JCB: Fastest and most powerful Loadall revealed

JCB's new Loadall 542-70 Agri Pro offers 173hp and 690Nm of torque
JCB’s new Loadall 542-70 Agri Pro offers 173hp and 690Nm of torque.

JCB has launched a new flagship Loadall telescopic handler – the fastest and most powerful model the company has ever built.

The 542-70 Agri Pro has a unique combination of engine power and torque, acceleration, top speed and hydraulic power to set new levels of performance and productivity around the farmyard, out in the field and on the road.

JCB Agriculture managing director John Smith said with its 173hp engine and 50kph top speed, the new Loadall 542-70 Agri Pro was the most powerful and fastest Loadall that JCB has ever built, with quicker acceleration and unmatched towing performance.

“The Loadall design is already a world-beater in terms of performance and productivity, and now this new model takes materials handling capabilities to a new level, with a standard specification giving the machine tremendous operator appeal while setting a new benchmark for loading, handling and towing,” he added.

The new JCB 542-70 AGRI Pro features:

  • JCB 4.8-litre DieselMAX engine developing 173hp and 690Nm of torque;
  • JCB DualTech VT half hydrostatic, half direct mechanical drive 50km/hr transmission;
  • 22 per cent increase in dynamic tractive effort;
  • 25 per cent greater road travel productivity;
  • heavy-duty JCB axles with 10-stud hubs and 500mm-wide tyres on stronger rims;
  • new twin-axle hydraulic power braking system with auto four-wheel drive engagement;
  • 14 per cent increase in hydraulic flow from larger 72cc (160-lit/min) piston pump; and
  • New rubber spring cab mounts giving increased vibration and shock isolation.

Like other Loadall 542-70 models equipped with the DualTech VT transmission, the Agri Pro has a maximum lift capacity of 4.2t and a full-height lift of 2.75t to 7.01m.

But while the Agri, Agri Super and Agri Xtra models have 109hp, 130hp and 150hp outputs from their 4.8-litre JCB DieselMAX engines, the new Loadall 542-70 Agri Pro has 173hp.

That gives the newcomer a 24hp or 16 per cent advantage compared to the current most powerful JCB models, and a 15 per cent increase in peak torque output of 690Nm at 1,500rpm, figures that together with the performance of the hydrostatic drive element of the DualTech VT transmission, generate 22 per cent more dynamic tractive effort when digging into compacted cattle yard muck or scooping up grain or sugar beet with a large volume bucket.

The Loadall 542-70 Agri Pro also features a new high-speed version of JCB’s unique and performance-proven DualTech VT hydro-mechanical transmission that provides precise and progressive control from hydrostatic drive up to 22km/hr (versus 19km/hr with the standard version) and power-efficient direct mechanical drive with a top speed of 50km/hr instead of 40km/hr.

Where this unique combination of power, torque, acceleration and speed can be exploited, the Loadall 542-70 Agri Pro can reduce journey times between field and farm, and more easily keep pace with contractor lime and muck spreading teams when moving from one location to another.

To handle the added power and speed, a new hydraulic braking system has individual circuits for the heavier-duty 10-stud front and rear axles that meet the requirements of European T1b tractor homologation for road-going agricultural vehicles. Air trailer braking is a factory-installed option.

Also, in addition to running in rear-wheel drive on the road for maximum towing traction and stability, the Agri Pro automatically engages four-wheel drive when the brakes are applied to ensure the maximum tyre/surface contact patch for shortest stopping distances.

Once on site, operators can make best use of the DualTech VT transmission’s Eco and Power settings, and use the Flex mode to separate control of engine and ground speeds for easy foot pedal control, and to work at low speeds while using sufficient engine revs to power a hydraulically-driven sweeper, straw processor or silage feeder.

On handling and loading work, operators can also exploit the Loadall 542-70 Agri Pro’s higher-capacity hydraulics package that comprises a 72cc variable-output piston pump delivering up to 160-lit/min – a 14 per cent increase in output that promotes quick responses to joystick control inputs, especially when using more than one function at a time, such as when crowding a bucket while raising the boom.

Other elements of JCB Smart Hydraulics technology also feature on the new model, including regenerative cylinders that allow the boom to be lowered and retracted faster for speedier loading cycles; cylinder end-stroke damping on the boom lift and retract rams; and automated bucket or fork ‘rattle’ to shift sticky material or dispense products such as wood shavings and saw dust in a controlled manner with minimal control input when used for bedding.

There’s also a new auto-engage JCB Smooth Ride System boom suspension set-up for the 542-70 Agri Pro with optimised accumulators and hydraulic counterbalance valves for increased boom oscillation, isolation from vehicle movements, reduced risk of loads being spilled or dislodged, and a more comfortable ride for the operator.

Operators also get to enjoy standard or climate-control air conditioning, a half-leather heated and ventilated air suspension seat with electric lumbar support adjustment, and the spacious Command Plus cab with its new shock and vibration-damping rubber spring and polymer damping mounts.