offers more than 300 commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) solutions for the military.

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