Loadalls ready for the big race
A fleet of JCB machines is under starter's orders to take on a starring role at the British Grand Prix.
Fourteen JCB Loadall telescopic handlers have left the JCB World HQ in Rocester, Staffordshire, headed for Silverstone in Northampton ahead of the Formula 1 Grand Prix this weekend. The 531-70 models - which can lift weights of 3 T - will provide four days of support at the race circuit.
The convoy was led by a JCB 3CX Compact backhoe loader wrapped in the colours of Williams Martini Racing to mark JCB's partnership with the British-based F1 team.
Loadall development engineer George Cooper, 25, of Tean, near Cheadle and Sam Goodman, 21, of Derby, who works in product sales at JCB's World HQ, waved off the fleet of machines with traditional racing chequered flags.
Cooper has spent six months working on the re-configured 531-70 and the new attachment and he will be one of five JCB employees on hand to drive the Loadalls at the circuit, working alongside nine qualified telescopic handler operators employed by Silverstone.
"We have been working with the motorsport governing body, FIA, to develop the special Loadall over the last six months. It will make its debut at Silverstone and we will be there to operate them and continually assess their performance," says Cooper.
"The main benefit of the new jib attachment is it moves the lifting point of the car away from the actual machine, so it makes it easier and safer to recover a vehicle from the track. The 14 machines will be strategically located around the circuit on bends and at points where the likelihood of a car spinning off is higher."
In addition to the Loadalls, JCB has supplied a further six machines to Silverstone including a 8026 mini excavator, a VMT260-120 roller, a site dumper and a backhoe loader, to meet the needs of the circuit on and off the track.