Taking a look at the latest JCB mini excavators

Taking a look at the latest JCB mini excavators

The already considerable choice of JCB mini excavators has two new additions in the 2-3 tonne range

With a product portfolio in excess of 300 machines and counting you would think that you’d struggle to find any gaps in the JCB range. There are, of course, always new innovations and customer demands to fulfil and one such has been identified in the mini excavator line-up.

There are currently four Next Generation JCB models in the 1-2 tonne range to choose from – the 1.6 tonne 16C-1 conventional tail swing, the 1.8 tonne 18Z-1 zero tail swing and the 19C-1. With the addition of the award-winning 19C-1E to its growing E-TECH range of lithium-ion solutions, there’s also a fully battery electric solution on offer. Builders who have been in the market for a Next Generation JCB mini larger than the 19C-1 would hitherto be required to make the leap to a three-tonne unit, but the Staffordshire-based construction machinery expert has now bridged that gap.

The 2,675kg, 2.6-tonne 26C-1 conventional tailswing has arrived and with it a zero tailswing sibling in the form of the 2,550kg, 25Z-1. These are machines that can be easily secured via nine individual tie-down points and towed from a van or pick up with a standard licence, ticking that crucial transportability box. Indeed, with many light commercial vehicles rated at up to a 3.5 tonne towing capacity, you could also add two or three buckets to your trailer.

Key Features

  • Zero tailswing and conventional counterweight models  
  • EU Stage V and Tier 4 Final engines  
  • Redesigned cab enhances operator comfort  
  • Improved dig-end geometry with 500-hour greasing intervals  
  • Electro-proportional auxiliary, swing and dozer controls 

From the ground up

This is not an existing machine made bigger or smaller to fill a weight class. Instead, it has been designed from the ground up with its own identity uppermost in mind. There’s robust and repairable all-steel bodywork, boom routed hoses are protected from damage, and are positioned to be out the operator’s line of sight. Moreover, a lighter weight bucket carries more material and is itself fitted with transportation hooks for movement from site-to-site.

The 26C-1 and 25Z-1 are equipped with an efficient and fuel saving 18.4kW (24.7hp) Kohler engine that turns these 2-tonne machines into multi-tasking powerhouses. If you’re going to make the investment in a mini excavator it needs to earn its keep and, whether it’s digging footings or lifting gravel bags, there’s plenty of punch.

So what about the experience at the controls? First impressions when climbing into the ROPS/TOPS protected cab is the generous amount of room. The auxillary pedals have been moved to electro-proportional controls, there’s a brandnew 4in multi-function digital display controlled from a rotary dial, where power modes, health checks and much more can be accessed. Visibility to the bucket is unimpeded and, if you’re grafting into the darker hours of winter, then four LED work lightsincluding one protected in the boom and one rear facingwill illuminate your surroundings.

Packing a punch

The 25Z-1 is a true zero tailswing solution with no overhang and, in common with its conventional tail swing stablemate, the overall width is just 1,500mm. That makes it your friend if you’re digging hard against a wall or on any project where space is at a premium. There’s less chance of damaging either your shiny new digger or the client’s property with some over-enthusiastic slewing, and you can reach the spots that conventional tailswings can’t. Compact they may be but that doesn’t mean there’s any scrimping on reach with a maximum digging depth of 2,824mm, while the conventional tailswing 26C-1 offers up to 3,037mm.

The 25Z-1 and 26C-1 carry over the same bucket pin dimensions, which means you can continue to use existing buckets and attachments. The manufacturer also now offers a factory-fit hydraulic quick hitch option, which incorporates two locking mechanisms with an LED boom light indicator. Other options include a new mechanical hitch, and a factory-fit hydraulic thumb, that can be used with high or low-flow hydraulics.

What a builder needs from any construction machine is reliability, durability and ease of use, and JCB’s mini excavators already have a solid reputation for all three. With the launch of the 26C-1 and 25Z-1 it is a status that’s been further reinforced. There’s now even more choice on offer in the Next Generation family, with solutions that champion performance, comfort and a competitive cost of ownership. 

For further information on the JCB Next Generation 26C-1 and 25Z-1 mini excavators visit JCB Mini Diggers | 0.8 to 10 Tonne Excavators | JCB.com.

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