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Work fast, far, high and low with versatile JCB equipment


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As strong as an elephant; tall as a giraffe, it needs as little water as a camel, and it can turn on a tickey! It sounds like a riddle but is not. The solution is a name – JCB!

When Gerald Smith of Kleinwater near Balmoral on the Eastern Highveld wants to lift or move something, or dig a hole, he calls on his JCB machines. With 400 hectares under irrigation and a major feed-making industry of his own, there is always a need to dig a hole or a furrow, move fertiliser or chicken manure or bales that must be loaded.

“I acquired the JCB 3CX Eco TLB (Agricultural Specification) to open feeder lines to the centre pivots when a problem crops up, and also to dig furrows for new mother lines when we plan to expand. These trenches can kilometres long” says Gerald.

“One of the important advantages of the 3CXEco is the reach of its backhoe. One can dig deeper and further than with any other machine, which means that the TLB need not be moved very often, allowing faster workflow,” says Gerald.

However, digging trenches is only part of the job description of the 3CX Eco on the farm and it can be applied for many other chores. In the comfortable air-conditioned cabin of the machine the operator simply press a button to turn the seat around for the next job. To change the front loader bucket for a bale fork, the bucket is released from inside the cabin, the bale fork picked up and there you go!

Gerald Smith of Balmoral says the service given by Johan Botha of AFGRI Middelburg compares well with the JCB’s that he sells.

A one machine workforce!

Gerald says many of the products received on the farm, such as fertiliser, comes on pallets, which can be lifted easily for moving it around with the JCB’s pallet attachment. The implement can also hook and lift mass storage bags, and the front- end loader makes light work of depositing lime or manure in a spreader, move mountains of soil, drill holes and afterwards even remove the soil again. And if you want to work at the top of a centre pivot, you simple use the JCB to lift you!

A big advantage is that the JCB 3CX Eco is fitted with a third hydraulic pump ensuring that the oil pressure is there when you need it. All heavy work is done at low engine revolutions, resulting in fuel savings of up to 16% compared with other machines in the same class.

The 4WD machine, with four same-size wheels, can deal with any terrain. When storing bales right up to the rafters, you call on the telescopic JCB 531-70. The figures indicate that the stalwart can lift 3,1 tons 7 metres high. Outside it also serves well to load the last two rows of bales high on the truck.

Gerald is amazed by the ease with which the machine is controlled. With previous machines he had to perform each action separately. “I’m astonished by how many functions one can perform simultaneously by moving the control arm in the direction in which you want the machine to move. The machine warns you when you try to perform a stupid action, such as when you want pick up something too heavy too far away. It also sets the angle of the attachment automatically so that the load cannot fall off.”

The operator can see exactly what is happening above his head through the roof window, but similar to all other JCB machines safety is not negotiable. In the reinforced cabin the operator feels cosy and safe. The machine will also refuse to move a centimetre unless someone is sitting in the seat. Should an object have to be held in the air for a long time a mechanical device locks the cylinder. The 75kW EcoMAX engine is a formidable fuel saver which works easily and effortlessly at 1600 rpm because of a larger oil pump which delivers sufficient continuous pressure.

The JCB 531-70 is compact and boasts independent 4WD steering ability. With ‘crabsteer’ one can manoeuvre to any direction in the smallest area. Overheating is prevented by a big fan that can be reversed to blow muck from the radiator. Another plus is known as ‘LiveLink’. A smartcard in every machine informs you exactly where you are and should there be anything that needs attention.

Gerald says: “JCB thinks of the work that has to be done and the person who has to do the work. With the excellent service and support of AFGRI we can do what has to be done without stoppages.”

Stack your bales right up to the rafters with the JCB 531-70.

Find your JCB solution. Contact Daniël Erasmus of JCB on 072-564-1041, email, or Gary van Wyk of JCB on 072-445-3112, email You may also visit on the internet. Remember to visit our exhibit at NAMPO: Stand: E39, E40 & F8.

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